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Information and older arcticles from my original website.
Millions of Instructions Per Second
Direct Memory Access
Misunderstanding of the term Millions of Instructions Per Second (MIPS) can happen a lot when a person mixes terms - apples & oranges, you know. The PlayStation, Saturn, and Ultra64 are (or will be) completely different systems with a completely different architecture. Now, MIPS sent to the main CPU on a system will not necessarily go directly to it depending upon the Direct Memory Access (DMA) architecture of the particular system. These are all systems (or will be) that contain quite a few support chips that will automatically intercept system instructions that are not specific to those assigned to the main CPU by the system BIOS. Instead, following a strict system protocol outlined in the BIOS, individual instructions are routed to and processed by the appropriate support chips. Though the system as a whole has processed the instructions, it is nearly impossible to determine which and how many instructions were processed by the main CPU. Thus, sending the same set of instructions to all three (or both) machines will not produce the same result in a benchmark test, and it is not fair to judge their relative worth as such.
Rather, on say, Panasonic's 3DO you can run a benchmark test against a Goldstar or Sanyo version of the same machine to determine the relative processing in MIPS in a much more accurate forum. This is to say, simply that MIPS on one machine are not at all processed the same as on another, and Nintendo's U64 may indeed do 125 MIPS - as defined by its own system architecture. Of course, if the chips are tested solely on their own, it's like testing in a vacuum - so there would be no relationship whatsoever between those results when compared to what the chips do in a complete system.
Red Ronin, The Cybernetic Samurai
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