Commodore 64 revisions

AmiNeo

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Hey guys,
As a fan and nostalgic lover of the C64, It has only recently come to my attention that there were a few different models of this awesome retro machine. Would anyone care to explain the differences between the revisions and perhaps point me to pics of each one?

I have always been aware of 2 distinct cosmetic revisions (the boxier brown key model and the C64C, which was IMO the best looking of the 2 I know).

Were there models A, B, D, E and F too? (y)
 

amigaman2000

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There are four cosmetic revisions:

C64 Original Brown model
C64C the case looks like an Amiga 500 or Commodore 128, in white
C64G like original but with white case and keyboard
C64ALDI, this is a special revision made to Germany supermarket ALDI, its a white original case and brown keyboard.

Regards
 

tokyoracer

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There are four cosmetic revisions:

C64 Original Brown model
C64C the case looks like an Amiga 500 or Commodore 128, in white
C64G like original but with white case and keyboard
C64ALDI, this is a special revision made to Germany supermarket ALDI, its a white original case and brown keyboard.

Regards
There are different motherboards of each of them aswell though. Also other bits like Red and Green LED's for Power and different style keyboards, PSU's, etc.

P.s. Oh don't forget the portable SX64. :)
 

AmiNeo

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I guess the C65 counts as a revision too although not technically a true 64.

Presumably the original design was from the Vic-20 just different colour plastics? They look an aweful lot similar :LOL:
Anyone know why they chose letters C and G for the revisions? What happened to the other letters in between? Did they ever exist as concept models or anything?



Thanks guys!
 

tokyoracer

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I guess the C65 counts as a revision too although not technically a true 64.

Presumably the original design was from the Vic-20 just different colour plastics? They look an aweful lot similar :LOL:
Anyone know why they chose letters C and G for the revisions? What happened to the other letters in between? Did they ever exist as concept models or anything?



Thanks guys!

Your completely right about the cases, the Vic 20, C16 and C64 are exactly the same apart from a slight colour change. As for the revisions I'm not sure if the letters stand for anything or if there was anything inbetween them. Though I can tell you was the C was a more cost effective along with an updated case design and the G was the Aldi (German supermarket) bargain basement special of the 64 series.

I don't know enough about the C65 since its uber rare, but on the face of it, I can't see a lot of resemblance to a standard C64.

That's about all I can tell you, Google is your friend for proper details on each of the models.
 

SaviorX

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64G

Marc Jano-Knopp's Commodore 64 Page (mirrored by Peter Schepers) .jpg Photograph of the 64G (50K, courtesy Nicolas Welte)
aka C64G, 64 BN/E, C64-III
Introduced 1989
Hardware Identical to the later 64C and the 64GS (except the BASIC code, of course :), based on the infamous BN/E motherboard version; different case and electronics than the classic breadbox version. Packaged in the classic breadbox case but now in white (with the 64C's off-white keycaps); the BN/E version motherboard caused some slight incompatibility with older programs (Marc notes that SMON malfunctions on BN/E version boards). Single ROM with both BASIC and Kernal code (23128); PLA and logic chips now on a single GAL (along with the 2114 colour RAM).
Graphics and Sound Identical to later 64Cs. 8580 (R5?) HMOS SID, 8565 (R2?) HMOS VIC-II.
Eventual Fate Announced 2/88, released in Europe, but not North America; the earliest model Nicolas has is dated 12/88. Some (very!) late models were apparently refurbished 64GS systems sent back to the factory; version depicted here with included joystick and cartridge (also shades of the 64GS), though the 64G predates it.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Aldi"

.jpg Image of the "Aldi" (18K, courtesy Marc-Jano Knopp) aka The Aldi was christened by 64'er Magazine, and not an official title.
Introduced 1987
Hardware, Graphics and Sound Identical to BN/E board 64 units (see above).
Eventual Fate German release only. Replaced by the 64G.
Comments
Thanks to Nicolas Welte.
This forerunner to the 64G appeared in Germany only, and was christened Aldi by the German 64'er magazine after the German discount supermarket it was sold in; Oliver Graf further points out that in fact the Aldi stores were the only ones to sell the unit. Interestingly, the Aldis were manufactured in the United States. They have the old brown breadbox shell, but 64C-esque white keycaps; internally, they are no different.
64'er's disenchantment with the Aldi was well-known. Their most enduring flaw was the lack of 9V on the userport, which affected hardware attaching there; while some units do indeed have this limitation repaired, many do not.
 

Retrograde

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There are different motherboards of each of them aswell though. Also other bits like Red and Green LED's for Power and different style keyboards, PSU's, etc.

P.s. Oh don't forget the portable SX64. :)

I can vouch for that. My original C64 came with the C64C wedge-like case but it's internals look like a later revision of the breadbox boards, with pretty much all chips socketed, except the I/O chips. My mate has an older breadbox model which I compared with long ago, they were almost identical.
I later aquired a newer C64C (now defect) with pretty much all chips except the SID (which thankfully does work) and VIC soldered right to the board.

I think there are a few variants out there, probably more so now on the second hand market with comps being repaired and scavenged for parts.
 

AmiNeo

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Hmm, would it not be better for all hardware longevity to have everything socketed? (I guess I can see why they wouldnt do this as then the consumer would have to buy a new one rather than replace a chip in the event of any failures).
 
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The motherboards I have seen have varied quite a bit, especially on the issue of which chips are socketed. I think they went by what parts they had easily at hand at any given time :LOL: One interesting thing to note is that some early C64 breadbins have a 5 pin DIN connector for Audio/Video output that lacks the chroma signal that newer ones (those with a 8 pin connector) have. You'll need this signal for S-Video.
 

AmiNeo

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I think they went by what parts they had easily at hand at any given time
This might actually explain why there are so many revisions dispite there being not a lot of difference in overall performance or reliability. (not that they needed improving on the reliability level).
 

Merlin

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The later 64G models also had a flaw, in that they used a later SID chip that caused some of the sounds to be removed from games. Some programmers exploited the limits of the noises that the 6581 original SID chip put out to simulate gunshots, explosions etc. The later 8581 SID can be retro-hacked to allow these sounds through, via a few resistors connected to the chip legs.
 
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Retrograde

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Hmm, would it not be better for all hardware longevity to have everything socketed? (I guess I can see why they wouldnt do this as then the consumer would have to buy a new one rather than replace a chip in the event of any failures).

Sockets cost money!! Maybe they increase production time slightly too, dunno. (=even more money)

The focus for Commodore must have been to produce the comps as cheaply as possible. I mean beyond what's smart long-term sometimes. I reckon they thought they'd have new models of computers out before these had be serviced or broke down, and well, they Amiga came quite soon after the C64, maybe they expected some customers to upgrade to a C128 etc.

Obv. for us loons who tinker with oldschool gear surface mounted isn't optimal. ;)
 

AmiNeo

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Hmm, would it not be better for all hardware longevity to have everything socketed? (I guess I can see why they wouldnt do this as then the consumer would have to buy a new one rather than replace a chip in the event of any failures).

Sockets cost money!! Maybe they increase production time slightly too, dunno. (=even more money)

The focus for Commodore must have been to produce the comps as cheaply as possible. I mean beyond what's smart long-term sometimes. I reckon they thought they'd have new models of computers out before these had be serviced or broke down, and well, they Amiga came quite soon after the C64, maybe they expected some customers to upgrade to a C128 etc.

Obv. for us loons who tinker with oldschool gear surface mounted isn't optimal. ;)

Loons eh? :rofl3
 

Merlin

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We are very very l33t l00ns though......;)

:LOL:
 

AmiNeo

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:p:p:p

---------- Post added at 20:38 ---------- Previous post was at 20:36 ----------

Best smiley ever ---> :rofl3
 
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