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Last updated: 3.November, 2023.
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Atari 8-Bit Computers

Type: Computer
Publisher: Atari
Firstly released in: United States
First release: 1979
Release and compatibility details: This is group of Atari compatible computers 400 and 800 (both released in 1979), 600XL and 800XL (both released in 1982) and 65XE and 130XE (released in 1985)

Success and unsuccess:

Most popular years: 1982-1987
Most popular countries: USA, West Europe, Poland
Amount of games in database: 738 (list)
Amount of music records in database: 5 (list)
Amount of downloadable MOD tunes: 1 (list)
Amount of downloadable MIDI tunes: 4 (list)
Importance on the market in the most popular years: High


Atari 400 and 800 have been Atari's first home computers. Atari 400 was designed to be a beginners computer system, and consequently features a membrane keyboard and was sold with either 8 or 16K of memory. There was no monitor sold for the system. It could only be connected to a TV. Atari 800 features a standard typewriter-style keyboard and was sold with up to 48K of memory. Both computers have coprocessors and "sprites" which was really big quality for year 1979 (with coprocessors came Amiga 6 years after!).

End of production: 1982
CPU: 6502, 1.79 MHz
Coprocessors: ANTIC (Scrolling, Sprites, Video), CTIA / GTIA (Color, Sprites, Collisions), POKEY (timers, sound, keyboard, serial I/O), PIA 6810 (I/O, including the 4 joystick ports)
Memory: 8K to 16K RAM (Atari 400) or 48K RAM (Atari 800)
ROM: 10kB
Text modes: 40x25
Graphic modes: several graphic modes, maximum : 320 x 192, 128 colors
Sound: 4 voices, 3.5 octaves
OS: 400/800 OS in ROM

The followers of Atari 400 and 800, 600XL and 800XL computers have the software compatible between them, it is also compatible with 400 and 800 computers, if it was written "correctly" (however, the 400 software mostly doesn't run because of its small memory).

XL series:

OS: Atari Basic
CPU: MOS 6502C 1.79 MHz (NTSC) or 1.77 MHz (PAL)
Coprocessor: GTIA (video), POKEY (sound, I/O), ANTIC (video)
RAM: 16-64kB
ROM: 24kB
Graphic modes: up to 320x192, 256 colors
Sound: 4 voices, 3.5 octaves

More info: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=27

XE series:
The same except size of memory, 65-XE has 64kB, 130-XE has 128kb

More info: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=21

Games and music info:

Most common media for storing games: Cartridge
Average packed game size: 30 kb
Music formats: SAP

Emulation info:

Atari 800 Win Plus - Greatest emulator of Atari 8-bits coming from Poland
Atari 800 Emulator - great Atari 8-bit computers and Atari 5200 emulator for wide variety of platforms.

This emulation info was written on 16.December 2002. (This time is very important, because emulation info very depends on the time it was written - emulators can improve a lot after this time..).

Record created/updated: 18. July 2004.
Something wrong with these data? - Write corrections / additions to Game Music Base
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Information provided here may not be accurate and are provided only as an informative resource, without any warranty.