Amstrad CPC 664
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The Amstrad CPC (Colour Personal Computer) is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it successfully established itself primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and German-speaking parts of Europe.
The series spawned a total of six distinct models: The CPC464, CPC664, and CPC6128 were highly successful competitors in the European home computer market. The later plus models, 464plus and 6128plus, efforts to prolong the system's lifecycle with hardware updates, were considerably less successful, as was the attempt to repackage the plus hardware into a game console as the GX4000.
The CPC664 features 64 kB RAM and an internal 3-inch floppy disk drive. It was introduced in May 1985 in the UK. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC664 were GBP339.00/DM1198.00 with a green screen and GBP449.00/DM1998.00 with a colour monitor.
After the successful release of the CPC464, consumers were constantly asking for two improvements: more memory and an internal disk drive. For Amstrad, the latter was easier to realise. At the deliberately low-key introduction of the CPC664 in May 1985, the machine was positioned not only as the lowest-cost disc system but even the lowest-cost CP/M 2.2 machine. In the Amstrad CPC product range the CPC664 complemented the CPC464 which was neither discontinued nor reduced in price.
Compared to the CPC464, the CPC664's main unit has been significantly redesigned, not only to accommodate the floppy disk drive but also with a redesigned keyboard area. Touted "ergonomic" by Amstrad's promotional material, the keyboard is noticeably tilted to the front with MSX-style cursor keys above the numeric keypad. Compared to the CPC464's multicoloured keyboard, the CPC664's keys are kept in a much quieter grey and pale blue color scheme.
The back of the CPC664 main unit features the same connectors as the CPC464, with the exception of an additional 12V power lead. Unlike the CPC464's cassette tape drive that could be powered off the main unit's 5V voltage, the CPC 664's floppy disk drive requires an additional 12V voltage. This voltage had to be separately supplied by an updated version of the bundled green screen/colour monitor (GT-65 and CTM-644 respectively).
The CPC 664 was only produced for approximately six months. In late 1985, when the CPC6128 was introduced in Europe, after an unsuccessful launch un the USA, Amstrad decided not to keep three models in the line-up, and production of the CPC 664 was discontinued, with business users requiring more memory, the disc drive model carried forward was the 6128.
Introduction: Spring 1985
Our machine is complete with a multi page User Instruction book.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH71391. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.