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Nano SwinSID
Chip Name: SwinSID Nano (ATMEGA88)
Clock Speed: 32MHz
Designer: Swinkels
Board: C64/C128
Socket: U18
Function: SID replacement
Released: 2005
Package: DIP-40
  • SwinSID
  • SwinSID X2
  • SwinSID SE
Info: Material costs <10€.

SwinSID is an early (2005) C64 SID replacement. Due to limitations of the microcontroller used, it is not a fully compatible replacement; see below for details. For alternatives, see SID replacement.

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • SwinSID the original device.
  • SwinSID X2 a device powered by a dual core ARM (hence the name) which can emulate two SID chips at once providing stereo output.
  • SwinSID Micro a SwinSID in a smaller footprint.
  • SwinSID Nano the smallest SwinSID. It has essentially the same proportions as the original SID.
  • "SwinSID Ultimate" by CodeKiller is quite a different project with different hardware and firmware. It was sold from 2016 to 2018 and is no longer available.

Compatibility Issues[edit | edit source]

Some games (e.g., Fort Apocalypse and Paradroid) read from $D41B to generate random numbers. With SwinSID, these games will behave strangely, since SwinSID does not support reading registers.

SwinSID uses a simplified model of the SID to generate audio. Compared to the original SID, depending on the song, SwinSID audio fidelity ranges from "good" to "obviously broken".[1]

Paddles and mice use an analog to digital conversion circuit built into the original SID. SwinSID does not include this functionality, thus paddles and mice do not work with it.

Reviews[edit | edit source]

TheRyk: "I keep my fingers crossed for the developers but do not really believe this hardware will ever be a proper replacement. Recent (2014/15) firmware updates did not really change the fact that SwinSID sounds sterile — in the best cases — and totally spoils .SID files in worst case (check out Daglish tunes). Rather expensive toy if you consider that you can buy original ICs for about 10-20€ at the moment." "I can't tell the difference at all. If you are so obsessed with tiny little details in the most obscure SID modes then you are completely missing the point of the joy of the SID. It's the 6581 vs 8580 all over again. Once SIDs start failing, and the prices go up, and availability shrinks, we will be thanking developers like this for the incredibly hard work, instead of bashing them as "sterile"."

1570: "SwinSID was an interesting device back when it was released. Due to its major limitations, it really is a stopgap solution though. These days, many better solutions exist of which some are even cheaper than SwinSID (e.g., SIDKick and SIDKick pico)."

Links[edit | edit source]


  1. Concerning SwinSID audio fidelity, see this video, for example. In Monty on the Run, SwinSID incorrectly plays staccato/short notes which changes the style of the tune a lot. In Last Ninja II, it omits playing some notes, has oscillating volume, and is off tempo occasionally. For a list of issues, see this Forum64 thread.