MCL65+ World’s Fastest Apple II+

Another flashy title, but again probably true! The MCL65+, when running in accelerated mode is, I estimate, more than ten times faster than a stock 1Mhz Apple II+! This was accomplished by emulating all of the computer’s ROM and RAM in the 600Mhz microcontroller’s memory. Just the I/O and video memory ranges were left as regular 6502 bus access to the motherboard which run at 1Mhz.

The MCL65+ is a 6502 accelerator card which uses a 600Mhz Arduino Teensy4.1 microcontroller to emulate a 6502 microprocessor as well as its bus interface signals. It was designed to be a drop-in replacement for the original 6502 processor found in computers like the VIC-20, the early Apple computers, and others.

I took some videos of two BASIC programs I made to measure the system’s performance before and after the acceleration. One is the classic x=x+1, print x, goto 10 program and the other prints an array of characters. Both very simple however the accelerated speed increase is dramatic.. the text just flies by!

I was surprised that the video and keyboard worked so well under acceleration! The next thing I need to try is booting the computer from either the 5.25″ diskette drive, or a compact flash drive emulator…

Here are some videos of it running with acceleration enabled and disabled. Please note that these programs print a lot to the screen which is accessed via the 1Mhz 6502 bus to the video memory and slows the test down. If less is printed to the screen the acceleration is even faster…

Cycle accurate mode:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuSb7mrw3xg&feature=youtu.be
Accelerated mode:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvJsCMR0qbo&feature=youtu.be

MCL65+ World’s Fastest Apple II+