Author Topic: The best 8 bit home computer?  (Read 6204 times)

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Offline litwr

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The best 8 bit home computer?
« on: 16:33, 09 January 17 »
I have made a list of 8 bit home computers which are the best (IMHO) with some feature.

Amstrad CPC - the best pixel based graphics
Amstrad PCW - the best CP/M computer
Amstrad PCW - the best text processor
BBC Micro and Commodore 128 VDC - the best speed of calculation with screen on
Commodore 64 - the best sound and graphics combined quality
Commodore +4/PAL - the best speed of calculation with screen off
Commodore +4 - the best quality of static graphics

Any additions? Atari 800 has 256 colors but I don't know good Atari pictures. Are there any Atari 800 good pictures somewhere?

Offline PulkoMandy

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #1 on: 17:01, 09 January 17 »
Thomson TO8 - Has all the Amstrad CPC video modes, plus a 320x200 16 colors mode (with 8x1 block constraints), and a 4096 color palette. Beats the CPC easily on best pixel based graphics, except there is no "fullscreen" trick.


Then it depends on what your definition of "home computer" is. The v6z80P would be bast calculation speed (25MHz z80 CPU I think?), and also best static graphics and best combined sound/graphics (it looks more like an Amiga), but it is not a computer from the "golden days".


I don't see why the PCW would be the best CP/M computer. In the days of CP/M you could build anything around the S-100 bus standard, and include megabytes of RAM, hard disks, and a lot more.


Atari graphics: https://demozoo.org/graphics/?platform=16&production_type=

Offline robcfg

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #2 on: 17:07, 09 January 17 »
Then a Tandy CoCo3 is even better for his 320x200 16 color mode without restrictions. Palette is much smaller, to be honest.


Regarding atari pictures, take a look here.

Offline litwr

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #3 on: 19:38, 09 January 17 »
Thomson TO8 - Has all the Amstrad CPC video modes, plus a 320x200 16 colors mode (with 8x1 block constraints), and a 4096 color palette. Beats the CPC easily on best pixel based graphics, except there is no "fullscreen" trick.

I don't see why the PCW would be the best CP/M computer. In the days of CP/M you could build anything around the S-100 bus standard, and include megabytes of RAM, hard disks, and a lot more.
I didn't list rare and expanded computers.  All listed computers were produced in a large number, at least one million.  The problem with the rare models is in absence of programs demonstrating their features...  Could you name any model of CP/M computer which ran CP/M+, had more than 256 KB of RAM, had 720x200 graphics, and was mass produced and affordable for home use?


Then a Tandy CoCo3 is even better for his 320x200 16 color mode without restrictions. Palette is much smaller, to be honest.
Wikipedia says that Tandy CoCo3 has 64 colors in palette.  This is more than 27 of CPC.  However we don't even know how many Tandy Color were made. :( Is there any demo which can be compared with Batman Forever?
Thanks to all for the links to Atari pictures.  They look good but the quality of graphics is not too impressive.  IMHO C+4 shows much better results - http://plus4world.powweb.com/software/VDC_Challenge

Offline andycadley

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #4 on: 20:49, 09 January 17 »

Any additions? Atari 800 has 256 colors but I don't know good Atari pictures. Are there any Atari 800 good pictures somewhere?
16 shades of 16 colours, with all sorts of insane restrictions upon how you can actually use them. With the possible exception of "most colours on screen in a gradient grid pattern", it probably loses out to everything. Even the Speccy.

Offline robcfg

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #5 on: 20:55, 09 January 17 »
I think that trying to get actual photographs on screen loses artistic value. That's what I like of the linked Atari pictures.


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Offline reidrac

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #6 on: 21:14, 09 January 17 »
The CoCo was somewhat popular, spawning 3 generations; some sources mention 1.3 million units sold. Others say 1.5+ million for all TSR-80 models, so I don't know if that 1.3 is too much.

The CoCo 3 was a very capable machine (up to 512K!):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXzyxSX1jLU
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Offline robcfg

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #7 on: 21:33, 09 January 17 »
I think that by playing with composite output you can get 256 colors on a CoCo3.

Then there are the MSX2+ and TurboR machines, which are able to display an insane amount of colors.


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Offline reidrac

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #8 on: 21:56, 09 January 17 »
That's right, MSX2+ are still Z80 based and 8-bit. The MSX2 had a 256 colour mode already.

I always think of the MSX1 and I never remember the later standards!
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #9 on: 22:36, 09 January 17 »
It's very difficult to make a list like that without having tried all 8-bit computers, so I'll assume that the list is "best 8 bit computers that I've used". You've completely left out the Atari's for example. Is this because they weren't best at anything or because you've never had one?

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Offline VincentGR

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #10 on: 02:34, 10 January 17 »

How about sam coupe?


hhmmm a list? OK

ZX is cute,
atari has pokey!!!
commodore for the arcade feeling...
and amstrad number one cause that's way I like it. Aha aha.
« Last Edit: 15:50, 10 January 17 by VincentGR »
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Offline CPCOxygen

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #11 on: 03:11, 10 January 17 »
Asking what is the best 8-bit computer is like asking what's the best car. There are so many variables. I can say that no 8-bit computer wins outright. There are many 8-bit losers (specification wise) but no outright winner.

Offline keith56

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #12 on: 05:19, 10 January 17 »
They all had their benefits,

Spectrum was cheap, so available to everyone!
Commodore had good music, hardware sprites, and some great games.
Amstrad CPC had the great 16 color mode 0, 4 color mode 1 (without the "color block" limitation of other systems)... it also had the dreaded 'speccy ports!' which meant many of its games were utterly awful!

I only had the CPC in the day, but I knew people with all 3, back then I think you were lucky if you had any home computer!
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Offline FloppySoftware

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #13 on: 09:29, 10 January 17 »
I don't see why the PCW would be the best CP/M computer. In the days of CP/M you could build anything around the S-100 bus standard, and include megabytes of RAM, hard disks, and a lot more.


Like the PCW!


 :) :)


Now, seriously: the best 8 bit home computer is mine (it's an expanded PCW8256, by the way).

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Offline roudoudou

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #14 on: 09:48, 10 January 17 »
i remember i like my CPC since the begining mostly because there is a HUGE amount of softwares  8)


i liked my TO7-70 because the user manual was VERY didactic (better than CPC manuel which is nevertheless very good). I learned a lot about Basic with it
use RASM, the best assembler ever made :p

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Offline Bryce

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #15 on: 10:13, 10 January 17 »
I liked the Oric 1 because.... Oh wait, it did nothing even half decently, but it looked cool. :)

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Offline sigh

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #16 on: 12:24, 10 January 17 »
I still want an MSX2+.

I believe that with the added scroll registers, the amount of colours, midi inputs/outputs along with those 6 music channels - games made to it's potential would be mind blowing.

Saying that though - there's still so much progress being made on the CPC that probably weren't thought possible.

Offline ivarf

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #17 on: 13:04, 10 January 17 »
Have anyone seen sales numbers for the Sam Coupe, MSX2 and Amstrad plus/GX4000. I assume the first and only batch of Amstrad pluses/GX with were several hundredthousands machines.

Offline reidrac

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #18 on: 13:11, 10 January 17 »
Retro Gamer issue 52 said 15,000 units of GX4000 were sold. Not sure how accurate is that.

I also find the MSX quite interesting. Shame most non-Japanese games weren't great, another machine that suffered from crap speccy ports.
« Last Edit: 13:16, 10 January 17 by reidrac »
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Offline ASiC

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #19 on: 13:15, 10 January 17 »
I still want an MSX2+.

midi inputs/outputs along with those 6 music channels - games made to it's potential would be mind blowing.


I have the Panasonic FS-A1WX and it doesn't have any midi ports.
You can easily add them with a music module though.


I'd also would love to see what could happen on an MSX2+ if properly used.

Offline ivarf

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #20 on: 13:19, 10 January 17 »
Retro Gamer issue 52 said 15,000 units of GX4000 were sold. Not sure how accurate is that.

I also found the MSX quite interesting. Shame most non-Japanese games weren't great, another machine that suffered from crap speccy ports.

Although I know nothing about this, I would guess that this number is very low. I wonder what their sources are.
Amstrad had a very high marketing budget for the GX4000. Was it 15 million pounds? For me it sounds strange not to have produced more machines having spent so much on marketing. In the period leading up to Christmas 1984 they sold 200 000 Amstrad CPC 464s



I have made a list of 8 bit home computers which are the best (IMHO) with some feature.

Amstrad CPC - the best pixel based graphics
Commodore 64 - the best sound and graphics combined quality
Commodore +4 - the best quality of static graphics

Considering recent output from Targhan and Rhino with improved graphicmodes with more colour at higher resolution, I think the Amstrad CPC should be considered for all these 3 categories
« Last Edit: 14:42, 10 January 17 by ivarf »

Offline litwr

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #21 on: 16:25, 10 January 17 »

I agree that Tandy Color 3 is capable.  But it is rare.  How many programs are in software list especially for CoCo 3?  King Quest II for Tandy shows good but almost static pictures.  I didn't note any sound. :( It looks like C64 graphics with only one or two sprites and a bit more colorful.  However I could name CoCo 3 as the best 8-bit computer for King's Quest II.
MSX2+ and turboR are Japanese rarities.  They have too little software which uses their advanced features. The same is true for Amstrad CPC6128+, Sam Coupe, and other 8-bit computers after 1987.
Theoretically MSX2 can be better than C64, C+4 or Amstrad CPC.  But practically I don't know MSX2 games which are superior to C64 games.  C64 sound is better than even MSX2+ sound.  I also don't know photo graphics shown by MSX2 system which are better than C+4 pictures.  Is MSX2 capable to run a game like CPC6128 Pinball?
I agree that ZX Spektrum deserved to be the best by the best price.
It is also worth to mention that BBC Micro has built-in network support and it makes it the best for this feature.
It's very difficult to make a list like that without having tried all 8-bit computers, so I'll assume that the list is "best 8 bit computers that I've used". You've completely left out the Atari's for example. Is this because they weren't best at anything or because you've never had one?
I met Atari at the 80s.  It didn't impressed me much.  Just yet another 8-bit computer, a bit better than ZX Spektrum.  Do you name any Atari 800 feature that makes it the best?
Considering recent output from Targhan and Rhino with improved graphicmodes with more colour at higher resolution, I think the Amstrad CPC should be considered for all these 3 categories
I hope to see CPC6128 showing pictures better than Commodore +4, with sound better than C64 and with the fast hardware sprites.  :D
« Last Edit: 17:25, 10 January 17 by litwr »

Offline Bryce

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #22 on: 16:41, 10 January 17 »
The Pokey was a pretty good sound chip. Also I liked the Atari XL for how easy it was to interface to.

The CPC also should be nominated for the fastest disk drive of the time.

I'd also like to nominate the Spectrum ZX81 as the best kit computer and best black and white computer :)

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Offline VincentGR

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #23 on: 17:14, 10 January 17 »
CPC was the most "professional" 8bit computer along side with the PCW series, although CPC was the fav.
Here it was used to many video clubs, lotto - gambling stores, schools and even in small companies.
The keyboard is almost perfect and probably not like acorn quality but the layout was the best I think.
Imagine keeping your files with a ZX...


The last CPC I saw was 4-5 years ago still kicking in Athens.


I agree with Bryce about the ZX81.
« Last Edit: 17:16, 10 January 17 by VincentGR »
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Offline Audronic

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Re: The best 8 bit home computer?
« Reply #24 on: 01:39, 11 January 17 »
As I have come from a TRS-80 Model 1-3-4-4P world across to the Amstrad World.
I have great fondness for the TRS-80 series.


Ray


 
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