Commodore MAX Machine

Here are some hi-res pictures of the Commodore MAX machine (aka Ultimax or VC-10), a stripped-down game console variant of the Commodore 64 that was briefly available in 1982.

The membrane keyboard has the same layout as the C64’s.

The sticker on the bottom says “MODEL NO MAX-04”, “SERIAL NO 10816”.

On the back, there is the the power switch, the power connector (same as the C64), a 3.5 mm audio jack, a standard C64 cartridge port, the TV connector with a channel select switch, and a cassette port.

There is no AV port1, no serial port and no user port2.

There are two joystick ports, one on each side.

The back side of the keyboard.

The “325565 REV.A” board contains the following major chips, from left to right:

  • MOS 6566: VIC-II video chip (variant without DRAM support)
  • MOS 6510: CPU
  • M58725: 2048×8 SRAM (main RAM, $0000-$07FF)
  • MOS 6581: SID sound controller
  • MOS 6703: PLA (chip select generator)
  • 2114: 1024×4 SRAM (color RAM, $D800-$DBFF)
  • MOS 6526: CIA I/O controller

There is no ROM on the board, so all code and even the character set has to come from a cartridge (max. 16 KB) – like on all game consoles from the time. The cartridge can also contain up to 32 KB of external SRAM.

  1. A composite or S-Video output can be added.

  2. Both the serial port and the user port would require CIA #2, which the MAX doesn’t have. Keyboard and joysticks are controlled by CIA #1, and the tape port is driven by the 6510 CPU’s I/O port.

1 thought on “Commodore MAX Machine”

  1. some elaborated testing of the VIC in this machine would be interesting… how its different from the early VICs in C64s. eg does the reset bit in $d016 do anything?

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