Processor: 6502 (note: This is Atari's custom 6502 which can be halted to allow other devices to control the bus)

Speed: 1.78Mhz

RAM: 16K

ROM: built in 2K BIOS ROM, 32K Cartridge ROM space without bankswitching

Sound: POKEY custom sound chip.

Graphics: ANTIC and GTIA custom graphics chips

    Graphics Memory: Uses main memory
    Colors: 256
    Sprites: 4, 8 bit wide; 4, 2 bit wide, All sprites full screen height
    Background graphics: 6 text modes, 12 graphics modes
    Max Resolution: 320x200 pixels
    Other: Hardware veritcal and horizontal scrolling

Ports: 2 (4 on some models) joystick ports for analog stick and keypad, Cartridge port, Expansion port

* Atari Age

This is my favorite site or Atari console news, and information. It covers the 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx and Jaguar. Also check out the excellent message board, you may see a post from me on there.

* Atari Gaming Headquarters

* Atari Historical Society

* Caféman's Atari 5200 Supersystem

Note: There is not much technical information specifically for the 5200, but since the 5200 is based on the same hardware as the Atari 8-bit computer, a lot of the information on these systems is applicable to the 5200.

* For information on the 6502 microprocessor go to by 6502 Processor page.

* Atari 5200 FAQ: This FAQ contains a wealth of information about the 5200 including some technical information that I wrote.

* Analog Magazine 5200 article: This is an article from Analog magazine that describes the differences between the Atari computers and the 5200.

* Analog Magazine 5200 article (annotated): This is a PDF version of the Analog Magazine article that has been re-formatted a bit and with some annotations written by me.

* Atari System Reference Manual: This is the system reference manual for the Atari computers. There is a lot of hardware related information in it that is pertinent to the 5200.

* De-Re Atari: Back in the day, De-Re Atari was the one book no respectable Atari 8-bit programmer would be without. It contains tons of excellent information on programming the Atari 8-bit hardware.

* Atari Graphics & Arcade Game Design: Another good book about Atari 8-bit programming.

* Trevin Beattie's Atari Technical Information page: This site has a lot of technical information about each of the major chips in the Atari 5200/Atari 8-bit computers.

*5200 Hello World: This is the source code for a basic Atari 5200 "Hello World" program. It is a good starting point for Atari 5200 programming.

*5200 PM Graphics: This is a simple demonstration of how to do Player/Missile graphics. Now also demonstrates sprite re-use.

*5200 BIOS ROM: This is an almost complete disassembly of the 5200 BIOS

DASM.ZIP: This is a new 6502 cross assembler for MSDOS. It supports pretty much any feature you could want in an assembler including macros, and the ability to produce raw-binary files. Thanks to Bob Colbert for porting this assembler from the Amiga.

VSS V0.82 (Virtual Super System)

VSS is an Atari 5200 Super System emulator for MSDOS. The current version runs about 95% of the ROM images I have almost flawlessly, and at a reasonable speed. To use the emulator you will need a copy of the 5200's 2K BIOS ROM, and 5200 ROM cart images. Due to copyright reasons, I cannot provide these. PLEASE DO NOT E-mail me looking for ROM images. All message looking for ROM images will be promptly deleted. I will do my best to answer all other e-mails.

5200 ROM images can be found at

All 5200 ROMS are playable with the following exceptions:

Not playable: Mr Do's Castle, Decathalon, Pole Position, Real Sports Soccer

Click here to download version 0.82 of Virtual Super System.

Click here to download the debug version of VSS .82

NOTE: VSS only works with 5200 binary images. VSS DOES NOT work with .ATR ,.DCM, or .XFD files which are Atari 8-bit computer disk images.

Other 5200 Emulators

Atari800 - Open source Atari 8-Bit/5200 emulator that has been ported to many platforms
MESS - Open source mult-system emulator, including Atari 8-bit/5200 support.
Jum52 - Very good 5200 emulator with version for DOS, Windows, Mac and BeOS.

The following are schematics that I have traced out by hand. I cannot guarantee that these schematics are accurate, or that they are the same for all versions of a piece of equipment.

(Special thanks to Kenneth Simmons for improving upon my original schematics)

Atari 5200 Cartridge

Atari 5200 Controller

Full schematics for the system can be found on