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Trying to decide between a 800XL VS. 5200


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#1 chuckster24 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 4:44 PM

A part of me knows the answer to this is sure just get both systems and I may, But seriously the controller issues on the 5200 have always been a large turn off for me. Love the games on both systems but am still leaning towards the 800XL first since I have a 2600 and a 7800 with a large stable of joysticks in tow. I am very unfamiliar the DOS operating system on 800XL but I'm also quite sure I can find the information online now days. Also have heard a lot of bad things regarding the 5200 four port systems versus the 2 port systems with the automatic tv switch box. Looking for opinions and insight and Thanks for your time today.

C.

#2 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 4:48 PM

Well, you could also get an XEGS. It was sold as a game console that converted to a computer but it's basically an 800XL inside.

Anyway, add an SIO2PC device and you can play anything you download (unless it needs more than 64K RAM).

#3 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 4:49 PM

- The 8-bit computers have the larger library by a longggggggg shot.
- There are barely any games at all on the 5200 that aren't available for the 8-bits either -- they've been converted.

"DOS"? Depending on what you want to do, you may hardly have to deal with one at all.

#4 chuckster24 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:08 PM

Well, you could also get an XEGS. It was sold as a game console that converted to a computer but it's basically an 800XL inside.

Anyway, add an SIO2PC device and you can play anything you download (unless it needs more than 64K RAM).


XEGS is a nice system too, but it would either be the 5200 or the actual computer 800xl for me for now, XEGS are pricey and hard to come by regularly.

#5 chuckster24 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:10 PM

- The 8-bit computers have the larger library by a longggggggg shot.
- There are barely any games at all on the 5200 that aren't available for the 8-bits either -- they've been converted.

"DOS"? Depending on what you want to do, you may hardly have to deal with one at all.

Agreed with you there 100% but I guess what Im saying on the 800XL I know nothing at all about how to operate the disk drive I dont know any of the commands. Newbie sorry.

#6 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:14 PM

That's why the SIO2PC device is so handy. For a new user, it probably isn't worth getting into floppies. With SIO2PC, you can turn any PC into a floppy emulator and then you just boot the disk images you download.

#7 chuckster24 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:17 PM

- The 8-bit computers have the larger library by a longggggggg shot.
- There are barely any games at all on the 5200 that aren't available for the 8-bits either -- they've been converted.

"DOS"? Depending on what you want to do, you may hardly have to deal with one at all.

Do you have a link for it? Thanks.

That's why the SIO2PC device is so handy. For a new user, it probably isn't worth getting into floppies. With SIO2PC, you can turn any PC into a floppy emulator and then you just boot the disk images you download.

Do you have a link for it? Thanks. The 800xl Im working on comes with a 1050 Disk drive.

#8 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:22 PM

There's about 1400 threads about 5200 vs. 8-bit that contain all the arguments on both sides. My opinion, the controllers on the 5200, if you get rebuilt Best Gold ones, or otherwise rebuilt, are fantastic and are part of the appeal of the system. A few of the games are better on the 5200. I love both 5200 and A8 and have both. If it came down to only have one, or the other, period, I'd have to take the A8 simply due to the massive amount of titles available for it. In addition, assuming you do it the right way, you can get into an 800XL and either SIO2PC-USB or microSD solution for cheaper than a 5200 with rebuilt Gold controllers and multi- or flash-cart.

#9 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:25 PM

Here's one commercially available version of it:

http://www.atarimax..../documentation/

#10 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:58 PM


- The 8-bit computers have the larger library by a longggggggg shot.
- There are barely any games at all on the 5200 that aren't available for the 8-bits either -- they've been converted.

"DOS"? Depending on what you want to do, you may hardly have to deal with one at all.


Agreed with you there 100% but I guess what Im saying on the 800XL I know nothing at all about how to operate the disk drive I dont know any of the commands. Newbie sorry.


Here's the topic for Newbies: 8-Bit Topic For Newbies

You can get a few clues in there.

There are plenty of devices, including the SIO2PC, which will allow you to access Atari files and disk images of Atari disks without having to deal with an actual Atari disk drive, and rarely needing to do anything in any DOS, if you like.

#11 chuckster24 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 6:01 PM

Here's one commercially available version of it:

http://www.atarimax..../documentation/

Thanks I will check into that as soon as I score the 800XL.

#12 chuckster24 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 6:08 PM

There's about 1400 threads about 5200 vs. 8-bit that contain all the arguments on both sides. My opinion, the controllers on the 5200, if you get rebuilt Best Gold ones, or otherwise rebuilt, are fantastic and are part of the appeal of the system. A few of the games are better on the 5200. I love both 5200 and A8 and have both. If it came down to only have one, or the other, period, I'd have to take the A8 simply due to the massive amount of titles available for it. In addition, assuming you do it the right way, you can get into an 800XL and either SIO2PC-USB or microSD solution for cheaper than a 5200 with rebuilt Gold controllers and multi- or flash-cart.

My questions besides the controllers would be what is the difference between the 2 and 4 ports besides the obvious 2 and 4 is the switch box different on the 2 then the 4? I totally agree that whenever I do get a 5200 that Best will be collecting some money from me for the Gold Sticks.

Thanks,

C.

#13 chuckster24 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 6:12 PM



- The 8-bit computers have the larger library by a longggggggg shot.
- There are barely any games at all on the 5200 that aren't available for the 8-bits either -- they've been converted.

"DOS"? Depending on what you want to do, you may hardly have to deal with one at all.


Agreed with you there 100% but I guess what Im saying on the 800XL I know nothing at all about how to operate the disk drive I dont know any of the commands. Newbie sorry.


Here's the topic for Newbies: 8-Bit Topic For Newbies

You can get a few clues in there.

There are plenty of devices, including the SIO2PC, which will allow you to access Atari files and disk images of Atari disks without having to deal with an actual Atari disk drive, and rarely needing to do anything in any DOS, if you like.

Thanks for the leed I will check that for sure.

#14 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 6:13 PM


There's about 1400 threads about 5200 vs. 8-bit that contain all the arguments on both sides. My opinion, the controllers on the 5200, if you get rebuilt Best Gold ones, or otherwise rebuilt, are fantastic and are part of the appeal of the system. A few of the games are better on the 5200. I love both 5200 and A8 and have both. If it came down to only have one, or the other, period, I'd have to take the A8 simply due to the massive amount of titles available for it. In addition, assuming you do it the right way, you can get into an 800XL and either SIO2PC-USB or microSD solution for cheaper than a 5200 with rebuilt Gold controllers and multi- or flash-cart.

My questions besides the controllers would be what is the difference between the 2 and 4 ports besides the obvious 2 and 4 is the switch box different on the 2 then the 4? I totally agree that whenever I do get a 5200 that Best will be collecting some money from me for the Gold Sticks.

Thanks,

C.


There's a great deal in the Marketplace right now for a 5200 with 2 gold controllers and some games. IIRC, I think it was $125. Great deal.

I'd have to let someone else answer specifics on all differences between 2 and 4 ports, if there are any aside from ports and switchbox. I've only had 4 ports. The switchboxes are different, and IMO, the automatic switchbox isn't as bad as some make it out to be, at least if it's working correctly.

#15 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 7:07 PM

5200 is a lot of fun, but if you had only ONE to get, the 800 XL is the way to go.

Or as I would say, the beige 800... but the beige 800 is a bit more limited, but a lot closer to a 5200, but can load many many more games. :)

#16 mimo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 12, 2012 12:03 AM

Just to throw into the mix, a 5200 is limited to crappy rf output unless you perform a video mod. The xl requires a $7 cable to output composite video, or 1 wire and 1 resistor to upgrade to s-video. The xe range have s-video out of the box.
The 5200 is the size of a house

With sio2xx, all you need to be able to do is select a game from a list and hit a button.

#17 Lazarus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 12, 2012 1:42 AM

800 XL ofcourse. 5200 is just a collectors item, not something you really want to use.

#18 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 12, 2012 4:05 AM

800 XL ofcourse. 5200 is just a collectors item, not something you really want to use.


Interesting. I play my 5200 more than any other computer or console I own. ;-) Different strokes...

#19 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 12, 2012 7:40 AM


800 XL ofcourse. 5200 is just a collectors item, not something you really want to use.


Interesting. I play my 5200 more than any other computer or console I own. ;-) Different strokes...

That's just because it's so big it's always easy to find! ;)

#20 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 12, 2012 12:34 PM

I turned an old 5200 into a very nice dining table which seats 12 people very comfortably.

#21 fernando marrin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 14, 2012 8:38 PM



800 XL ofcourse. 5200 is just a collectors item, not something you really want to use.


Interesting. I play my 5200 more than any other computer or console I own. ;-) Different strokes...

That's just because it's so big it's always easy to find! ;)



if you have a spare room ,
then go for the 5200 and an atarimax ultimate sd cart...

#22 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 14, 2012 8:58 PM

800XL. Why?

Reliability
Price
Games
Better keyboard than XEGS

#23 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 14, 2012 9:34 PM

Get the 800XL. The vast majority of 5200 games have been hacked to work on Atari 8-bits, and then you have about 1000 times as many 800XL games and programs on top of that (as well as 8-bit versions of most 5200 games). Bottom line is the Atari computers are the best of both worlds.

#24 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 10:21 AM

I love the Atari 8-bit line and there's nothing at all wrong with picking up one of those. But I also want to put in a good word (along with a few caveats) for the 5200.

The 5200 is a great system for the collector/enthusiast. It looks great, has great looking carts, and it's not that hard to put together a complete collection of its 69 original vintage games. In fact, the 5200 carts are usually cheaper that their 8-bit counterparts (Bounty Bob Strikes Back, however, being a BIG exception!) While all it's games have indeed been ported back to the 8-bit line, remember that getting them to play them isn't as easy as slapping in a cart... you'll need to either put files on a disk, or set up a SIO2PC solution, or put them on a flash cart, etc.

The 5200 puts out a strong RF signal that looks pretty damn good to me (certainly better than my other Atari systems.) While there's been a lot of fuss over the whole 2-port vs 4-port issue, either one is fine. The 4-port has the advantage of being able to play three carts that the 2-port won't (Pitfall, Mountain King, and Krazy Shootout.) It can't use the 2600 adapter, however, and some people are uncomfortable with the power going to it's switchbox. Myself, I've never had a problem with that.

The biggest issue that most 5200 owners face is the controllers. There are folks like Mirage who like the original controllers, but plenty of other folks who don't, myself included. Everyone agrees that they aren't very reliable as originally sold. These issues can be fixed by either the Best gold kits, or by the much cheaper solution of gluing bits of aluminum foil to the carbon contacts (lots of threads in the 5200 forum on how to do this.) But neither solution will fix the issues of the non-centering sticks, nor the pain many of us get from using side-mounted fire buttons. To avoid these issues, I highly recommend getting either a Wico Command Controller (analog) or a Coin Controls Competition Pro (digital) to complement the 5200 sticks (which are still used for the keypad and Start/Pause/Reset buttons.)

On the other hand, if you'd rather not deal with the 5200 controller issues, aren't intimidated by learning how to get software onto the 8-bit computers, would prefer a vaster library of software, and don't especially care for the aesthetics and collectibility of the 5200 and its carts , a 800XL is an excellent machine. Really it boils down to a choice between one of the very best 8-bit computers of its day, or a great game console with some controller issues that can be overcome. Either choice will give you a whole lot of fun!

Edited by sdamon, Thu May 17, 2012 10:24 AM.


#25 candle OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 11:11 AM

go for 5200 - you buy it once, possibly with every game ever made for it in a bundle, you put it into cupboard (if you can find one big enough, and no, you don't need that cupboard big enough because of games), and you're done!
800xl is a diffrent story, you'll have to download new games bimonthly, or at least once per year, plus existing software base is vast
as for doses - there are some multicarts you can use to never have to use dos again, and there are other solutions too (aftermentioned sio2sd in number of versions - santosp is doing one looking cute right now), and there is side cartridge you coud use if it will be ever made again - it just can't get any simplier than that
well, it could read your thoughts i guess, but we're lacking proper technology just yet




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