Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128

Released in 1985, the ZX Spectrum 128 is the first real upgrade to the ZX Spectrum family from its original systems.

System Overview

Rather oddly, instead of pure innovation and drive to deliver a stronger system, it is for other reasons the system is said to have been produced. This was to assist the ZX Spectrum to be pushed in Spanish regions, to avoid taxation implications.

Still utilising the Zilog Z80, the main difference is obvious in the name. RAM had been increased to 128k. This is a well-supported upgrade, as from this point forwards many 128k games were produced for the ZX Spectrum 128. In addition to the RAM upgrade, the ZX Spectrum 128 benefits from a new sound chip, the AY-3-8912. This allowed for much-improved sound and music.

The ZX Spectrum 128 did not begin to retail in the UK until 1986 in an effort to try to shift of stock of the previous Spectrum+ systems.

This was to be the last ZX Spectrum that Sinclair produced until they sold the product and brand to Amstrad in 1986. Its successor is the Spectrum +2, released in 1986.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128
The Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128


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How to Emulate this system?

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 emulation is reasonably well catered for, we recommend taking a look at RetroArch if you are seeking an all in one solution. RetroArch emulates a large number of systems including the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128. RetroArch is a front end that utilises emulator ‘cores’, it is reasonably easy to use and has lots of good supporting documentation on how to use it. RetroArch is available across a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and many consoles. Take a look at our quick start guide for RetroArch which can get you up and running in 5 minutes.

Check out RetroArch here

Also, check out the other Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 emulators we enjoy using:

Emulator Description Platform
Spectaculator  Spectaculator is one of the best ZX Spectrum emulators available across a number of platforms, definitely the simplest start to ZX Spectrum emulation. Windows / Android/ iOS
Fuse FUSE is one of the most widely regarded standalone emulators for the ZX Spectrum. Windows

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 emulation using a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a compact single board computer which has become very popular for emulating retro computers and consoles. You can buy the Pi very cheaply and has a whole community supporting and building accessories and applications that are compatible with.

Significantly, for Retro Gaming enthusiasts, the Raspberry Pi offers fantastic all round emulation of many systems. It offers the ability to play Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 games on HDTVs via HDMI or older CRT TVs via composite outputs. Combining the Raspberry Pi with Retropie, you have a device capable of emulating anything from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PlayStation.

Check out the different Raspberry Pi packages you can pick up on Amazon using the button below.

Check Raspberry Pi prices on Amazon

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