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JKK

Atari with more than 128kB

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Hi,

Quick question. The most popular 8-bit Atari computers have 64kB RAM (like 800XL, 65XE) or 128kB RAM (130XE). However something comes to my mind that there were models with higher memory provided by Atari, although when trying to search for it, I was not able to find that. Was it like that and if yes, could you give me the models numbers?

 

Btw, have ever Atari provided RAM extension modules, like Commodore? I don't mean extension modules of other companies (as many produced them) but genuine Atari modules? If yes, what were models numbers of these modules?

 

Thanks a lot for help :)

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All extended memory upgrades beyond 128K were designed by third parties, which is why you probably haven't found anything on it. Look for 800 Axlon and XL/XE Rambo or CompyShop.

 

Only the Atari 600XL had a 1064 PBI module to upgrade it to 64K, but there are several new PBI devices that offer extended memory either as the main point, or added as a bonus with other devices used on the XL PBI or XE ECI.

Edited by Gunstar

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There are also several internal upgrades for Atari’s that provide additional memory - Incognito for the 800, Ultimate 1MB and Antonia 4MB for the XL/XE machines. I have an Incognito in one of my 80-‘s and several U1MB boards in XL machines. 

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43 minutes ago, JKK said:

Hi,

Quick question. The most popular 8-bit Atari computers have 64kB RAM (like 800XL, 65XE) or 128kB RAM (130XE). However something comes to my mind that there were models with higher memory provided by Atari, although when trying to search for it, I was not able to find that. Was it like that and if yes, could you give me the models numbers?

 

Btw, have ever Atari provided RAM extension modules, like Commodore? I don't mean extension modules of other companies (as many produced them) but genuine Atari modules? If yes, what were models numbers of these modules?

 

Thanks a lot for help :)

You might be thinking of Atari’s ST line, which was typically available with between 512KB and 4MB of RAM. There were some exotic sizes (like the 260ST or the high memory TT and Falcon configurations), but for most, 4MB was the upper bound. 

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11 minutes ago, mellis said:

There were some exotic sizes (like the 260ST or the high memory TT and Falcon configurations)

Falcon did not have the high memory (aka TT-RAM), because the 68030 used in that machine was a version with 24-bit address bus. So Falcons originally only came in 4 MB or 16 MB configurations.

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18 minutes ago, mellis said:

You might be thinking of Atari’s ST line, which was typically available with between 512KB and 4MB of RAM. There were some exotic sizes (like the 260ST or the high memory TT and Falcon configurations), but for most, 4MB was the upper bound. 

But I don't remember Atari providing upgrade modules for these.

 

The later models used industry-standard SIMMs,  the earlier models required 3rd party RAM expansion boards or soldering your own chips.  Maybe some lucky people got socketed RAM.

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1 hour ago, JKK said:

Btw, have ever Atari provided RAM extension modules, like Commodore?

Yes:bla.thumb.jpeg.89ef9b7c8153f08101f66c3047b85419.jpeg

😁

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The only Atari developed memory expansion modules for the 8-bit line were for the 1090 XL expansion box for up to 192Kb which didn’t make it to the market.

Look here for more details: 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Spancho said:

The only Atari developed memory expansion modules for the 8-bit line were for the 1090 XL expansion box for up to 192Kb which didn’t make it to the market.

 

no, Atari produced and sold memory modules (CX852, CX851), including memory expansion modules (1064)

Edited by xxl

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The topic is about memory expansions by Atari to achieve more than 128Kb.

I believe that is not possible with CX853, 52, 51 on a stock machine and 1064 neither.

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33 minutes ago, xxl said:

right, 853 and not 851
 

 

I think there was a CX851, a weird 4K card, that never actually made it market wasn't there?

 

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Thanks a lot for all answers. I rather though about 800XL/800XE/65XE/130XE family. Here I understand that only third parties RAM extensions were available.

 

Was any Atari genuine module available for 800XL/800XE/65XE to get additional 64kB (to have 128kB in total)?

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No, Atari offered no upgrade path beyond 64kB, and sold only the 130xe with over 64kB.  Only third parties ever offered upgrades above 64kB.

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1 hour ago, bfollowell said:

I think there was a CX851, a weird 4K card, that never actually made it market wasn't there?

I believe the 400 was originally designed as a 4kB machine, but initially released as 8kB(later upgraded to 16kB) when RAM prices came down.

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Like others I never saw any large memory expansions from Atari for the 8 bits, as shown they did the card slot ones for the 800 but that was it. Tbh I don't even remember big third party memory upgrades for ages after the Atari 8 had stopped selling..

 

But I'm glad the 3rd party people did :)

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17 hours ago, JKK said:

Thanks a lot for all answers. I rather though about 800XL/800XE/65XE/130XE family. Here I understand that only third parties RAM extensions were available.

 

Was any Atari genuine module available for 800XL/800XE/65XE to get additional 64kB (to have 128kB in total)?

There was a Yorky 256K plug-in upgrade back in the day for about 90 pounds.  Never saw one. 

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5 hours ago, Mclaneinc said:

Like others I never saw any large memory expansions from Atari for the 8 bits, as shown they did the card slot ones for the 800 but that was it. Tbh I don't even remember big third party memory upgrades for ages after the Atari 8 had stopped selling..

 

But I'm glad the 3rd party people did :)

Newell had a larger version of their 256KXL upgrade that could be 1 or 4MB, depending on the RAM chips installed, I'm fairly certain it was developed/sold before the Atari 8-bit line was dropped by Atari in 1992.  It uses 8*1/4 Mbit DRAM which don't replace the 4164 DRAM, since they aren't pin compatible, but instead works with them to provide a total of 1088/4160KB RAM.

 

IIRC FTe contracted to purchase the rights to the Newell product line but never paid, and Wes Newell ended up releasing them to Public Domain.

 

Here is a link to the Newell MEG XL manual on archive.org, copyright date 1991:

Newell Industries MEG XL RAM card manual.pdf

 

Edited by BillC
fix link
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Due to most Ataris sold having 48 or 64K, there wasn't much incentive for software, especially games to require it as the market for 128K software would have been minuscule. Without the need to have more than 64K for games there was little incentive to upgrade computers which at the time mostly meant soldering (except for the Axlon boards for the 800). Lack of demand for expansion resulted in hardly any plug-in expansions being available although the XLs and XEs would have been capable of using them.

 

Of course you could use them as a RAMdisk and for a few productivity applications but I doubt that generated a lot of demand.

 

It's strange however, that amid all kinds of other gimmicks they developed, Atari did not design the 1064 to allow expanding an 800XL to 128K.

 

 

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7 hours ago, slx said:

Due to most Ataris sold having 48 or 64K, there wasn't much incentive for software, especially games to require it as the market for 128K software would have been minuscule. Without the need to have more than 64K for games there was little incentive to upgrade computers which at the time mostly meant soldering (except for the Axlon boards for the 800). Lack of demand for expansion resulted in hardly any plug-in expansions being available although the XLs and XEs would have been capable of using them.

 

Of course you could use them as a RAMdisk and for a few productivity applications but I doubt that generated a lot of demand.

 

It's strange however, that amid all kinds of other gimmicks they developed, Atari did not design the 1064 to allow expanding an 800XL to 128K.

 

 

RAMBO-style XL upgrades were quite a  common sight at user group meetings where I grew up.  There's actually a fair amount of software that supported it compared to C64 expansions.  The fact that Atari adopted the community standard for PORTB bankswitching when they released the 130XE is pretty telling.

 

Expanded XLs weren't that uncommon.  Many people had dropped the 8-bit and flocked to the ST at that point here though.  The market for 8-bits evaporated pretty quickly once the ST, Amiga and Macs hit the streets here.

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On 1/26/2021 at 4:49 PM, JKK said:

Was any Atari genuine module available for 800XL/800XE/65XE to get additional 64kB (to have 128kB in total)?

 

Yes. There were very late model 800XL's (EU only IIRC) that came from the factory with 128KB of RAM. Also all European 65XE's used a 130XE mobo that made 'getting additional 64BKB' very doable. Probably the same for the 800XE.

 

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3 hours ago, Sugarland said:

Yes. There were very late model 800XL's (EU only IIRC) that came from the factory with 128KB of RAM.

 

Example? First time I've heard about it.

 

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4 hours ago, MrFish said:

 

Example? First time I've heard about it.

 

800XE models? I’ve seen pics, never in person. 

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