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Atari XEGS or Atari 65XE computer???

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I was watching the YouTube tutorial on how to use The Brewing Academy Ultimate Atari SD cartridge and noticed the guy on there using an Atari XE computer, and so i went on eBay to look at the possibility of instead of getting the XEGS to get a 65XE, finding out the XEGS is simply a repackaged 65XE with a detachable keyboard, and finding out on the clip that I would have to utilize the keyboard to go through the menu on the SD card on the multicart.

 

Which should I get, the XEGS or a 65XE??? They both have 64K of RAM in them, but the 65XE is all in one unit as opposed to the XEGS which has the detachable keyboard, I found one NOS US-spec 65XE on eBay but it seems like they're mostly in PAL in Europe except for about 3 of them which are USA/Canada NTSC in various conditions.

 

 

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There have been a number of recent threads on this topic, but I'll chime in with this again: the XEGS is much nicer for modding, has a cooler overall design, and you can use better keyboards with mods like TRANSKEY/II.

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Honestly, either one is a decent choice.  The XEGS is a little more unique than the previous 8-bit machines, but ultimately isn't much different other than having Missile Command built in.  There's no PBI on-board by default, but it should be possible to wire one in if you want it.

 

Take a look at this thread; there's some good discussion there regarding the XEGS.

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Thanks. That settles it. An XEGS it is, besides there are plenty of those readily available on eBay (about 10 of them from when I last counted) as opposed to the lack of North American (NTSC) 65/130 XE computers out there, plus I can use it with either RF or composite a/v with no special cords needed!!!

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65 XE it is, and cheap at that, the guy on eBay wanted almost $600.00 for one NOS and that includes just the unit, shipping and WA state sales tax, what bullshit!!!

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-Atari-65XE-Personal-Computer-PC-Brand-New-NTSC-N-American-Matching-Serial/164367090056?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3Dd175ba35d2344711a47eeb0dec4b79e7%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D15%26mehot%3Dnone%26sd%3D284034621926%26itm%3D164367090056%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057%26brand%3DAtari&_trksid=p2380057.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3Ad3d1e4e7-0b66-11eb-8ffe-fa637c2bc1bd|parentrq%3A156bbb631750ad3440fca47efff0a8aa|iid%3A1

 

 

Best Electronics here I come, and next, the Brewing Academy!!! I can now get a 65XE, a new 12-foot composite a/v cord and a Brewing Academy multicart by the end of this month now!!!

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Yeah, that listing is a little nuts.  Although it is NIB.  Still not worth $600 on any planet though.

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UK Ebay, not boxed, £33 with a cassette and another for £55.

 

A boxed one with cassette for £175.

 

But also silly price one for £300 with UNO Cart

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I am bias on this question.  I love the XEGS, and I have had all the models throughout the decades.  The cart port is on top, it is easy for me to push the Ultimate Cart Reset/Restart button, easy to insert/remove the carts.  I love the detachable Keyboard.  I now used an IBM Model M clicky keyboard with it and it is a joy to use.  I personally like the pastel-colored buttons, some people hate them.  The 65XE is a good machine as well.  the XEGS upgrade to 128K is REALLY easy, even for a novice.  Find instructions here on the site.  Motherboards are still available from Best E.  and B&C.    

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I know there are a few XEGS fanboys on here, but my choice of getting a 65XE is simply because I have to use the keyboard to go through the menu on the Ultimate Cart, as opposed to simply a joystick like on the 2600, 5200 and the pending 7800 multicarts. And, you also, in the case of the XEGS, have to have the console there too along with it, just to start and reset when you reboot the main menu or start gameplay, along with the controller of choice, and that is too much I would have to drag out of my a/v rack just to be able to play a game on it. It's all in one unit with the 65XE as opposed to the separate console and keyboard to contend with on the XEGS. I don't have a lot of room in my small apartment I make home to BIGHMW.com World Headquarters at Bishop Park here in Port Townsend, WA, so compactness is the key.

 

I haven't made any commitments, so I'm still up for suggestions.

Edited by BIGHMW

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I have the XEGS and I love it. However, it was given to me about 5 years ago. 
 

If space is an issue, and your decision is between the 65XE and the XEGS, I’d go with the 65XE. 

If I could justify it, I’d go with a 130XE so I could use external memory upgrades like Syscheck 2.2. Unlike most people here at AA, I can’t use a soldering iron if my life depended on it. That’s why I like simply plugging something in. 
 

Bob C

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Well, considering the 130XE is also available through Best Electronics, and is the same size as the 65XE but with double the RAM (128K for the 130XE vs 64K for the 65XE) I might just go for it, but, would it really matter considering I would only be using it as merely a gaming machine as opposed to for its full computing capabilities (word processing/printing/disc-based games, etc.)??? The 65XE is less than $200.00 through Best and I can also score a 12-foot composite a/v cord there to go along with it, and then just get the Ultimate Cart to go with it since I have over 4000 titles in .xex format on an SD card which will work with it. As for controllers, no adapters or interfaces needed like my 5200 needs, it works with the same ones the 2600 or 7800 uses easily, including my CX80 Trak-Ball for games like Centipede/Millipede and Missile Command, paddles, driving controllers and also the massive array of joysticks already available on the market.

Edited by BIGHMW

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The extra memory is handy for a few homebrew titles. I’ve been able to run the vast majority of games (even recent homebrew) with 64K. I also don’t use my XEGS for word processing or any productivity needs. 
 

Bob C

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39 minutes ago, BIGHMW said:

Well, considering the 130XE is also available through Best Electronics, and is the same size as the 65XE but with double the RAM (128K for the 130XE vs 64K for the 65XE) I might just go for it, but, would it really matter considering I would only be using it as merely a gaming machine as opposed to for its full computing capabilities (word processing/printing/disc-based games, etc.)??? The 65XE is less than $200.00 through Best and I can also score a 12-foot composite a/v cord there to go along with it, and then just get the Ultimate Cart to go with it since I have over 4000 titles in .xex format on an SD card which will work with it. As for controllers, no adapters or interfaces needed like my 5200 needs, it works with the same ones the 2600 or 7800 uses easily, including my CX80 Trak-Ball for games like Centipede/Millipede and Missile Command, paddles, driving controllers and also the massive array of joysticks already available on the market.

 

Here's the thing with the 130XE: out of the box, the extra 64K of RAM doesn't really get you much.  There wasn't a ton of software BITD that took advantage of it, and, when it did, it was generally to use it as a RAM disk in order to speed up access to frequently-needed data.

 

That's not to say the 130XE is a bad machine - it's not.  Neither are the 65XE or the XEGS, and any of those three are a good choice.  But consider that the price difference between the 65XE and the 130XE is money that could be set aside for a major upgrade like a U1MB or Rapidus card.

 

FWIW, I'm not looking to sway you one way or the other; whichever machine you get is up to you.  Just tossing out a couple of things to consider, however.

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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When you buy from Best, you can get a keyboard upgrade as well. He has silicone cups which are firmer than the originals and are easy to replace. 

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15 hours ago, BIGHMW said:

Well, considering the 130XE is also available through Best Electronics, and is the same size as the 65XE but with double the RAM (128K for the 130XE vs 64K for the 65XE) 

Most US-market 65XE computers do not have the ECI interface on the back, and this greatly limits your expansion options down the line.  The 130XE has both an additional 64K and the ECI slot (next to the cart slot). 

 

Just to be clear, both the US-market 65XE and the XEGS lack the ECI interface.  For that reason, I would go for either a 130XE or an 800XL.  The latter is a 64K machine (like the 65XE and the XEGS), but it sports a top-loading cart slot and a Parallel Bus Interface, which offers the same expansion options as the 130XE's ECI slot.

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9 hours ago, mellis said:

Most US-market 65XE computers do not have the ECI interface on the back, and this greatly limits your expansion options down the line.

I think this is not so much a problem when you consider how little actually supports this. For most people having the U1MB and one of the cart options (SIDE, UNO, ect.) really covers most anything that can be done via the parallel expansion port. And now with FujiNet which only requires the SIO port, I think we are sitting pretty.

 

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14 hours ago, mytek said:

I think this is not so much a problem when you consider how little actually supports this. For most people having the U1MB and one of the cart options (SIDE, UNO, ect.) really covers most anything that can be done via the parallel expansion port. And now with FujiNet which only requires the SIO port, I think we are sitting pretty.

 

To each his own, but the SysCheck board has been mentioned more than a few times lately, and it requires either ECI or PBI in order to do its thing.

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14 hours ago, mytek said:

I think this is not so much a problem when you consider how little actually supports this. For most people having the U1MB and one of the cart options (SIDE, UNO, ect.) really covers most anything that can be done via the parallel expansion port. And now with FujiNet which only requires the SIO port, I think we are sitting pretty.

 

I disagree. I highly prefer external devices for upgrading memory, in part because you can swap them between different machines with a single device, rather than needing something like a U1MB for each machine. I own a Turbo Freezer 2011 which does exactly that and does it well; and I used to own a RAM 320XL (XE model was available too), which was great also. As Mellis mentioned, the SysCheck is another great PBI/ECI device. The other nice thing is not needing to mod the machine to get there when using such devices. Plug and Play all the way...

 

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I'm not trying to disagree with the notion of there being some useful devices that can take advantage of the parallel expansion port. Just saying that for some people it isn't a make or break situation, and I'm sure there are a lot of people that wouldn't miss it, and probably many that would. Be interesting to find out how many are in each camp ;) .

 

 

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The Turbo Freezer provides game freeze states, which is a pretty important and useful capability to have on hand for a serious gamer. What non-PBI/ECI devices currently provide this feature?

 

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20 minutes ago, MrFish said:

The Turbo Freezer provides game freeze states, which is a pretty important and useful capability to have on hand for a serious gamer.

Real gamers don't use save sates. ;)

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4 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Real gamers don't use save sates. ;)

Ah, you mean the ones that curse, scream, and throw their controller across the room, because they lost their game on the last level at the last enemy and have to start all over from the beginning? :D

 

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On 10/11/2020 at 2:55 PM, BIGHMW said:

I know there are a few XEGS fanboys on here, but my choice of getting a 65XE is simply because I have to use the keyboard to go through the menu on the Ultimate Cart, as opposed to simply a joystick like on the 2600, 5200 and the pending 7800 multicarts. And, you also, in the case of the XEGS, have to have the console there too along with it, just to start and reset when you reboot the main menu or start gameplay, along with the controller of choice, and that is too much I would have to drag out of my a/v rack just to be able to play a game on it. It's all in one unit with the 65XE as opposed to the separate console and keyboard to contend with on the XEGS. I don't have a lot of room in my small apartment I make home to BIGHMW.com World Headquarters at Bishop Park here in Port Townsend, WA, so compactness is the key.

 

I haven't made any commitments, so I'm still up for suggestions.

There are multiple multi-cart solutions.

 

I believe that some allow you to use the joystick for selection vs the keyboard.

 

Atari computers have varying keyboards of different quality, feel, and durability.  So, the ability to use any PS2 keyboard with an available adapter on the XEGS is cool.  You can do the same on some(?) of the computers, but you have to open up the Atari to add in that ability.

 

Just some more info you may not have been aware of (the keyboard adapter was previously mentioned)

 

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1 minute ago, MrFish said:

Ah, you mean the ones that curse, scream, and throw their controller across the room, because they lost their game on the last level at the last enemy and have to start all over from the beginning? :D

 

No, the ones who understand the emotional rewards for finishing a game in the manner intended by the author, rather than the cheap and fleeting feeling of getting a high score or finishing by taking shortcuts, breaks or cheats. 

 

And no, I never owned any bullshit Game Genie or Game Shark either. :)

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