I somehow missed this until browsing the lft homepage.
Because I enjoy this sort of thing I just ran a time trial between C64 Å-Machine (compiled on currently-newest Dialog and bundler) and the original published I7 .z8 on Ozmoo (.d81 build mode, it was either that or dual-1541 and .d81 feels cleaner).
I picked the first ten meaningful commands from the ClubFloyd transcript of Craverly and my intention was to do a head-to-head comparison, but unfortunately the usual “I7 games take several minutes per move” guideline is holding true.
So, on VICE x64sc NTSC with stock ROMs (and no carts/REU/etc.), the Å-machine variant took:
boot to initial prompt: 43 seconds
initial prompt through first ten moves: 54 seconds
Talk to pauline
Not the insta-scroll of today’s supercomputers, but an 8-bit experience I feel comfortable endorsing as “plenty good.”
As for the I7 side, it took just under 6 minutes to get to the > prompt and about 4 minutes per command so at 30 minutes in and only about half of the commands run, I’m calling off the contest.
But it’s nice to have perspective!