There are 12 emulators currently listed for Microsoft Windows users. Many more are available, and several will be added during later revisions of this FAQ. Please see the World of Spectrum for a list of available alternatives if the products listed do not meet your requirements.
- Spectaculator v6.1
Emulates: 16K / 48K / 128K / +2 / +2A / +3 ZX Spectrums, Pentagon 128 and Scorpion ZS256 clones. ZX Interface I (including RS-232) and ZX Microdrives.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .sna and .z80 snapshots, .tzx and .tap tape images, or .voc, .csw and .wav audio cassettes through a built-in 'tape-recorder' simulator. Includes Microdrive support, using .mdr files, and +3 Disk support via .dsk files (both standard and extended .dsk). Saves .sna, .szx and .z80, .dsk, .tap and .tzx files.
Requirements: Windows 9x, Me, NT4.0, 2000 or XP.
Created by: Jonathan Needle.
Last updated: March 19th, 2004.
Comments: Version 6.0 includes ZX Spectrum +3 emulation, with up to 2 disk drives. Both 3" and 3.5" disks are supported, and Spectaculator will switch automatically to the correct emulation mode for the disk size inserted. A 'Fast Disk' loader is included, as is an 'Auto-Boot' option ('On' by default, but can be over-ridden). A small disk utility window has been included that allows disks to be quickly inserted/ejected, fomatted (3.5" disks can be formatted to a full 720k) and write-protected. Increased disk capacity for 3" disks can be achieved by formatting them using Amstrad CPC 'Data' format (this option is also provided). The zx-state format, introduced in version 4.0 includes support for disk images.
The ZX Interface I and Microdrive emulation introduced with previous versions has been enhanced, with the Interface I RS-232 connector now being emulated. Both Input and Output can be (independently) directed to either the Serial port or to a file. Up to 8 ZX Microdrives can be 'connected' at once, and the original Business and Games cartridges are included in the distribution. Zipped Microdrive files can now be loaded directly. An added bonus is that drive noise is emulated. A Black & White TV mode is available, as is proportional scaling of the display window.
Various enhancements to the virtual tape recorder have been made with v5.0; these include improvements to the tape loading noise emulation, a 'boost volume' option that can be used to load files directly into a real ZX Spectrum, plus other additions. The Currah �Speech (16K / 48K Spectrums only), SpecDrum, Multiface 1 / 128 (includes licensed ROM, write-able in v5.0) and Kempston / AMX Mice are also emulated. The .pok 'cheat' format is supported. A comprehensive compiled HTML help file is included, as are several popular games. Instructions for games can be viewed from the 'Help' menu if they are saved as [snapshotname].rtf or [snapshotname].txt and placed in the correct folder. Supports .zip archives directly, and will load the contents automatically if they are in a supported format.
Includes support for the zx-state format (.szx), which allows every aspect of the machine to be saved along with the snapshot; this includes the name of the cassette in the cassette recorder, the optional hardware attached to the emulated machine, which ROM is in use, etc. (this format is described in the emulator help file), and the .rzx input recording format. Supplied as a standard Windows Installer package with a full uninstall options, Spectaculator is considered to be one of the most accurate and complete emulators available. Please view the Spectaculator web page for additional information.
Please refer to the Z80 Format page for details of the extensions to the .z80 format supported by Spectaculator.
- SPIN v0.41
Emulates: 48K / 128K / +2 / +2A / +3 and +3e ZX Spectrums. Can be switched to emulate Pentagon timings.
Tape/Disk Formats: Automatically senses .sna and .z80 snapshots, and will switch to the appropriate hardware mode dynamically (this feature can be disabled if required) when loading. Saves to your choice of .sna or .z80 formats. Supports automatic loading of tape images stored as .tzx, .tap, .csw or .wav files. Tape images can be replayed at normal speed, or 'fast-loaded' Using this option, tapes are loaded more quickly than with any other emulator. Original tape files can also be loaded directly from the LINE IN socket of your sound card. Disk files may be loaded using either .dsk or enhanced dsk format. Currently, emulation of the +3 / +3e FDC is believed to be 98-99% accurate. It is also possible to load and save binary images. Using MIC output recording, .wav or .csw files can be saved for transfer to tape. Also supports the new .rzx file format for playback of suitably encoded snapshots. Direct support for .zip encoded archives.
Requirements: Windows 9x, Windows Me, 2000 or XP. Uses MMX extensions where available.
Created by: Paul Dunn, Mark Boyd and Damien Guard.
Last updated: December 1st, 2002
Comments: Includes the enhanced SE Basic and +3e ROMs as part of the standard distribution. Also emulates the ZX Printer, ZX Interface II, Kempston Mouse, Multiface 128/3 (without ROMs - see note on main 'Emulators' page), the Currah �Speech and several popular Joystick Interfaces. AY sound is emulated very accurately (with support for the Fuller Audio Box), with full stereo ACB/ABC user-defineable panning. Includes the option to save screen images directly as a bitmap (including border), or .scr images. An integrated debugger is included, with support for single-stepping and setting breakpoints.
SE Basic provided by Andrew Owen. +3e ROM provided by Garry Lancaster. A SPIN IRC Channel is available to discuss this emulator with the development team.
- vbSpec v1.80
Emulates: 48K ZX Spectrum, Timex TC2048
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .sna, .z80, .tap, .tzx, .rom and .scr files. Saves .tap, .sna, .z80 and .rom files. 'Save Binary' option (included since v1.70) allows any area of memory to be saved.
Created by: Miklos Muhi.
Last updated: May 1st, 2003.
Comments: Written using Microsoft Visual Basic, and released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) Supplied with standard ROM files for supported systems, and includes the enhanced SE Basic ROM provided by Andrew Owen. Also emulates the ZX Printer, Alphacom 32 and Kempston Mouse. Includes the option to save screen images directly from the emulator as a bitmap or .scr file. Enhancements included with v1.80 include improved Joystick emulation (up to 8 buttons), a full-screen mode, and support for multiple keyboard layouts (English, German).
A full distribution package (including the VB6 runtime) is available, as is a 'core' version which comprises just the emulator itself. Souce code is available.
Versions up to v1.70 were developed and maintained by Chris Cowley, while the version 1.80 updates were by Miklos Muhi. Chris still maintains and supports his ZX81 emulator (vb81) which is available from his web site (see the 'other machines' page for details).
Please refer to the Z80 Format page for details of the extensions to the .z80 format supported by vbSpec, and the .scr format entry for details of additional features provided.
Emulates: 48K, 128K, +2, +2A and +3 ZX Spectrums.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .sna, .z80, .rom, .dsk, .wav, .tap and .tzx files. Saves .sna files.
Requirements: Microsoft Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP. Requires DirectX 7.
Created by: Steve Snake.
Last updated: September 9th, 2002.
Comments: Also emulates the Currah �Speech, which is well documented, Fuller Audio Box, ZX Interface II, Cursor and Kempston Joystick Interfaces and Cheetah SpecDrum (requires SpecDrum software) Offers variable emulation speed, various video modes and options, and the ability to switch sound chip emulation between AY-3-8912 and YM2149 options. Screen images can loaded & saved as .scr or .pcx files.
- RealSpec v0.96.16
Tape/Disk Formats: Various.
Created by: RamSoft.
Last updated: September 10th, 2002
Comments: Version of the MS-DOS emulator compiled to run under Microsoft Windows. Please refer to the MS-DOS entry.
Emulates: 48K / 128K ZX Spectrums.
Tape/Disk Formats: Various.
Requirements: MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 3.1 / 9x or NT.
Created by: Gerton Lunter.
Last updated: September 9th, 2002
Comments: See MS-DOS entry for more information. Released as shareware, but apparently no longer regularly maintained.
Emulates: 48K ZX Spectrum.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .sna, .z80,.tap and .scr file. Saves .sna and .scr files.
Requirements: DirectX (unspecified version).
Created by: Stephane Schmitz.
Last updated: February 29th, 2000
Comments: Also emulates the Kempston, Sinclair and Cursor Joystick Interfaces. Development of several other features is imcomplete, with several options having been removed since previous versions.
Emulates: 48K / 128K ZX Spectrums.
Tape/Disk Formats Loads and Saves .sna, .z80 and .rom files.
Created by: Jari Korhonen.
Last updated: July 28th, 2001
Comments: DelphiSpec is based on a previous version of vbSpec (see below) by Chris Cowley. Source Code is available.
Emulates: 16K / 48K / 128K / +2 / +2A ZX Spectrums, Pentagon, Scorpion, TK-90x and TK-95 clones.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads (with optional preview) .sna, .tap, .tzx, .blk, .voc, .dsk, .trd, .scr, .pok, .sp, .z80 and compressed archives (.zip) files. Saves .z80, .sna, .sp and .scr files.
Requirements: Recent version of DirectX recommended.
Created by: Ignacio Burgue�o.
Last updated: March 8th, 2001
Comments: Features an integrated debugger, and Tape/Disk browsers. The colour palette used can be varied. The author notes that Gleck does emulate the ZX Spectrum +3, but that emulation of the disk drive is not implimented, so the behaviour in this mode is similar to the +2A. Optimized versions for AMD and Intel Pentium processors are available. Documentation is provided in English and Spanish languages.
Emulates: 16K / 48K / + / 128K / +2 / +2A and +3 ZX Spectrums.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .sp, .sna, .z80, .zx, .snx, .llt, .slt, .tap, .blk, .voc and .dsk files. Various other formats as required by other emulated machines.
Requirements: Microsoft Windows 9x. DirectX 5.0 or above.
Created by: Paul A. Hodgson.
Last updated: June 16th, 1998
Comments: Apparently no longer maintained. Also emulates the Amstrad CPC, Enterprise, Jupiter Ace, ZX-80, ZX81, Timex TS1000 and TC/TS2068 machines, and the Microdigital TK-90X an TK-95 clones Warajevo .dck files are not supported (Timex Cartridge), but .tap files are. Please note that the download links on the MultiMachine web page are broken.
Emulates: 48K / + / 128K / +2 / +2A and +3 ZX Spectrums.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .zx, .sna, .z80, .tap, .cpd, .dsk and .zip files. Saves .sna, .zxs, .z80, .dsk and .tap files.
Requirements: Microsoft Windows 9x or NT. DirectX 5.0 or above.
Created by: Vaggelis Kapartzianis.
Last updated: December 13th, 1997
Comments: Also emulates the Kempston, Cursor and Sinclair Joystick Interfaces, and features variable emulation speed. Although no longer actively developed or maintained, ZX-32 is one of the most frequently used of all emulators. Various patches and special editions of ZX-32 are available that provide additional functionality - please visit the ZX-32 web page for details of these, the latest beta version (v2.00.04.04 - updated April 4th, 2000) and various incremental updates for previous versions. Will not operate on systems with more than 256 colours/16-bit colour depth.
- EmuZWin v2.3 r1.5
Emulates: 48K / + / 128K / +2 / +2A and +3 ZX Spectrums, and Pentagon.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .ezx, .sna, .tzx, .z80, .tap, .cpd, .blk, .trd, .scl, Hobeta and .zip files. Saves .ezx, .sna, .tzx, .z80, .tap, .cpd, .blk, .trd, .scl, and Hobeta. Supports plugins to load from/save to other formats.
Requirements: Microsoft Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000 or XP. DirectX.
Created by: Vladimir Kladov.
Last updated: February 28th, 2004
Comments: Emulates the Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair and Fuller Box Joystick Interfaces, large set of features — see the website for more information and change history.
- SpectrumAnyWhere 1.1
Emulates: ZX Spectrum 48K.
Tape/Disk Formats: Loads .z80, .sna, .slt, .sp, .tap and .tzx files. Saves .sna snapshots.
Requirements: Pentium PC or better, Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000, XP or 2003.
Created by: Juan Cid.
Last updated: Unknown.
Comments: Emulates undocumented Z80 instructions and flags, emulates the Kempston, and Cursor Joystick Interfaces, runs windowed (normal- or double-size) or full screen, can load programmes directly from cassette via line-in (sound card or device required).