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Comparison of Super NES and Sega Genesis Specs

Below is a comparison between various hardware specifications for the Super NES and Genesis.

The following is not intended to determine which system ends up being the "better" of the two, as one or both may have other distinguishing traits not covered in the chart. Also, some traits (such as CPU speed) are clearly more important than others, and it may be worth noting that the Genesis, having been released earlier, was at a relative disadvantage with regard to previously existing technology.

« Super NES Specs Genesis Specs »
Specification Super NES Genesis Winner
CPU speed: 1.79-3.58 MHz
(usually 2.68 MHz)
7.67 MHz Genesis
CPU bits: 16 16 Tied
RAM: 128 KB 64 KB SNES
Internal ROM: None 1 MB (later model(s)) Genesis
Sound processor bits: 8 8 Tied
Synthesizer: No Yes Genesis
Sound RAM: 64 KB 8 KB SNES
Audio: 8 channels, stereo 6 channels, stereo SNES
Colors possible: 32,768 (counting alpha) 512 (flickering allows appearance of more) SNES
Simult. colors possible: 256 64 SNES
Onscreen planes: 1-4 layers with varying uses,
depending on the mode (0-7) in use
2 scrolling layers, 1 sprite layer, 1 window plane SNES
Maximum simult. sprites: 128 80 SNES
Maximum sprite size: 64x64 32x32 SNES
Display resolution: From 256x224 to 512x448 320x224 SNES
Headphone output No Yes, with volume control (original model only) Genesis
Backward compatibility: No Yes, with adapter Genesis
Expandable functionality: Design allowing easy implementation of game-specific enhancement chips,
Game Boy compatibility via Super Game Boy peripheral
Sega CD peripheral (higher sound quality, CD playback, full-motion video),
Sega 32X peripheral (32 bits, high color)

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