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Commodore 64 vs Atari 800 Xl


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#51 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:06 AM

Let's see

C64 had better sound but Atari had more soundchannels. Atari's graphics was better thanks to Jay Miners awesome Antic chip that let Atari 800 perform things that not even Atari ST could handle. Atari's main processor was almost twice as fast as the main processor in C64. The only real advantage that i can see for C64, was software support. The hardware in Atari 800 was years ahead of it's time and Atari 800 was by far the most advanced 8bit computer, thanks to Jay Miner. One funny thing is that Jay Miner later built the Amiga, the most advanced 16 bit computer with it's clear colours, 4 channel sound and good hardware support. It was in some way the 16 bit version of Atari 800. Some of the people who created C64 later created the Atari ST.

And the winner is...

Atari 800 XL

#52 popmilo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:20 AM

... And the winner is...

Atari 800 XL

In the spirit of the first post in this topic: This is "programming" section, and we should try to make something new on both machines and see which one offers what. And then make some conclusions. Not based only on what was done in '80s.

#53 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:19 AM

Let's see

C64 had better sound but Atari had more soundchannels.


Those channels are 8-bit frequencies whilst the C64 offers 16-bit; if the A8 wants to match the C64 on that front (forgetting all the extra waveforms and so forth) the channels have to start pairing off.

Atari's graphics was better thanks to Jay Miners awesome Antic chip that let Atari 800 perform things that not even Atari ST could handle.


No, that's just hyperbole and the C64's graphics hardware can more than hold it's own next to the A8 in many cases - you just need to stop trying to "prove" things with comparisons like these (it's never worked all the other times people have tried it) and start looking at the best examples on the C64, the ones that weren't converted for whatever reason. If we play this "comparison" game yet again it works both ways, games like Last V8, Action Biker (oh, count the colours in those screenshots, for the backgrounds the C64 has nine whilst the A8 only five), Panther or Red Max have more colour and much finer horizontal scrolling, others such as Blinky's Scary School, Draconus or Zybex are more colourful on the C64 and run at twice the vertical resolution and so on.

Atari's main processor was almost twice as fast as the main processor in C64.


On paper it's about 75% faster (which isn't "almost twice" really) but anyone who has tried to program on both knows that in practice it's more like 50% or less depending on the screen mode in use.

#54 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:20 AM


... And the winner is...

Atari 800 XL

In the spirit of the first post in this topic: This is "programming" section, and we should try to make something new on both machines and see which one offers what. And then make some conclusions. Not based only on what was done in '80s.


Well, i'm always going to agree with that... =-)

#55 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:22 AM


... And the winner is...

Atari 800 XL

In the spirit of the first post in this topic: This is "programming" section, and we should try to make something new on both machines and see which one offers what. And then make some conclusions. Not based only on what was done in '80s.


I agree, but new games are made today too, for both machines. And demoprogrammers have exploited the hardware on both machines for many years. Classic computers never dies, they just get better. ;) :)

To compare C64 and Atari 800 it's like comparing Atari ST with Amiga, who's the better machine?

The conclusion?

There isn't such thing because every computer have it's own charm and special way of running a game. Either you'll like it, or not. Besides that, every computer has it's strengths and weaknesses, you will not find a single computer that is best on everything. Amiga had better graphics and sound but Atari had a much simpler OS and arkitecture plus a great monochrome screen which made the ST more stable and perfect for serious applications. C64 won't beat Atari 800 in the graphics department, but it has way better sound. Which computer is best? None, it depends on what you're looking for. :)

PS: It's interesting to compare ZX Spectrum to C64 and Atari 800 too. :D

#56 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:34 AM


Let's see

C64 had better sound but Atari had more soundchannels.


Those channels are 8-bit frequencies whilst the C64 offers 16-bit; if the A8 wants to match the C64 on that front (forgetting all the extra waveforms and so forth) the channels have to start pairing off.

Atari's graphics was better thanks to Jay Miners awesome Antic chip that let Atari 800 perform things that not even Atari ST could handle.


No, that's just hyperbole and the C64's graphics hardware can more than hold it's own next to the A8 in many cases - you just need to stop trying to "prove" things with comparisons like these (it's never worked all the other times people have tried it) and start looking at the best examples on the C64, the ones that weren't converted for whatever reason. If we play this "comparison" game yet again it works both ways, games like Last V8, Action Biker (oh, count the colours in those screenshots, for the backgrounds the C64 has nine whilst the A8 only five), Panther or Red Max have more colour and much finer horizontal scrolling, others such as Blinky's Scary School, Draconus or Zybex are more colourful on the C64 and run at twice the vertical resolution and so on.

Atari's main processor was almost twice as fast as the main processor in C64.


On paper it's about 75% faster (which isn't "almost twice" really) but anyone who has tried to program on both knows that in practice it's more like 50% or less depending on the screen mode in use.


Ok, where's the C64's 256 colour mode used in many games for Atari?

Besides that, Atari has a much more smooth pallette and more clear colours. Look at boulder dash for exemple, no boulder dash on C64 has even come near the atari version of the game through the years.

This is typical Atari 800 graphics that was used already 1983 thanks to it's 256 colour mode

Posted ImagePNG, 684x1752px, 89 KB (0.09 MB)

Edited by DimensionX, Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:57 AM.


#57 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:43 AM

Ok, where's the C64's 256 colour mode used in many games for Atari?

:roll: Here we go again...

This discussion has been done to death. See the A8 forum for more details.

#58 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:02 PM

Ok, where's the C64's 256 colour mode used in many games for Atari?

:roll: Here we go again...

This discussion has been done to death. See the A8 forum for more details.


Aha, i'm new in this forum. ;) :)

:D

Hmmmm, who won? :P

#59 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:07 PM

Hmmmm, who won? :P

The Atari 7800 obviously!

#60 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:10 PM

Hmmmm, who won? :P

The Atari 7800 obviously!


Thought so...my first guess was jaguar.

As long as it lasted.

#61 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:32 PM

Ok, where's the C64's 256 colour mode used in many games for Atari?


When you say "many", you presumably mean "not many" since the A8 doesn't have a 256 colour mode; APAC is there on PAL machines with GTIA (so nowhere near universal) but only offers a mere 80x96 pixels over the standard screen area and there's no more than a handful of games actually using it because it's very CPU intensive.

The screenshots you've posted don't work in a "256 colour mode" either for two reasons; the first is that they're mostly using CTIA modes which only have 128 colours available and the second is that the actual modes they're using have a maximum of five colours per scanline for the playfield and the rest of what you're seeing is being produced by the CPU constantly updating the colour registers during the frame.

Besides that, Atari has a much more smooth pallette and more clear colours.


Nobody has denied that the A8 has a larger palette than the C64 but just having a larger palette alone proves bugger all; look at Gauntlet or Action Biker from your own comparisons, the C64 versions have more colours in use because the hardware offers more flexibility with those 16 colours.

#62 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:34 PM

Hmmmm, who won? :P

The Atari 7800 obviously!


Well, we never got to even the starting line of that comparative programming thing... all the A8 coders were too scared! =-)

#63 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:38 PM

PS: It's interesting to compare ZX Spectrum to C64 and Atari 800 too. :D


Yes, we know... in fact, after the last massive flamewar in the Atari 8-bit part of the board i set up a dedicated forum for discussing things, but a lot of the more vocal Atarians seemed somewhat... scared to join a platform agnostic site for some reason.

#64 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:03 PM

Ok, where's the C64's 256 colour mode used in many games for Atari?


When you say "many", you presumably mean "not many" since the A8 doesn't have a 256 colour mode; APAC is there on PAL machines with GTIA (so nowhere near universal) but only offers a mere 80x96 pixels over the standard screen area and there's no more than a handful of games actually using it because it's very CPU intensive.

The screenshots you've posted don't work in a "256 colour mode" either for two reasons; the first is that they're mostly using CTIA modes which only have 128 colours available and the second is that the actual modes they're using have a maximum of five colours per scanline for the playfield and the rest of what you're seeing is being produced by the CPU constantly updating the colour registers during the frame.

Besides that, Atari has a much more smooth pallette and more clear colours.


Nobody has denied that the A8 has a larger palette than the C64 but just having a larger palette alone proves bugger all; look at Gauntlet or Action Biker from your own comparisons, the C64 versions have more colours in use because the hardware offers more flexibility with those 16 colours.


I think it's a quite similar situation between C64 and Atari 800 as between Amiga and Atari ST. Both Atari 800 and Amiga share those clear colours that both C64 and Atari ST lacks, no matter how many colours they use on screen at the same time. It's the quality of the colours, and even if they just use 3 colours on screen you'll notice the difference at once. If you look at actionbiker for exemple, sure, C64 use more colours but Atari's are much cleaner. Same thing with Flip and Flip, the colours on Atari is so much clearer. It's not quantity but the quality on the colours. C64 often use very different colours from real dark to very light while the Atari use much finer shades of colour instead.

Not even the ST could produce those clear colours from the Atari 800 games.

Edited by DimensionX, Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:10 PM.


#65 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:27 PM

If you look at actionbiker for exemple, sure, C64 use more colours but Atari's are much cleaner.


i have looked at Action Biker on both machines a lot because i've completed it on both a couple of times over the years - but this whole "clear colour" thing is just subjective rubbish; apart from anything else, these are emulator screenshots so the palettes are all but guaranteed to be at least a little off the mark for both.

#66 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:45 PM


If you look at actionbiker for exemple, sure, C64 use more colours but Atari's are much cleaner.


i have looked at Action Biker on both machines a lot because i've completed it on both a couple of times over the years - but this whole "clear colour" thing is just subjective rubbish; apart from anything else, these are emulator screenshots so the palettes are all but guaranteed to be at least a little off the mark for both.


I owned an Atari 800 for about 6 years, then i got an Atari ST 1988. Me and a friend often compared the games on my Atari 800 and his C64 and the Atari version almost always looked a bit better. The display is quite different between the machines and Atari has a much finer palette. C64 has way more intense colours then Atari 800, just like Atari ST while Atari 800 has much finer spread between the colours. If you look at many screens the atari version is almost always a bit darker and has much finer colour spread, just like the orginal computers.

C64 had 16 colors to work with while Atari had 256 to choose from. It's hard to compare a computer capable of only 16 colours with one equipped with 256.

Besides that, it was possible to get 256 colours at the same time.

I'll quote Wiki

Due to the 8-bit Ataris' flexibility, it was possible (with clever programming) to create a number of software-driven pseudo-"modes" beyond those directly supported in hardware. These included pseudo-256-color 80×192 modes and 80×24 character displays. One difficulty with these modes was that the grating on PAL and NTSC televisions is very different, as is the update speed and resolution, and so often they would display well on European systems and awfully on US ones, or vice versa. For the same reason they may not display well – or display rather too well – on simulators.


Edited by DimensionX, Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:52 PM.


#67 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:34 PM

I owned an Atari 800 for about 6 years, then i got an Atari ST 1988. Me and a friend often compared the games on my Atari 800 and his C64 and the Atari version almost always looked a bit better.


i had both machines sat next to each other for several years and on the occasions there was actually a comparison possible, the C64 came out on top more often; i've listed several games already and there are more, just about everything put out by Mastertronic for example. Just having a larger range of colours doesn't automatically make better graphics, there are other factors and they all have to be considered.

Besides that, it was possible to get 256 colours at the same time.

I'll quote Wiki


Read back, i already mentioned that but it runs at 80x96 rather than 80x192. And despite what you said about a "256 colour mode used in many games", APAC is rarely used in games because it's very CPU intensive; it's not used in any of the screenshots you've posted.

#68 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:02 PM


PS: It's interesting to compare ZX Spectrum to C64 and Atari 800 too. :D


Yes, we know... in fact, after the last massive flamewar in the Atari 8-bit part of the board i set up a dedicated forum for discussing things, but a lot of the more vocal Atarians seemed somewhat... scared to join a platform agnostic site for some reason.



And...I was under the impression that you could use curse words and get nasty and "anything goes" over there (Format Wars) so I implore the bravest of the lot to get over there, say anything, and make with the flamewar. It's entertaining. Would make for some entertaining reading.

You should provide a DIRECT LINK to the flamewar thread over there and maybe people will try it if they're too lazy to type in a URL.

Edited by wood_jl, Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:08 PM.


#69 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:06 PM

C64 had 16 colors to work with while Atari had 256 to choose from. It's hard to compare a computer capable of only 16 colours with one equipped with 256.
Besides that, it was possible to get 256 colours at the same time.


I am pro-Atari and have both, but I have to hand it to the Commodore that it's able to generally USE more of its limited 16 colors on the screen (and within sprites) at a time than the Atari, which sometimes makes for a better-looking display.

The 256-color scrolls are a fantastic trick that the Commodore can't do, but its use on the Atari was pretty limited.

#70 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:48 PM


Yes, we know... in fact, after the last massive flamewar in the Atari 8-bit part of the board i set up a dedicated forum for discussing things, but a lot of the more vocal Atarians seemed somewhat... scared to join a platform agnostic site for some reason.


And...I was under the impression that you could use curse words and get nasty and "anything goes" over there (Format Wars) so I implore the bravest of the lot to get over there, say anything, and make with the flamewar. It's entertaining. Would make for some entertaining reading.


That's pretty much the plan (as long as people don't resort to just insulting each other it's all good and i'm fairly lenient about that anyway to be honest) but for some reason a lot of rather vocal people here were seemingly worried about joining in... which is a bit of a shame really, because i was getting quite into that idea of a follow-my-leader coding "competition". If GroovyBee is still up for it, i might have to get something going on the C64 but i've got this sneaking suspicion it'll be me coding the A8 game an' all!

You should provide a DIRECT LINK to the flamewar thread over there and maybe people will try it if they're too lazy to type in a URL.


Well, it's just FormatWar.net and click on the link to the forum... i really must build a site around it! The original A8 versus C64 thread was massively derailed when nobody really wanted to argue as such, so right now it's a mixture of mostly comedic bitching and trying to get Crest's BluREU running but feel free to join in DimensionX and don't forget to introduce yourself in the off topic section - one word of warning though, the majority of FWar's members are programmers with at the very least a reasonable working knowledge of the A8 and C64, so quoting random bits of Wikipedia or making vague comments about colours being "clearer" probably won't get very far!

#71 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:55 PM

If GroovyBee is still up for it, i might have to get something going on the C64 but i've got this sneaking suspicion it'll be me coding the A8 game an' all!


Present projects permitting I'm still up for it.

... one word of warning though, the majority of FWar's members are programmers with at the very least a reasonable working knowledge of the A8 and C64

and the 7800, 2600, Beeb, Atari ST, Spectrum etc., etc. :lol:.

#72 ceti331 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:37 PM

Greetings, I never heard much about the atari 8bit machines back in the day; I was curious to know what the best examples of r-type/gradius-esque side-scrolling shooters were on the machine - can't find many.
Is there anything like armalyte on it ?

#73 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:42 AM

C64 games often looked very similar thanks to very limited 16 colour palette while Atari games had way more variation in colour thanks to it's 256 colour palette, no matter how many it used on screen at the same time. C64 suffered from the same syndrome as ZX Spectrum with it's very limited palette of colours to choose from and most Spectrum games looked the same (colourvise). I recognize this green, i have seen it in the last 10 games i played earlier today. And even if C64 use it's colours well, the games looks pretty much the same thanks to the very limited colour palette.

Graphics like this was impossible to do on the C64 who couldn't handle shades of colours.

C64 version to the left, you would be forced to use only single colours in this version while the Atari version used gradiant shading. Look at the hues in the Atari version, much finer shading while C64 version have to use very different colours like white and dark red.

Posted Image

You could even antialize the games thanks to Atari 800's huge colour palette. Something impossible to do on the C64

Posted Image

Gradiant shading was impossible to do on the C64, compare these screens. Huge difference.

Posted Image

While the C64 version used only single colours the Atari version contained multigradient colours.

Posted Image

Posted Image

The games on Atari looked much cleaner because bigger choice between used colours

Posted Image

Edited by DimensionX, Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:48 AM.


#74 DimensionX OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:53 AM

Greetings, I never heard much about the atari 8bit machines back in the day; I was curious to know what the best examples of r-type/gradius-esque side-scrolling shooters were on the machine - can't find many.
Is there anything like armalyte on it ?


Download this emulator for Atari 800 (by far the best emulator)
http://a800win.atari-area.prv.pl/

Now...go to homesofts page and download thousands of games and demos.
http://www.mushca.co...index.php?idx=1

I'm sure that you will find something that's similar to gradius and armalyte. :)

Edited by DimensionX, Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:54 AM.


#75 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:46 AM

C64 games often looked very similar thanks to very limited 16 colour palette while Atari games had way more variation in colour thanks to it's 256 colour palette, no matter how many it used on screen at the same time.


128 colour palette - of the screenshots you've just posted, only the status bars of Koronis Rift and Elektraglide are running in the correct resolution to even think about using 256 colours, the rest is all 128.

C64 suffered from the same syndrome as ZX Spectrum with it's very limited palette of colours to choose from and most Spectrum games looked the same (colourvise). I recognize this green, i have seen it in the last 10 games i played earlier today. And even if C64 use it's colours well, the games looks pretty much the same thanks to the very limited colour palette.


Well, since you've repeatedly said the A8 has 256 colours whilst posting screenshots where it could only be using 128 calls your personal ability to recognise colours into question and the bit at the end about "games looks pretty much the same thanks to the very limited colour palette" is just bilge because the distinction is about how those colours are used rather than your merely recognising them. And i'll say it yet another time for the cheap seats, nobody has denied that the Atari 8-bit has a bigger palette than the C64 but it's about other factors as well and your attempting to ignore those factors just doesn't hold any water.




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