Is the C64 palette far superior to the Amstrad CPC?

To this day people still argue over which is the better system way back in their gaming youth, it doesn't matter if it's the Amstrad, C64 and the ZX Spectrum, or the Amiga versus the Atari. It's a topic of conversation that has lasted many years and it's why so many Facebook groups are very computer specific, try posting an Amstrad in the ZX Spectrum group and see what happens. So what does a user by the name of SuTeKH/Epyteor do on the CPCWiki forums? He tries to prove that the Commodore 64 palette is far superior to the Amstrad CPC by converting many C64 pixel art images over to the Amstrad and comparing them! So in a word posting a C64 topic in an Amstrad group!

C64 Left : Amstrad Right

And that is just some of these images he has converted, so I'll let you be the judge of which is the better palette. But for the rest of the images they can be viewed on the CPCWiki forums HERE and the main C64 images can be viewed HERE


  1. I think a lot of it is dependent on what the art was made for in mind and these all are all from the C64, so the C64 art ends up looking better as the CPC palette is small and doesn't have all the colors the C64 has. I think there are a few exceptions where I think the CPC version looks better, I think the Groo one looks better on CPC since the Groo comics are comedic and vibrant in its colors and the Ferrari looks better since they're known for their striking red color. That's not to say their C64 original versions looks bad, they're well done! The way I see it. I think the CPC is generally more versatile in its palette, but the C64 for sure has its advantages.

  2. C64 palette has 3 greys, while amstrad only one. I think the C64 palette is brilliant because with only 16 colors you can draw photorealistic images, unlike the Amstrad where the colors are too vivid and more suitable for comics than real life.
    It's also good to keep in mind that the first C64 version was somewhat different as it was only divided into 5 lumas, but a huge number of games count on this original palette. Later versions already have 9 lumas, but there are still minor differences between the older and newer versions of the VIC-II (the older ones are a bit more colorful).

  3. A brown Ferrari with no true red is just plain wrong. That screen is a testament to Amstrad's vibrant and proper color set for an 8bit computer. Commodore's pastel pallette is cute for some "true life" portraits but far from being the best for games. Amstrad's pallette is arcade correct.

  4. But, the Amstrad's lack of smooth animation is far from arcade correct and virtually kills all playability.
    Many games have a reduced playing area and even then, they don't come close to the arcade smooth animation on the C64.
    The CPC palette is not balanced and too garish, which makes much more visible blocky pixels than C64 in low res mode.
    The CPC in mode 1, uses the only 3 colors + 1 for background, makes it effectively very limited for games.
    The C64, on the other hand, has hardware-controlled sprites, with an separate color palette from the background, also it's possible to combine hires and low res sprites and get really impressive visual effects and very colourful games.
    The sound capabilities of the C64 are superior, with the famous SID chip, making it overall a clear winner among 8-bit computers gaming-wise.
    The C64 game library is also the greatest among all 8-bit models, which is quite expected, for a computer with the largest user base and sales numbers, making it certainly the most successful computer of all time.
    According to the Guinness Book of Records, C64 is still "the most popular single model of desktop computer, even with the most conservative numbers."


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