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<  TAP and patch development  ~  [Ux] USBSuperTurbo -- quite experimental

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:41 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
I tried optimising one of the biggest hitters on the Profiler during a USB transfer and, frankly, I was getting nowhere. Then it occurred to me that the problem may be in the way the system timeslices, making that the main limitation on non-turbo transfers. Ideally, we ought to be able to have turbo speeds all the time -- I think DeadBeef has remarked that that may be as good as it gets, with the hardware limitations and the necessary other software running at the same time.

[Ux] USBSuperTurbo is a first stab at achieving this. It massively optimises that core routine, but more significantly it adjusts the task switching to prioritise the USB system (but not exclusively). I've tested it while recording and playing back, and the only side-effects are that the system is much less responsive during a transfer, which is what you'd expect. Using Altair I was getting roughly 1.4Mb/s (using the other USB patches), but adding this patch I got turbo speeds (2.3Mb/s). And everything should continue working: the remote, timers, recordings and playback.

What this now needs is extensive stress testing to see what is (and isn't) affected. I'm running with the main speed-ups ([Ce] and [Gm]) which may make a difference, too. And I don't use MHEG or timeshifting.

This is another of those complex patches that has been built for the hundred or so firmwares I've got a copy of. So, if it proves reliable, other firmwares could be added.

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glenmcfar
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:43 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Does this need to be applied instead of U/Uu or as well as?

Glen.

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glenmcfar
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:53 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
OK, I'm guessing 'instead of' as I just got an instant reboot. I applied the patch dynamically but as soon as plugged the USB cable into the laptop - BANG!

Glen.

[edit: I dynamically disabled U/Ua and added Ux and got a reboot again. This is gonna have to wait until later - I don't have time at the moment to try it with a clean firmware.]

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:57 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
glenmcfar wrote:
I applied the patch dynamically but as soon as plugged the USB cable into the laptop - BANG!
That's the experimental bit. Smile I think [U] is still needed since that'll reduce the CPU overhead. I suspect your crash is a 5.13.65 issue. Hold on and I'll check it out...

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 11:08 am Reply with quote
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OK... re-download it (it was using a 5.13.40 call).

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Tai Chi Steve
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 1:15 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Nov 2006 Posts: 204 Location: Sutton Coldfield Transmitter
Hi,

I've done some initial testing on the Ux patch - I'm also using the U, Ua, and Uu USB patches, and all other relevant patches you're developing, including Ce and Gm - nice speed up Smile Sorry sig is out of date.

I've had no problems so far on small transfers to check speeds. What I have found is

Without Ux

Turbo ~ 3 MB/s
Non-Turbo ~ 1.3 MB/s

With Ux

Turbo ~ 3 MB/s (fractional increase)
Non-Turbo ~ 2.3 MB/s

The above were carried out with MHEG and Time Shift Off, with a blank channel.

Repeating the non-turbo transfers while playing back a BBC1 recording dropped them both by about 0.1 MB/s.

I disconnected the aerial input to the toppy, which made no improvement. With the toppy on a blank channel, Time Shift had no effect on the results.

It does seem that perhaps there may be scope for further improvement. I noticed that when loading either the native, or the My Stuff archive, it was slower to load, taking a few seconds. In this period, the transfer rate rose to ~ 2.8MB/s for non-turbo.

Hope this helps and thanks for all your efforts.

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30/03/08 TF5800 FW:1365[Flash:HPST2ZXl RAM:BfBqCyDeEcFIMhPsRReRpTsUUuWfXpXw]
AutoStart:HDFW2.2 XStartTap0.9
XStart:PowerRestore0.7.5 EITDupFix0.3 MhegControlB1.1RC1 mheg_state2 mei2archive3.8l3 eit2mei7.8m3 QuickJump1.69 AccurateBM0.3 MyStuff5.61 QuickBlank0.2 TF5000Display1.53
Other:ad_skipper_43_0.03a ChannelManager5.1 FavouritesManager2.0d HDDInfo2.1 RecordingFixer1.3 SignalMonitor0.51 SimpleCharEditor3.09 TAPCommander1.31 UKOZSurfer0.14
NSLU2 Unslung6.10 rt2mei0.63 RecShellExt
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R2-D2
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 1:47 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
Tai Chi Steve wrote:
I noticed that when loading either the native, or the My Stuff archive, it was slower to load, taking a few seconds. In this period, the transfer rate rose to ~ 2.8MB/s for non-turbo.
Rose? Gosh. I wasn't expecting that, but I think that'll be because certain processing stops when any OSD is displayed.

I think the real turbo mode will always win, because it removes so much significant functionality. But it certainly looks like optimising various bits of the USB code might have a positive effect now (everything I tried before wasn't making any difference).

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glenmcfar
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:04 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
I'm seeing speeds similar to R2-D2's original post. Having a bit of bother because my Asus is on the blink again, so I've had to install Altair, etc to play.

At least I can plug the USB cable in without a crash so that's a definite improvement, R2!!!! Evil or Very Mad

Glen.

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:20 pm Reply with quote
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glenmcfar wrote:
At least I can plug the USB cable in without a crash so that's a definite improvement
It is actually quite difficult to make this sort of patch for other firmwares, you know. I could stick to releasing 5.13.40 patches... Laughing (Ta for being such a quick guinea pig!)

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glenmcfar
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
What else would I rather do on a Friday morning?

Glen.

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aramil
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:30 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 20 Jun 2006 Posts: 649 Location: Worcester, UK ; TX:Malvern Central
Seems to work fine for me with a fully patched FW. it agrees with your estimated DL from toppy @ aprox (2.3Mb/s) unless my maths is wrong Laughing

Is it ok to run with [U] & [Uu] seems to work fine?

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chunkywizard
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:37 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 9319 Location: Sindlesham, Berkshire Tx: Hannington
Hi R2,

just crashed my Toppy twice with this. I loaded up HDFW and selected an already patched firmware (once a backup of my current F/W once, the one in Flash) and then whilst loading in the patch list I got a crash and VF&F, ie before all the last patch was listed (I guess when the Ux patch appeared on screen)

Any ideas? Just going to try and download again

[Edit] that didn't work. Also tried selecting an unpatched .65 and it still crashed

CW

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
chunkywizard wrote:
Also tried selecting an unpatched .65 and it still crashed
At the same point? The only thing that occurs to me is a memory issue: the [Gm] patch is absolutely huge for HDFW to load (although it could be trimmed down, I think).

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chunkywizard
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:45 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 9319 Location: Sindlesham, Berkshire Tx: Hannington
Yep, at the same time (best I can tell). It is just as the last patch is displayed' on screen (z). I can try again suspending my taps before trying if you think that would help.

CW

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:50 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
chunkywizard wrote:
I can try again suspending my taps before trying if you think that would help.
Or try MemLog or one of the other memory watching TAPs. (I've also done a smaller [Gm], which may help.)

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