Vg 8020 models

By TheKid

Paragon (1238)

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05-01-2022, 19:25

Just outof curiosity I was wondering what the model differences are.

I started my msx carreer with a vg 8020/00 and i loved it. Bought it new in the philips store here in the netherlands.
Around 2 years laters, my uncle bought a vg 8020/10

The only sifference i noticed is that in order to play most games, he first needed to type poke -1,170 to let the work, where i didn’t have to type anything to let a game work.

Recently I saw a vg 8020/40 for sale here on And in the wiki i saw some other types.

So how many types where there and what where the differences?


By Manuel

Ascended (19677)

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05-01-2022, 21:35 lists all differences. And I think you meant /20 and not /10.

By AndreV

Champion (272)

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05-01-2022, 21:39

I have the same question,
Msx wiki says:
The VG-8020/00 is a MSX1 with the RAM in non-expanded slot 3 and a Z80 from NEC (D780C-1) without MSX Engine.

The other revisions have the RAM in slot 3-2, a Z80 from NEC (D780C-1) or Zilog (Z8400APS) and the MSX-Engine S3527 from Yamaha.

The cartridge slots are on top, hidden under a panel.

Vg 8020/00 has no Msx engine other models do? What is msx engine?

By sdsnatcher73

Enlighted (4287)

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05-01-2022, 21:57

An MSX engine is a chip that combines a lot of logic needed to create an MSX out of the base components (which are CPU, VDP, RAM and VRAM). You can build an MSX with a Z80 CPU, a TMS9118 VDP, some RAM and VRAM and a PSG but you need some logic to glue it together (in the form of 74LS chips mostly). To make assembly cheaper the MSX engine combines (in various levels) many of these logic chips or even the CPU, VDP and PSG. It all depends on which MSX engine was used.

The 2 main MSX engines from ASCII are the S3527 (actually called MSX system) and the S1985 (called MSX system 2). The S1985 added some MSX2 specific stuff, for more details check the Wiki pages. These chips still required a CPU and VDP but included already a PSG. Toshiba developed also MSX engines which at some point included CPU and VDP and FDC (all you needed was RAM, VRAM and the external interfaces).

By AndreV

Champion (272)

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05-01-2022, 22:27

Ah Ok, how does the vg 80200\00 operate with out msx engine? by different switching between the transitors ? Or more complex routing on the mainboard?

By Manuel

Ascended (19677)

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05-01-2022, 22:59

More separate logic chips to implement the functionality.

By Wlcracks

Hero (572)

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06-01-2022, 18:35

the /00 is stuffed with logic ic's. Great to measure on, with a scope or logic analyser, learning how a MSX works. "Easy" to fix on the Sanyo video chip excluded, the parts are easily available. The engine version is empty :-). I think the /00 was really expensive to build compared to >/xx