Need help choosing C64

RichyV

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Hi all,

I was hoping for some help here, please...

I have often wondered what it would be like to actually own a C64\C\128 or the-like, as I never owned one as a kid (ZX81 & Speccy only) and never had a friend that did either. So, I never experienced the whole Spectrum vs Commodore thing! :D

Won't be in the market to purchase for a little while (expensive Holiday to pay for! And then have a 1240t that I'm looking at upgrading to a 1260...) but maybe in the autumn/winter, so no rush, my question to you then is:-

As a good all-round, playing games/demos, bit of programming/fiddling with the system, what is the best model to go for? I'll only be buying one, so which is the best all-round model?

Will probably use it with a datasette at the beginning, but will need a model that I can 'upgrade' along the way.

So, over to those more knowledgeable...

Cheers!
 
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protek

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A C64 would fit your needs perfectly. All the old and modern expansions with a few exceptions are designed for the C64. C128 offers only the 128 mode, which has a small software library compared to the 64 and CP/M mode, which is done better in probably all other Z80 based systems.

If you can get a good deal on a C128 or plan to do a lot of programming in Basic, do get it but otherwise a C64 should fulfill all your needs.
 

RichyV

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So, the original 'bread-bin' type or a newer 'C' type - does it matter?
 

b00mer

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I second protek. Any C64 will do. Older model is better suited for games, while the newer for watching demos. Why? Because of the different sound chip. You will rarely spot a difference in games but some new demos sound really awful with the older SID model.

Even if you would like to program in BASIC, you are better off with C64 and Simon's BASIC. Beware that some carts don't play well with every C128 model (1541 Ultimate-2 I am looking at you:).
 

roy_bates

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i have a few c64's and my favorite is the breadbox model with 6581,but with the 250425 mainboard.

if you dont care about that sort of thing then a cheap and cheerful c64c will do you just fine.

its all about preference really...and knowing what your looking at or hearing.
 

protek

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I'd stay clear of the last cost reduced version of the 64C model, in which the case is a clip-on and not screws.
 

DojoDan

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As a question that might benefit the OP, are there any differences in visual clarity? I own a C, indeed probably the one with clips, and it has mild jailbars using an RGB cable (doesnt bother me). Is there any other reason protek to avoid this version?
 

johnim

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As already said any c64 will do really and i would get the basic sd2iec for it
 

stephenfalken

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Classic breadbin style C64 all the way! Although any model will likely suit you and there is a multitude of expansion devices you can get along the way.

My all time favourite 8bit system I can't get enough of em lol

Regards
 

roy_bates

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you can get rid of the jail-bar effect with a small amount of electronics,i wont get into that here as most arnt bothered by it.

if your a stickler like me youll want to use the s/video(chroma/luma)instead of composite.


first thing i add to mine is jiffydos to speed up disk access.


other than the case differences on the model c64c there isnt much difference inside...sram fitted on motherboard as apposed to integrated onto one of the ic's on the main board etc on later models.. funcionally there the same and can be found in either case style on the 64c modles
 

RichyV

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Wow, this is great info!

Thanks all...

So, a cheap 64c seems to be the way to go... If it doesn't come with a psu or cassette player, can I pickup any type, or are these specific to the model I choose?
 

roy_bates

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any c2n or 1531 will work on it and any c64 power supply as well there all the same


but,stay away from the black psu of old as its prone to failure and takes out the c64 sometimes when it dies.
 
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mjnurney

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there are many options on the C64

id get a bread bin C64 (early fat brown c64) but in truth finding one that works could be a challenge but there are many on Amibay

The later c64 models can have the later SID chip which will distort (more than they do anyway) samples played on it.However the later c64 are more reliable.

get a Tap player for cassette images to enjoy the 10 minutes of music when loading a game (old school loading)
or a SD2IEC for much faster loading but still a leisurely event now days.

next up Jiffy DOS (internal ROM for the C64) for faster loading from the SD2IEC, i would avoid a real disk drive unless you are after the genuine 80s sensation ...and you have a lot of time.

For quick loading of everything from .tap to .d81 (take and disk images on the net) buy an 1581Ultimate but they cost a lot.

So summery

loading games to a c64

Cassette player - cheap and slow
tap player - as above but you can download the images and don't need real cassettes
SD2IEC - disk image loader , semi - emulates the c64 disk drive and loads most things (works best with Jiffy DOS fitted to the C64)
U1581 - plays SID music and loads almost anything in to c64 instantly
Flashcard- loads .crt cartridge images in to the C64 as though its a real cartridge
 

protek

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@DojoDan: Electronically the clip case C64C isn't any different from other C64Cs with the revision E motherboard. In the clip case, also the keyboard is fastened to the top half with clips, which enables it to move sideways. In the screw case, the keyboard is fastened to the lower half with screws.

It'll get the job done all the same but according to some sources, the clip case feels flimsier. Can't neither confirm or deny as I only have a screws case C64C.

Many prefer the breadbin case and I have one also as it was the version I had back then but I always wanted a C64C as I liked the wedge design more.
 

Olav_nordmann

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any c2n or 1531 will work on it and any c64 power supply as well there all the same

I seem to remember the newer C64c with the new SID use 12V AC instead of 9V AC of the older machines.

But basically, the older C64 is the most iconic and compatible with vintage C64 games. It might also have a higher failure-rate depending on what chips it use, in particular certain chips made by Commodore themself have a higher probability of failing. Lots of the chips (in particular the older SID) in the original C64 also draw more current and get quite a bit hot.

C64C is decent, technically much the same as the 'breadbin' C64 but with a more of a VLSI chipset design than the original. As others have mentioned, ensure you get an earlier C64C and not a later one.

I know little of the CP/M implementation of the C128. CP/M was more or less obsolete at that point, anyways. In short, there are a whole lot of other computers that run CP/M really well, so it's not worth getting a C128 for just that feature alone. When it comes to C128-spesific features, I guess next to nothing used those in order to stay compatible with the MUCH more popular C64.
 
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roy_bates

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any c2n or 1531 will work on it and any c64 power supply as well there all the same

I seem to remember the newer C64c with the new SID use 12V AC instead of 9V AC of the older machines.



lots of people get a little confused about this,ill try to explain...

all the c64's use the same supply,the 9 volt ac side of the supply(its actually nearer 10 v ac) goes into the 64 and is then rectified and regulated to dc.

on the earlier c64 this was converted to 12volts dc and 5 volts dc for the vic and sid,on later models it was converted to 9 volts dc for the sid.

if you open a c64 youll notice a fuse for the ac line,if you remove it on earlier machines youll notice it wont work at all because you will be cutting power to the vic's 12 volt and 5 volt rail stopping it from working even though the rest of the logic in the machine is being powered.

a model c on the other hand will work fine with the fuse removed,its just you wont have any 9v dc line for the sid or use of the cassette port.

its easier to think that part of the supply was fitted internally to the c64 board.
 

RichyV

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OK.

So, seen one of these for sale on here today: What's a C64G?? :)
 

roy_bates

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it was basically a c64c mainboard in a breadbox case.
 

stephenfalken

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I recently added a C64G to my collection it was a version I was missing. They are quite rare these days and are a different coloured breadbin with a white keyboard. Lovely machine, more of a collectors item maybe.
 
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