Gadgets By Small - SST

This was an interesting accelerator marketed at the MegaST (although there’s no technical reason for it not to work in a standard ST).  Essentially it replaces the 68000 with a 68030, 68882 and 4MB or 8MB of RAM which behaves as FastRAM.  Due to the design, the only required component is the 68030 - the board will work without the 68882 and the FastRAM.

The implementation allows regular page mode dram to operate in burst mode and the accompanying disk contains a small application to initialise this RAM and set the wait states for both normal operations and burst mode.  This is done just by changing the filename.

I acquired this in November 2013 in a NOS condition - this thing had never been installed! 

I have now installed this into my MegaST (See Here) and now thinking of getting the Panther 2 working alongside it.  This will likely be my next challenge - I think it ought to work however getting it into the case along with a Tseng Labs ET4000 might be tricky ;)

The manual is a great read, even if you don’t own the SST.  It explains the theory behind the accelerator, the challenges of gaining any performance from an ST and explains a lot of fundamental ST hardware theory.  It also has some lovely anecdotal chapters that gives a real insight into Dave Small’s personality and his life.

I benchmarked it with Gembench and got some interesting results.  My FastRAM is configured with 2 Normal Op Wait States and 2 BURST Mode wait states.

Running clean, the machine benchmarks at 97% against a TT:

Now I switch on NVDI (5.0.3) and this is the result:


Gadgets by Small SST Manual: SST

Gadgets by Small SST Release Driver Disk: