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Apple II vs ZX spectrum vs Commodore 64


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#1 2600problems OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 13, 2017 9:36 PM

i know its redundant but i wanted to see which computer was a better buy for the money. i am checking 4 catagories:

 

1. games (this includes ports and current developments)

 

2. graphics: basically, did the computer take full advantage of it palette in games, was there color clash, etc...

 

3. ease of use: does someone need a converter or any other piece of equipment to use the computer (PAL for the Apple II and NTSC for the ZX spectrum)

 

4. Price: essentially, which is a better value for the money? do you need extra equipment or does it come pre packaged? (tape drives, assembler, Disk drives, controllers already bundled).

 

5 (I know its cheating). BASIC. how hard is it to use, does it give full access to the computer's color and audio. if it does, how easy/hard is to access them? does the computer support Low and high resolution graphics? are there any drawbacks, if so what?

 



#2 danny_galaga OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:48 PM

If you mean prices back in the day, Apple would have to be dead last! If you mean nowadays, seems to me the C64 has the most to offer what with so many new games and gizmos available for it...



#3 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:28 AM

Games... C64.  If you wanted to use any business software, the Apple would win hands down.
The C64 has color clash, but it also has multi-colored hardware sprites which don't clash.
The Apple II has it's share of issues due to it's use of artifacting.
Worst color clash... Spectrum.
If you include the IIgs, it has the best graphics and sound, otherwise I'd say the C64 does.

There are European versions of the Apple II, and the TS-2068 with an add on runs most Spectrum software.
So video wasn't really an issue back in the day.
These days most TVs handle PAL or NTSC composite signals.  At least mine do.

I give ease of use to the Apple, as well as Best BASIC.
The C64 has to more barebones BASIC and an much more difficult to use DOS.  I believe I've referred to it's BASIC as a PEEK and POKE orgy. 
The Spectrum has a decent enough BASIC, but it's slow and the entry method is horrible.  

I'm not sure price is something easy to rate.  Either you have the money to buy what you want or you don't.
You can pay high ebay prices or find some of these free at a yard sale.
The Apple IIe with 128K supports 80 column text.  This can be a big advantage for some things including editors.
If you needed that or still do, price isn't an issue.

BASIC has it's limits on all of them as far as full access to capabilities go.
The C64's is most primitive for sure.



#4 shoestring OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:41 PM

1. Games: C64. More titles than you can ever play entirely with the most active community still making games and demos today.

 

2. Graphics: C64. It had hardware sprites which meant you could move objects around the screen without having to constantly redraw what is underneath as they moved. Various screen modes [ Hires mode, multicolour mode, MIC mode, FLI mode..etc ]

 

3. Ease of use: Apple. Power supply was built in which meant no brick, long dangling chords or cables. It has a lovely keyboard and the machine is expandable via slots.Better durability and reliability. Disk II system was much better and faster than the 1541.

 

4. Price: C64. Best bang for the buck, no question. The computer for the masses not the classes  :grin:

 

5. Basic: Apple 2: Commodore's basic [ which was purchased from Microsoft ] was never great until the c128 was released. I learnt to program on the Apple and struggled to do anything useful on the Commodore even though I owned one and typed in many listings and they ran. I also loved the built in machine language monitor on the later Apple models at school which I used extensively and learnt how to program the 6502, this taught me a lot about hardware and how computers worked. To do the same on Commodore meant you needed a freeze frame or action replay cartridge [ had a machine language monitor built in ] this cost a lot of money that I didn't have back in the day.

 

Business: Apple. The Commodore had business software and an 80 column cartridge available but I think most later Apple 2s shipped with them built in ( Extended 80 column card ) and they already had a vast array of business software available that were lacking on the c64. Apple had Visicalc before any other platform which really helped boost Apple sales in the beginning and establish it as the more serious computer. Lets face it, if you bought a c64 you didn't do so to run Visicalc or other business software :)

 

I think the only market the c64 didn't have the Apple 2 had was the educational market hence the reason we saw them so much in schools.

 

Regarding the 2gs, this was released almost 4 years after the C64. For a fair comparison we should just consider Apple 2e, ZX Spectrum and the C64 which were all released roughly around the same time. The 2gs has amazing sound, this doesn't surprise me in the least since the same guy who designed SID chip in the C64 designed the sound chip in the 2gs. SID was actually a hybrid digital/analog synthesizer chip whilst the Ensoniq 5503 in the 2gs was a true digital wavetable synth, the technology was completely different.



#5 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:07 AM

...

Regarding the 2gs, this was released almost 4 years after the C64. For a fair comparison we should just consider Apple 2e, ZX Spectrum and the C64 which were all released roughly around the same time. The 2gs has amazing sound, this doesn't surprise me in the least since the same guy who designed SID chip in the C64 designed the sound chip in the 2gs. SID was actually a hybrid digital/analog synthesizer chip whilst the Ensoniq 5503 in the 2gs was a true digital wavetable synth, the technology was completely different.

The C64 came 5 years after the Apple II series was introduced.  To be fair, the IIgs was released closer to the C64 than the Apple II.
As soon as people start talking about being "fair", you can almost always bet it's so a comparison works in their favor.
 



#6 shoestring OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:59 PM

The C64 came 5 years after the Apple II series was introduced.  To be fair, the IIgs was released closer to the C64 than the Apple II.
As soon as people start talking about being "fair", you can almost always bet it's so a comparison works in their favor.
 



Compare it against the 2e which came out around the same time as the c64 and not the previous Apple 2 models.

The 2gs was a 16 bit machine that was introduced after the ST and the Amiga.

There was only one c64 but there were many Apple 2 variants over the years with various upgrades and enhancements to keep up with competition. There is a big difference between Apple IIs that were release in 1977 compared to models that were introduced in 1984-1986.

#7 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:14 PM

The IIe is a II+ with the most desirable II+ upgrades built in.  

The II+ is a II with Applesoft II BASIC and floppy autoboot in ROM, which can be added to the II.

The only things the IIe really supports that the original II can't, is double hi-res graphics, double lo-res, and the 128K upgrade option.
You can even drop in a different character generator ROM for the added IIe characters.
There are RAM upgrades beyond 64K for the II, but they are mapped differently than the IIe upgrade.
The IIe mostly reduced the chip count by integrating the circuit on to custom chips and it switched the type of RAM chips used.
The IIe actually has some slower buss interface signals than the II or II+ and some older cards can't be used in it..

The 65816 has some 16 bit register support, but no more than other 8 bit processors.

The Z80. 6803, 6809, etc... all have 16 bit support.
I'd actually say the 65816 is inferior to most of those because you have to manually switch modes to go back and forth between 8 and 16 bit, where the other CPUs have separate 8 and 16 bit instructions.  
The 65816 even has an 8 bit data buss.  
The 6502 is really the only "8 bit" cpu with only 8 bit internal registers.and the 65816 isn't any faster running existing code at the same MHz than the 6502.

The only significant thing the 65816 adds over the other 8 bits is the 24 bit memory addressing, and even then you are mostly dealing with 64K pages.
You can do the same thing on the other 8 bits with an MMU.

The IIgs isn't even the fastest Apple II model Apple produced.  The IIc+ was faster.

The IIgs is hardly comparable to the ST or Amiga with their flat memory models, 32 bit CPU model, the ability to switch between 8, 16, or 32 bits from one instruction to the next, more orthogonal instruction set, faster clock speed, and 16 registers..

It always was a laughable comparison.  
The only thing that begs such a comparison is 4 bit per pixel graphics with palette registers, and that's far from unique among 8 bit machines.
 


#8 shoestring OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:11 PM

It always was a laughable comparison.

 

So then why do you get to use this argument and flip it around in your favour by saying that the IIgs was comparable to the c64 ?
 
Especially since the IIgs isn't really a true Apple II system anyway, it's more of a hybrid Mac with Apple II compatibility. It's actually a much better system than the first Mac and Mac+ which is the reason I only make the comparison with the IIplus or IIe systems. It shares the same name but that's where the similarities end. [ if you don't consider the custom chip that contains all of the IIplus and IIe compatibility on a single chip ]. 


#9 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:45 PM

So then why do you get to use this argument and flip it around in your favour by saying that the IIgs was comparable to the c64 ?

 
Especially since the IIgs isn't really a true Apple II system anyway, it's more of a hybrid Mac with Apple II compatibility. It's actually a much better system than the first Mac and Mac+ which is the reason I only make the comparison with the IIplus or IIe systems. It shares the same name but that's where the similarities end. [ if you don't consider the custom chip that contains all of the IIplus and IIe compatibility on a single chip ]. 

 

Why don't I get to flip your own logic against you?  

The OP didn't specify any cut off date that would exclude the IIgs.

If he want's to exclude the IIgs, he can ignore my comments, but that's his choice.

Not a true Apple II system?  ​Shares the same name and that's where the similarities end?
You mean other than having a complete implementation of the IIe hardware, and running almost all the Apple II software?
I own a IIgs, it's what I use when I want to run any Apple II software. 
Worst case I boot up at 1MHz so a game doesn't run too fast.

Hybrid Mac with Apple II compatibility?

It doesn't have the same CPU as the Mac, none of the Mac hardware, and it runs ZERO Mac software.
There isn't much Mac in it for a Mac hybrid.

Yeah, it comes with a port of the Mac GUI, but it's basically running on an Apple II in a new graphics mode, on the 65816.
If having a new graphics mode would mean the IIgs isn't an Apple II, then shouldn't the same logic apply to the IIe's double hi-res?
As for the GUI, if you run GEOS on a C64, is it still a C64?  
How about that new GUI being worked on for the Atari 8 bit?  Is it still an Atari 8 bit if you run that?
The 65816?  You can add a 65816 to the C64 or Atari... do they stop being a C64 or Atari?
The Super CPU, Antonia, etc... upgrades come to mind.
 



#10 2600problems OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:34 AM

if you guys are going to argue, i may as well delete the post.



#11 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:00 PM

Honestly, any post with "vs" in the title is basically asking for an argument.



#12 shoestring OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:34 PM

It's Atariage. Which is full of inflammatory threads like the "I don't really hate the Amiga, I'm just disgusted with the ads."


Edited by shoestring, Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:47 PM.




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