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SV 318

The SV-318 was launched in january 1983, at the Winter CES show in Las Vegas, as the same time as the Spectravideo CompuMate, an keyboard add-on for the Atari 2600.

The Spectravideo SV-318 is the system at the origin of the MSX standard, and such, has characteristics very close to the MSX systems (same video, sprites, sound, I/O, etc.). It was even sold as an MSX computer in some places, but it is not fully MSX compliant and can't use MSX programs.

Notice that instead of using cursor keys, the Spectravideo uses a small joystick, which emulates cursor keys.

An "expansion base" addon was available. This provides 64 KB RAM, a 80 column video and a floppy disk controller and its floppy drive (5.25"). With all these peripherals, the SV318 can run under CP/M.

In 1984, Spectravideo released a revised version of the SV-318, named SV-318 MKII. The colour of area around the keyboard is different, but more importantly the motherboard has been redesigned, for production costs reason. Among the changes was a single ULA chip instead of several TTL chips, reducing the motherboard footprint and cost.

A more professional version of the SV318 was launched a while later: the SV-328 (which has 80 KB RAM and a numeric keyboard and the SV-728 case).

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


My very first computer I got about 25yrs ago. I rember my dad preparing and saving moey for months to buy this as a present. Still have it, with the original tape .

Saturday 20th August 2011
Stamatis (Athens, Greece)

My first computer, Microsoft Basic very easy and friendly, very compatible with MSX Basic. Sprites, graffics and sounds commands the best. The worst: poor documentation and high resolution color mix bug. Cost: 299 € (1984) + "necessary" accessories (games, joy, cassette)

Wednesday 12th May 2004
Antonio (Almeria)

This was my first computer, at very young age..
I have it till now, with the original box and manuals and it's still working!

Saturday 26th January 2002
Antonis (Athens, Greece)


NAME  SV 318
MANUFACTURER  Spectravideo
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  January 1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  SV Extended Basic (by Microsoft)
KEYBOARD  71 keys, rubber keyboard with built-in joystick
CPU  Zilog Z80A
SPEED  3.6 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  TMS9918A graphics chip, and AY-3-8910 sound chip
RAM  16 KB (up to 144 KB), 12 KB free for programmation with Basic
ROM  32 KB
TEXT MODES  40 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192 in 16 colors / 64 x 48 in 16 colors
SOUND  AY-3-8910 sound chip offering 3 channels and 8 octaves
I/O PORTS  video output, cartridge slot, expansion port, tape, joysticks (2)
OS  CP/M optional with disk-drives
POWER SUPPLY  External power supply. 9V AC & 16V AC out
PERIPHERALS  SVI-903 Data Cassette Recorder, SV-601 Super Expander, SV-602 Single Slot Expander, SV-902 Floppy Disk drive (external), SV-901 Dot Matrix Printer, SV-805 RS-232 Interface, SV-105 Graphic Touch Tablet, SV-803 16K RAM Pack, SV-807 64K RAM Pack, SV-802 Centronics Interface, SV-701 Smart Modem, SV-801 Dual Disk Drive Controller, SV-806 80-Column Display adapter, SV-603 Coleco Game Adapter, SV-101 Quickshot Joystick
PRICE  $299 (USA, 1983)

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