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Fast Loaders for the C64
This page is a work in progress!

The original 1541 (and 1541-II) floppy disk drive were pretty slow. The serial port, which connected to teh FDDs is doing about 400Bytes/sec (
C64-Wiki: Serial Port). To speed up the disk operations, faster loaders are used.

Some fast loaders work with an unmodified 1541, some require a corresponding ROM inside the 1541, some are an alternative kernal (ROM) for the C64, some work from a cartridge and some are just part of the software. Some require a parallel connection between the 1541 and the user port (or a cartridge) of the C64.

Since I was working on a
SpeedDOS adapter for the 1541 and 1541-II and the C64, I got interested in comparing the load speeds of different fast loaders to compare it with SpeedDOS.

I used one floppy disk that contains Bubble Bobble as a bench mark. There are different versions of this programs available, for a good comparison, it is required to use exactly my copy:
177 Blocks, cracked by Hotline, 26.09.1987.

First, I have loaded Bubble Bobble with the original Commodore ROMs on both, the 1541 and the C64. This is my benchmark.

Fast Loader
Loading Time
Percentage
Note
Commodore
114 sec
100%
all original software/hardware
Action Replay MK6
9.1 sec
8.0%
1541-II & C64 original, runs from cartridge
EXOS V3
12.1 sec
10.6%
1541: original, C64: EXOS V3 Kernal
Final Cartridge III+
12.4 sec
10.9%
all original hardware, works from cartridge
SpeedDOS 2.7+
16.8 sec
14.7%
Parallel interface, SpeedDOS kernal in 1541 and C64
Formel 64 v1.1
21.3 sec
18.7%
Parallel interface and firmware inside a cartridge, 1541 and C64 original kernal
JiffyDOS 6.0
21.5 sec
18.9%
JiffyDOS EPROM in 1541 and C64, still payware.
Epyx FastLoad
21.9 sec
19.2%
all original hardware, works from cartridge
KSC Power Cartridge
21.9 sec
19.2%
all original hardware, works from cartidge
DELA DOS
23.9 sec
21.0%
all original hardware, works from cartidge


Oceanic
OC-118N with an R-DOS 40 TR. kernal:

Fast Loader
Loading Time
Percentage
Note
Commodore
114 sec
100%
R-DOS 40 TR. 1541 kernal
Action Replay MK6
9.7 sec
8.5%
R-DOS 40 TR. 1541 kernal, org. Kernal, AR6 cartridge
Final Cartridge III
12.5 sec
8.7%
R-DOS 40 TR. 1541 kernal, org. Kernal, FCIII cartridge



To be continued...