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Sega Genesis

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Hardware specifications for the Sega Genesis, CD, and 32x. For more information on these devices, or other Genesis based systems or peripherals, check out the Data Closet.

Sega Genesis/Megadrive - [ Sega CD | Sega 32x ]

Here you have the specs for the main Genesis/Megadrive console. Strangely, the original manual contains no information on the hardware specifications for the console. I do not know if they are included in later revisions of the manual. However, the Z80 processor present in the original version of the Genesis was later removed in the remodelled Genesis II. The only side effect of the removal is that Master System games cannot be played through the use of the adapter.

Source: Sega Genesis 1 Users Manual, Sega Developer Docs.

  • Model Number: MK-1601 (r1), MK-1631 (r2).
  • CPU: Motorola 68000 at 7.61 MHz
    • 1 MByte (8 Mbit) ROM Area
    • 64 KByte RAM Area
  • Co-Processor: Z80 @ 4 MHz (Not Present in MK-1631)
    • Controls PSG (Programmable Sound Generator) & FM Chips
    • 8 KBytes of dedicated Sound Ram
  • Graphics:
    • 64 simultaneous colors of 512 color pallete.
    • Pixel resolution: 320 x 224
    • VDP (Video Display Processor)
      • Dedicated video display processor
      • Controls playfield & sprites
      • 64 KBytes of dedicated VRAM (Video Ram)
      • 64 x 9-bits of CRAM (Color RAM)
    • 3 Planes: 2 scrolling playfields, 1 sprite plane
  • Sound:
    • PSG (TI 76489 chip)
    • FM chip (Yamaha YM 2612)
    • 6-channel stereo
    • 8 KBytes RAM
    • Signal/Noise Ratio: 14dB

Sega/Mega CD - [ Sega Genesis/Megadrive | Sega 32x ]

Released in 1992, the SegaCD add on to the Genesis was to add a whole new realm of gaming to Genesis owners. The peripheral never achieved major success hoped for by Sega due to its cost, and the lack of any major incentives for purchasing the add on. The extra capacity allowed for much better audio quality and for the use of FMV, just wasn't enough to attract buyers. Sega launched the peripheral with a campaign dubbed: Welcome to the next level. aka: Welco/Metot/Henex/Tlevel.

The original Sega CD unit used a tray mechanism for the CD, and rested below the Genesis unit. With the launch of the Genesis 2, the Sega CD 2 also appeared. THe SCD2 CD mechanism used the cheaper flip lid. It connected on the side of the Genesis 2, resting next to the unit.

Source: Sega CD1 Users Manual (Part#: 672-0955), Sega Online

  • Model Number: MK-1690 (r1), MK-4102 (r2)
  • CPU: Motorola 68000 @ 12.5MHz
  • Memory:
    • 6Mbit (Program, picture data, sound data)
    • 512Kbit (PCM waveform memory)
    • 128Kbit (CD-ROM data cache memory)
    • 64Kbit (Backup memory)
    • 1Mbit (Boot ROM)
  • Sound:
    • PCM Sound Source:
      • Stereo, 8 Channels.
      • Sampliing wavelength: 32MHz max.
    • D/A Convertor:
      • 16-bit D/A convertor
      • 8x Internal over-sampling digital filter
      • PCM and CD sound mixing.
      • Mixing with mixing terminal possible
    • Audio Characteristics:
      • Wavelength characteristics: 20Hz-20kHz.
      • Signal/Noise Ratio: Over 90dB (1kHz) (Line Out).
      • Stereo channel separation: Over 90dB.
  • Misc.
    • Battery Backup Durection: Approx. 1 month
    • 1x CD-Rom Drive Speed (150kb/s)
    • Audio Out: L/W RCA pin jack.
    • Dimensions (WHD): 301mm x 212.5mm x 112.5mm (r1),

Sega 32x - [ Sega Genesis/Megadrive | Sega/Mega CD ]

Released in Fall 1994, the 32x was yet another peripheral for the Genesis. This one promised 32-bit power, and high color graphics. Marketed as a stepping stone to the 32-bit world, and a cheaper alternative to future full 32-bit ssytems, the 32x was doomed to a short life by the lack of decent launch titles, and the impending launch of the Saturn. The 32x was a very expensive failure for Sega. Only 27 32x games were released.

The addon plugged into the cartridge port of the Genesis and connected via various A/V cables. It utilized a cartidge storage system to ensure compatability with existing Genesis titles. It was originally desgined for use on the Genesis 1/2 and CDX. But due to the lack of FCC approval, the devices' use on the CDX was not marketed/recommended.

Source: Sega

  • Model Number: MK-84000 or MK-84000a.
  • CPU: Dual Hitachi SH-2 RISC Processors @ 23 MHz each, 40MIPS.
  • Co-Processors:
    • Genesis 68000, and Z80
    • Genesis 32X VDP
  • Graphics:
    • 32,768 simultaneous colours on screen
    • Genesis resolution
    • Overlaying over existing Genesis/SegaCD video
    • 50,000 texture-mapped polygons/sec
    • Texture mapping
    • Hardware scaling and rotation
  • Sound:
    • Stereo PCM chip
    • Audio mixing with Genesis sound
    • Additional 2 channels (8 Channels total, or 16 with SegaCD)

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