Commodore 64 Returns As A PC Gaming Powerhouse With An Intel CPU And GeForce GPU

Commodore 64x
Almost four decades ago, the Commodore 64 arrived and left an indelible mark on home computing. Still today it is recognized as the best selling single-computer model of all time, with sales estimates of around 12.5 million units during its lifetime (some estimates are much higher but might be flawed). Now 39 years later, the Commodore 64 is back, and it's much burlier than the original model that shipped so long ago.

Not that the Commodore name ever truly disappeared, it's just changed hands over the years. There have been multiple attempts to cash in on the nostalgia that surrounds the C64 branding too, like the C64 Mini, a miniature replica with 64 built-in games, and a full-size reboot called TheC64 by the same company (Retro

What's on tap now is completely different. It's essentially an extension of the My Retro Computer after the company's owner, Sean Donahue, licensed the Commodore name to use on the the all-new Commodore 64x that he's offering on Kickstarter. It's also a continuation of the modern remakes that Barry Altman, founder of Commodore USA, sold in 2010 until his death in 2012.

Part of Donahue's goal is to make the Commodore brand a household name again, and that doesn't come without some drama. After the Kickstarter page went up, it quickly surpassed its $30,722 funding goal, only for it to be delisted so Kickstarter could investigate over a copyright claim. That claim turned out to be false, and the campaign is now back up.

That's the short version. For a lengthier explanation, here's what went down, according to Donahue...

We're glad it all got sorted out because this is a really cool project. There are three models being offered up: Commodore 64x Ultimate, Commodore 64x Extreme, and Commodore 64x Bareones. The Barebones model is essentially a keyboard-slash-case that users can install a Raspberry Pi or certain mini ITX motherboards inside.

The Extreme model ups the ante with an Intel Celeron J6412 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB M.2 SSD, while the Ultimate model is the most exciting and powerful of the bunch with a Core i9 processor, GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, 8GB of system RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD.

Both the CPU and GPU are embedded and so they can't be upgraded, but the RAM is expandable to 64GB. There's also an integrated docking station to add a 2.5-inch SATA SSD or HDD for more storage. Other features include an HDMI output, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, dual LAN ports, a DB9/M connector, a 3.5mm combo jack, and an SD card reader.

Commodore 64x pricing
It's obviously not the fastest PC on the planet, but certainly respectable and far more powerful than the original C64 from so many years ago. And the crowdfunding pricing, as shown above, is pretty reasonable. Buyers can also choose from an assortment of color options after the campaign ends, if you're not feeling nostalgic for beige.

Over 200 backers have pledged more than $81,000 at the time of this writing, with still 29 days to go. You can hit up the Commodore 64x Kickstarter page if you'd like to join them.