Intel's newest lands in an old standard: Commodore 64

What does a MacBook Pro and Commodore 64 have in common? They both adopted quad-core Intel processors for the first time this year.

The venerable Commodore 64 now has the latest Intel quad-core chip inside.
The venerable Commodore 64 now has the latest Intel quad-core chip inside. Commodore USA

Apple surprised many when it introduced quad-core processors into its MacBook line for the first time in February. But a Commodore 64 packing quad-core?

For the uninitiated, the Commodore 64 Keyboard PC was introduced back in 1982 packing a MOS Technology 6510 1MHz (yes, that's one megahertz) chip running the Commodore kernal accessed via BASIC commands.

That model competed with the Apple II and Atari computers.

Well, a lot has changed in 30 years. After resurrecting the Commodore name in April of 2010, the company came out with an Intel Atom-based design in April of this year. That's a relatively pokey processor though. So, now Commodore has bulked up its lineup with Intel's latest 2.2GHz Core-i7-2720QM quad-core processor (which turbos to 3.3GHz).

Commodore isn't stopping there with the contemporaneous upgrade. It has added two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and DVI-D ports, among other connectors.

Other specifications include 8GB of memory, DVD Drive (slot load), Intel HD 3000 graphics, and 2TB hard disk drive (7200 RPM). Also inside is a mini-ITX motherboard and power supply. All for $1,499.

Commodore 64 back view.
Commodore 64 back view. Commodore USA


Commodore 64 side view.
Commodore 64 side view. Commodore USA

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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