What is the best computer for MSX, MSX2, MSX2+ and MSX turbo R ?

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By Meits

Scribe (5372)

Meits's picture

13-05-2019, 02:29

MSX1:
I wouldn't know. Never had one.
MSX2:
I loved Sony 700 because of the completeness of it: loads of ram, 2dd diskdrive, great picture quality, perfect audio quality (back in that time I had Philips stuff to compare to). Until around the millennium. Just before I quit and a few years after I got back. I've had several 700s die on me in a short while and the keyboards died easily as well. I might want one as a static object some day, just like a Philips 8235, but never again as a main computer.
I only have (be it modified) Philips 8250s as (ex) MSX2. They're sturdy (except for the front panel) but do have jail bars in the video and the audio mixing is awful. With some heavy modding it can turn out to be a pretty nice machine.
MSX2+:
Panasonic FS-A1WX
It just wins of all other models. It lacks s-video, but it uses a normal rgb cable where the WSX supposed to have a different pinout (which mine does not). It has FM built in unlike the FX and it does not have jailbars in the video (which my WSX seems to have. I recently just tested it on one screen using its s-video. I've to recheck RGB to be sure, but then again: WSX does not add a lot anyway. FX is by far the prettiest.
The Sonys are pretty and the slow down option is a lot of fun... I guess... Although, they just love to commit suicide.
I don't have the Sanyos cuz of hideous beasts with audio flaws.
Turbo R:
Panasonic FS-A1ST
You probably don't need the MIDI interface cuz it's hardly supported and the 512KB can be put in the ST as well. The ST has a dedicated audio out which the GT lacks. I must admit that the audio output of (at least my) ST is horrible so I refuse to use it. Later ST models and the GT seem to have better audio and with some mods it's even possible to get to the WX's quality.
Overall:
Turbo R. Cuz it's a heck of a lot faster.

By Grauw

Enlighted (8010)

Grauw's picture

13-05-2019, 09:39

Druuna333 wrote:

I was looking to buy an msx2, but seems from Europe there's not much available, most of them I can find online are from japan.

Oh, there should be plenty around, and usually cheaper than the Japanese models too! You can try contacting Bas (http://www.bas-ditta.info/) who should have several in stock, or check www.marktplaats.nl.

As for European MSX2s, my favourite is the Philips NMS 8245. Compact MSX2 with integrated keyboard (never been a fan of the desktop models), 128K RAM, 2DD diskdrive, RGB output, no memory layout issues, no sound issues, nice keys and nice looking overall.

By Thom

Hero (538)

Thom's picture

13-05-2019, 14:49

Meits wrote:

MSX2+:
Panasonic FS-A1WX
It just wins of all other models. It lacks s-video, but it uses a normal rgb cable where the WSX supposed to have a different pinout (which mine does not). It has FM built in unlike the FX and it does not have jailbars in the video (which my WSX seems to have. I recently just tested it on one screen using its s-video. I've to recheck RGB to be sure, but then again: WSX does not add a lot anyway. FX is by far the prettiest.
The Sonys are pretty and the slow down option is a lot of fun... I guess... Although, they just love to commit suicide.
I don't have the Sanyos cuz of hideous beasts with audio flaws.

So, the WX leapfrogs the WSX in your top-8 (from December 2018): https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/trading-and-collecting/lo... ? (Not nickpicking, just curious why).

By Wolverine_nl

Paladin (1017)

Wolverine_nl's picture

14-05-2019, 13:12

For me
MSX: Goldstar FC200
MSX2: Sony HB-F700
MSX2+: Philips NMS 8250, (modded)
MSX-TR: GT

But don't have experience with all to compare.

By gdx

Prophet (2700)

gdx's picture

14-05-2019, 15:25

Marq wrote:

Panasonic made some nice ones for sure, but the original FS-A1 is just horrible

I like the red model.

Marq wrote:

FS-A1 has only 64k RAM which can't be expanded. The keyboard is kinda awful, the module port lid keeps falling off. Plenty of compatibility problems with expansions.

Marq wrote:

I've managed to run DOS2 even on an MSX1 machine with MegaFlashROM. But not with that FS-A1.

I have any compatibility problem since I removed the firmware. Nextor works too.

The keyboard of my FS-A1 is not bad, just a little soft. The cartridge port lid of my FS-A1 do not falling off but I know it's certainly fragile because many people break it.

The only thing that displeases me in the FS-A1 is the (big) external power supply.

The 64kB RAM is not a problem. There are SD interfaces with expansion RAM and more. I use a MMM cartridge. Only I miss the SCC. I need a slot expander.

By Druuna333

Supporter (2)

Druuna333's picture

16-05-2019, 23:32

Thx Grauw: what about the 8235?
Is it good or better to save some money for the 8245?
Is it a big problem to have a single side floppy?

By Meits

Scribe (5372)

Meits's picture

17-05-2019, 01:07

Thom wrote:
Meits wrote:

MSX2+:
Panasonic FS-A1WX
It just wins of all other models. It lacks s-video, but it uses a normal rgb cable where the WSX supposed to have a different pinout (which mine does not). It has FM built in unlike the FX and it does not have jailbars in the video (which my WSX seems to have. I recently just tested it on one screen using its s-video. I've to recheck RGB to be sure, but then again: WSX does not add a lot anyway. FX is by far the prettiest.
The Sonys are pretty and the slow down option is a lot of fun... I guess... Although, they just love to commit suicide.
I don't have the Sanyos cuz of hideous beasts with audio flaws.

So, the WX leapfrogs the WSX in your top-8 (from December 2018): https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/trading-and-collecting/lo... ? (Not nickpicking, just curious why).

Good question, and very sharp noticed.
Back then the WSX won cuz well, one had to, cuz hardly any differences, better looks (imho) and newer should be better. On top of that, my WSX does not require a different RGB cable. Back then I saw the s-video as a nice addition and was happy with the lack of a cassette port.
Now my opinion has changed a bit, because if a WSX needs a different RGB cable, it's just a disadvantage. Plus the fact that I noticed jail bars on its s-video output. A WX most certainly uses a regular RGB cable and most certainly has no jail bars...
I just checked an archived pic of the WSX's RGB output and it does not have jail bars there, it gains a point back there. If it turns out my WSX is not special with its regular RGB cable compatibility it'll be a draw for now.

By Meits

Scribe (5372)

Meits's picture

17-05-2019, 00:54

Druuna333 wrote:

Thx Grauw: what about the 8235?
Is it good or better to save some money for the 8245?
Is it a big problem to have a single side floppy?

Back in the day a single sided disk drive was a crippling element of your joy. Now, with disk emulation on mass storage flash devices it makes any disk drive obsolete(ish). You can as well install a proper double sided disk drive in a 8235.
I had a 8235 as a kid and the disk drive bothered me. Same goes for the 128K RAM. As I was about ten years old, my parents not wishing to invest in mods or original games I was stuck with mostly MSX1 games. Disk games were almost exclusively double sided and ROM hacks often required more than 128K. Bummer...
Now, for me the "advantage" of the 8235 over the 8245 is its readjustable keyboard. I remember friends having trouble with the original 8245 disk drive. If those weren't isolated cases, the original disk drive is of low quality, but at least the disk ROM is double sided by default and I've heard the audio capabilities of the 8245 are kind of a bench mark.

In a nut shell: If you have a megaflashrom scc+ sd with some extra ram, or a carnivore 2, both machines shouldn't differ a lot.

By Thom

Hero (538)

Thom's picture

17-05-2019, 10:38

Thanks Meits! Always interesting to read what others think. I like this thread.

I also had a 8235 as a kid, but had the 360 kB drive replaced by a DD one. One disadvantage of the 8235 is its keyboard, which is quite fragile. Mine ended up broken, then I bought a modified 8250. It's nice to be able to tilt the keyboard, but to be honest, the lower the uglier. So IMO it wasn't an advantage over the fixed keyboard of the 8245.

Also, the keyboard membrane of the 8235 is prone to getting clear dark spots because of wear. Sweaty hands I guess.

By Haze

Expert (92)

Haze's picture

17-05-2019, 11:11

Meits wrote:

Now, for me the "advantage" of the 8235 over the 8245 is its readjustable keyboard. I remember friends having trouble with the original 8245 disk drive. If those weren't isolated cases, the original disk drive is of low quality, but at least the disk ROM is double sided by default and I've heard the audio capabilities of the 8245 are kind of a bench mark.

In a nut shell: If you have a megaflashrom scc+ sd with some extra ram, or a carnivore 2, both machines shouldn't differ a lot.

Not one of Meits' friends, so I can add to the data sample. Smile Back when I got my 8245, it too had disk drive troubles and I had to get it replaced with a modded PC drive. I remember the common knowledge back then was that it was a known problem.
But as Meits says, nowadays with the availability of all kinds of flash cartridges something like this doesn't need to be a factor if you're going for an MSX model you like! Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

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