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Commander X16 vs. Mega 65


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Hmmm.... I wonder if they're trying to release and cash in on some of that pent-up demand for the X16, before the dev kits become available?

There are probably a number of people who like either, but can only afford one. We are talking about $600, not $50.

So the first system to market gets the sales from this group of people, and probably their long-term support (developing for the platform) as well.

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36 minutes ago, maktos said:

Hmmm.... I wonder if they're trying to release and cash in on some of that pent-up demand for the X16, before the dev kits become available?

There are probably a number of people who like either, but can only afford one. We are talking about $600, not $50.

So the first system to market gets the sales from this group of people, and probably their long-term support (developing for the platform) as well.

It *could* be but I highly doubt it. The fact is the MEGA65 has been in development for a very very long time. This just happens to be when they were finally ready.

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1 hour ago, Scott Robison said:

It *could* be but I highly doubt it. The fact is the MEGA65 has been in development for a very very long time. This just happens to be when they were finally ready.

Appears to be triggered by the cases becoming available. Electronically it's not complex, it's a Nexys A7 board with some add ons electronically. I don't think it's really a competitor for the X16. I'll be surprised if it's as low as $600.

Developing for an M65 is much more complicated than an X16/X8 which is really just a tarted up C64

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1 hour ago, paulscottrobson said:

Appears to be triggered by the cases becoming available. Electronically it's not complex, it's a Nexys A7 board with some add ons electronically. I don't think it's really a competitor for the X16. I'll be surprised if it's as low as $600.

I doubt it will be more than that. You can build a dev system yourself for less than that. The dev board they used for developing the software currently sells for $229, and I seriously doubt the keyboard and case cost more than $80-$100 each, in quantity. 

Heck, you could probably build a MEGA core for the MiSTer, and a MiSTer system only costs about $300-400, depending on your options.

 

Edited by TomXP411
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8 hours ago, maktos said:

Hmmm.... I wonder if they're trying to release and cash in on some of that pent-up demand for the X16, before the dev kits become available?

There are probably a number of people who like either, but can only afford one. We are talking about $600, not $50.

So the first system to market gets the sales from this group of people, and probably their long-term support (developing for the platform) as well.

Yes, they probably will cash in on the vacuum/void here.  Then again, Mega 65 is more accessible to Germany and some other European countries than it would be from North America and vice versa.  Always room for both, or more than two.

Speaking of which, on this side of Earth (North America), there is Foenix "C256 U" and the 68K A2560; both are shipping this week (I've seen at least a 1/2 dozen people lining up for it over there from this forum).  It's something new and interesting that is real, has modern graphics, a fast clock speed, uses PS/2 kbd / mouse,  is 65xx* based (for the most part) but also has C compilers and other tools available and piles of memory.  Who can say 'no' to something that cost $220? (don't answer that 😆).

Holding out for something $50 or something $450 or more is sort of a non-starter for me.  I'm hungry and Foenix sits in the sweet spot but no, it won't run Pet Basic programs or C64 SW.  It does has SID sound (and more), and other niceties.  

 

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Quote

Hmmm.... I wonder if they're trying to release and cash in on some of that pent-up demand for the X16, before the dev kits become available?

I doubt it.

It doesn't

have

a

USB port.

And it has a DISK DRIVE

It is two thousand and twenty one. This is clearly a mantle-piece and not something to be used by a real person.

Edited by Starsickle
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Does anybody know how they are dealing with shipping/import tariff (shipping method).  As an American of Canadian ancestry : ) , I appreciate when I buy something from England that is shipped via DHL, arrives in 2 days for a reasonable price and no import duties due (TFW8Bit is brilliant at this).  If Germany is the point-of-origin, I wonder what that will mean for North America?  Anybody know?

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21 minutes ago, EMwhite said:

Does anybody know how they are dealing with shipping/import tariff (shipping method).  As an American of Canadian ancestry : ) , I appreciate when I buy something from England that is shipped via DHL, arrives in 2 days for a reasonable price and no import duties due (TFW8Bit is brilliant at this).  If Germany is the point-of-origin, I wonder what that will mean for North America?  Anybody know?

I do not know, and cannot find more details at this time. In the interest of sharing what I do know, here is a screen grab of the email I received:

image.thumb.png.4c2285f65c364356ab8cc4c346701f05.png

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I would just like to address the comments about Mega65 trying to cash in on X16's void.

They have had a very clear direction for many years (2014?). They're not trying to react to a market etc, or gauge what the community wants.. it's a very defined project that has attracted a community that finds the vision appealing.

They wanted the devkits released last year, they made it happen. Then they've been pushing hard all year to make sure the final release and pre-order lines up with the 30th anniversary of commodore cancelling the c65 (1991). 

I can honestly say i have never seen any comments in the mega65 discord about trying to take  community away from x16 (in fact the opposite, there has been talk about not porting the x16 core to the mega65 to not impact the x16 project, unless approached by Dave etc).

There is no cashing in intent at all. Mega is not for profit organisation and Mega65 is a not for profit project. 

Both projects are very different from each other, with some overlap.

There is plenty of room for both a closed design like x16 and open like mega65 in the world.

As far as shipping and tariffs.. They shipped the devkits with dhl I believe and it was very quick arriving in Australia.

 

But the best place for those sort of questions would be the mega65 forum or discord :).

Hope that sheds some light on the thread for people not following the Mega65 project :).

 

 

 

Edited by Mindrail
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On 9/30/2021 at 2:57 AM, paulscottrobson said:

$793.33 ... should've put a bet on.

Well, definitely not more than the dev kit. I've not done an in depth comparison yet ... maybe later. I decided to pull the trigger on it because of the capabilities of the components built into the MEGA65. It'll be nice to have something like the C=65. It'll be even nicer to have a whole computer that can take on multiple personalities like Amiga, Atari ST, and whatever I can dream up.

I've read a number of comments from people comparing this unfavorably to the MiSTer. A MiSTer complete with the three boards, RAM, and a case can be "easily" acquired for $455. My final price for MEGA65 with shipping etc is $847.02. I think the "02" is a nice touch for this computer, but I digress.

So what do I get for my extra $400? I get a mechanical keyboard (which can easily go for $100 to $200 depending on the source; I spent more for each of two mechanical keyboards I bought for home and work). I get a floppy drive (for what that's worth). I get a 3 FPGA system, where the primary FPGA seems to be significantly more powerful than the part in the DE10 Nano. And I get to run a system that doesn't require a Linux front end to provide infrastructure. Not that I'm anti-Linux.

I think the price difference is easily justified *IF* you want what the system has to offer. I get that it isn't for everyone. For the sorts of things I'd like to be able to do with it, it is far more than the sum of its parts.

Would I have spent this kind of money for something that only tried to deliver on the C=65 "heritage"? No way. But to have all the ports, the keyboard, the huge FPGA ... I plan to put them all to good use as I learn more about HDL and FPGA.

Plus, I can use my 1581 that I still have with it! 🙂

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On 9/30/2021 at 1:20 PM, paulscottrobson said:

Your choice. Bit puzzled by the "3 FPGA" thing as the development system was a Nexys A7 and I think still is.

The primary FPGA is a larger version of what is on the Nexys A7 / Nexys 4 DDR / Nexys 4 that they used for development. Apparently the keyboard has a CPLD that is being referred to as an FPGA because it is similarly reprogrammable. There is also a third FPGA that I think is part of the hardware management. So the workhorse is the primary one and the others provide support services to it much as other chips provide support to a CPU.

I'm not 100% up to speed on everything about MEGA65. What I listed above are just my rationalization as to why I'm getting it. Having a system with an integrated keyboard and more connectivity to the outside world is appealing for what I would like to do with it above and beyond its MEGA65 personality.

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€666.66 = $917.49 CAD .... $776.93 USD = $986.39 CAD

I know it's not quite as bad here as it is in Australia, but these prices after currency conversion (even before shipping + duty + taxes) push the cost of these products way beyond the percent of annual income that the designers of the products intend. The bottom 92% of Canadians earn around same wages as the bottom 92% of Americans (more or less depending on states/provinces), yet everything costs more here and costs waaaay more if we buy from anywhere other than Australia. I've read that's even cheaper for people to drive into the USA and buy their prescriptions medications (that are imported to the USA from Canada), because there's a huge markup on the exact same thing here... I digress...

Value for the dollar wise, at the somewhere around the $1200 CAD that the Mega65 would cost, I could buy a gaming laptop from MSI, Asus, or Acer that comes with an RTX3050 GPU, a 6C/12T Intel CPU, a 1080 IPS display, and a backlit keyboard. Or I could buy a $750 gaming laptop with a GTX1650 GPU, a 6C/6T Intel CPU, a 1080 IPS display, a backlit keyboard, and any $60-100 mechanical keyboard and have ~$200 left over.

Obviously these two types of computers are not the same, but when you consider that the modern laptop can do everything the Mega65 can do, plus thousands of other things that are genuinely useful in one's modern life (such as being one's only computer), it just doesn't make any sense for an average person to spend so much money on a Mega65. Sure it's a neat toy, but... it's kinda not really. Functionally, it doesn't do anything that you can't already do with any PC from the last 20 years. Sure it looks neat, but does it really look 4% of my annual income neat? Not to me, even if I used it every day, which I totally wouldn't (I'd sure use that gaming laptop every day though!).

So, would I buy it for $666.66 CAD? That's $60 more than an XBox Series X and $220 more than a Nintendo Switch, both of which I think would be more useful and more regularly used, as everyone in our house would use fight over the console, yet only I would use the Mega65. While you can't put a price on happiness, you... can put a price on happiness and I think in the case of a retro computer that I would use sometimes, but probably not always, I think that price is somewhere around $200 CAD. Any more and I'd rather just not spend more money and keep on enjoying all the stuff I already have. It's not like I have a shortage of "old junk" to play with.

Grats to them for finishing it though. It does look great and I would absolutely make some space for one if it were in my price range.

Crazy old man out!

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