New C64 Kicks Performance Up a Notch

Unless Commodore USA is secretly planning to release a new version of the “portable” Commodore SX-64 (pictured below), this isn’t a laptop, but the latest version does use a mobile CPU to reach beyond the 1MHz clock speed offered by the original. A quad-core, Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7-2720QM clocked at 2.2GHz ensures that you can play Boulder Dash and The Great Giana Sisters at the highest possible quality settings.

Old-time gamers like myself who have passed the respectable age of 30 has almost certainly owned or at least been in contact with the original Commodore 64. It was a huge success at its launch in 1982 and brought with it hundreds of instant classics like International Karate, Impossible Mission and The Last Ninja, to name a few. It was also available in a portable version called the SX-64, which just might qualify as the world’s first gaming laptop (although the meaning of the word “laptop” didn’t really apply here for obvious reasons).


SX-64 - Image credit: Wikipedia

For some six months after releasing the new and updated Commodore 64 to the U.S. market, the revived brand is back with an updated version . On the outside it looks just like a good old C64 (the thick version) including the beefy keys on the original. But where the previous version made use if an Intel Atom D525 with Nvidia ION 2 graphics, the new model has been equipped with a quad-core mobile CPU, although unfortunately only with Intel’s integrated graphics. The Nvidia version is apparently still available though.

Those who are not content with netbook performance might want to have a look at the “Extreme” version, which besides the Core i7 processor is complemented by eight gigabytes of ram, a 2 terabyte hard drive, USB 3.0 ports, optical audio through SPDIF, video via HDMI, DVI or VGA as well as Ethernet and Wi-Fi. The machine comes with a Linux distribution installed, but you are obviously free to install Windows or whatever OS you prefer. The Extreme version sells for $1,500, but if you think that’s a bit steep you can still choose the Nvidia ION 2 version for $999 or a barebones version for a mere $349.

Check it out at Commodore USA.


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