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JJohnson

More RAM?

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I heard about the tape accessory adding 6k RAM to the Atari's tiny 128 B of RAM. Let's say someone added a passthrough device with that RAM for the 2600 usable with every cartridge. Would that help anything, or would games need to be specifically coded to take advantage of it? If a game were coded for that extra 6K, what could it accomplish?

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I heard about the tape accessory adding 6k RAM to the Atari's tiny 128 B of RAM. Let's say someone added a passthrough device with that RAM for the 2600 usable with every cartridge. Would that help anything, or would games need to be specifically coded to take advantage of it? If a game were coded for that extra 6K, what could it accomplish?

 

Some of the games have additional RAM in the cartridge. Burger Time has 2kB IIRC. Atari themselves created a ram expansion for cartridges called the super-chip which doubles the Atari's 1kb to 2kb. CBS created a system called RAM Plus, though I forget how much RAM it had, though I think it is 4kB.

 

The Super Charger has 6kB of RAM, but that RAM also must hold the actual game code. So if someone was going to write a 4kB game, it would only leave 2kB of RAM. This really limits what the Supercharger can do. You can get a 6k game, but then you are stuck with the 1kb of ram in the Atari.

 

You can covert 2600 4k ROMs a program called bin2wave and load them into the supercharger and they just play like normal. Unfortunately, not all 4k games will work without modification of the supercharger (though it is fairly simple). The actual supercharger library is fairly small. I especially like Frogger and Communist Mutants From Outer Space. They did an outstanding job on SC Frogger.

 

Extra RAM would help certain games a lot. Like Super Breakout doesn't have a 2nd player option for the progressive game (IIRC, it's game 7) because when you lose a ball, the entire screen would have to be committed to RAM so that it could reconstruct the screen when it is again your turn.

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