Genesis Hardware In ENGLISH Last updated:
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  • Genesis Hardware In ENGLISH

    This page translates the CPU and other chips so you can understand them.
    The Main CPU
    Techincal Terms -
    The Main CPU is a Motarola 68000 with a MOS Tech. Z-80 Processor for the emulation of the Master System. The 68000 runs at 7/12 MHz and powers the Amiga, Atari ST, and the first MAC. It can directly access 16MB of RAM and can use up to 32MB. The z-80 chip inside the Genesis runs at 2 MHz and can only access and use 64k.
    In English -
    Really fast for its time. Unlike SNES with its SLOW Cpu, Genesis had a fast, new processor to use when it came out. It ran 2 times faster than SNES, and it shows on Sonic and many others. This was how the "term" Blast Processing was developed. That buzz word was just saying that Genesis was faster in every way than the SNES. The Z-80 inside the Genesis was for the Emulator(yes, an emulator) that went on top of the original Genesis. It made the Master System games run on the New Genesis when it came out.
    The Graphics Chip
    Techincal Terms -
    A custom chip made in-house by Sega. The processor can handle 512 colors(same as TurboGraphix) and display 64 at a time. It had a higher resolution than SNES' default, a max of 320x224. It also had features like multiple scrolling backgrounds and 128 sprites on a line.
    In English -
    The first of 2 downfalls, the other being sound, the Genesis had good color when it came out. But, as time went on, the SNES totally blew the color out of the Genesis and managed to take the lead in 1994 because of a good graphics game: Donkey Kong Country.
    The Sound Chip
    Techincal Terms -
    Genesis had a stock chip manufactured by Yamaha to cut the Genesis down on cost. It could use 10 channels, 9 being FM Synthesis, and 10 being the Sampled. It had 8-bit FM Synthesis and sound played at 22KHz.
    In English -
    Ouch. another downfall for the Genesis(Incendently, the same thing happened to Saturn, the stock parts from Yamaha sure made the console great :)). Only radio-quality speech and 9 voice FM synthesis, the Genesis really didn't have good sound compared to the SNES. (But when it was released with the TurboGraphix, The sound quality was superior.)
    In-Cart Chips
    Techincal Terms -
    The mighty DSP chip inside the $90 Virtua Racing was the only chip that Sega ever made to work with the Genesis. It couls display 512 colors at once and had faster rotation and scaling. There was others, like the j-cart.(Pete Sampras Tennis) This was the FIRST time you could play 4-player without a multitap. (which means, N64 wasn't the first 4-player console :)
    In English -
    Virtua Racing was a great game, but many people just did not play it because of the steep asking price. The 4-player j-cart helped the Genesis a LOT, but the only 2 games made for it were the tennis game I mentioned, and Micro Machines 2.
    In conclusion, the Genesis was faster, more developed, and just plain looked better than the SNES. The downfalls it had did not stop it from becoming the worlds Number 1 console. SNES catched up quickly in 1994 because of Sega mistakes and DKC, but Genesis overall was the champion of 16-bit.