A Recommended Atari ST

Troubles with your machine? Just want to speak about the latest improvements? This is the place!

Moderators: Mug UK, Zorro 2, Greenious, spiny, Moderator Team

Ozzy
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:02 am

A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Ozzy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:16 am

Hello!
I was searching through the different models of STs and i started wondering which ST is the best ST?
Also, are there certain models that are better for certain things?
Thanks in advance :)

User avatar
viking272
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:50 pm
Location: west of London, UK

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby viking272 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:08 am

It does depend on what you want to do.

I had a 520 STFM upgraded with more memory but a worthy update for me was the 520 STE with 4 MB of RAM.

If you can find one a Falcon is very nice! :smile:

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

User avatar
AnakiMana
Atari freak
Atari freak
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 am
Location: Richland, WA, USA

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby AnakiMana » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:26 am

Here's a general guide for ya.

The first series: ST (F/M/FM)
520 and 1040 ST's are the same,
but the 520 models came stock with 512kb (1/2mb) RAM,
and the 1040 models came stock with 1024kb (1mb) RAM.

STM = ST with composite video output (for TV hookup) "M" = modulator, RF
STF = ST with built-in floppy drive
STFM = ST with both the above

TOS (The Operating System) versions included originally were:
DiskTOS - (rare, 1.0) Didn't come with OS built-in. Use a boot disk to load OS.
1.0
1.02 - Need at least this version for hard drive or sdcard adapters to work.
1.04 - The best for this series. Known as Rainbow TOS. (see the wiki for more version details)

The 2nd series: STE
Again, 520 STE & 1040 STE are the same,
except for amount of RAM included.
RAM easily upgradable because they now use sockets.
Many were sold maxed out with 4096kb (4MB) RAM. Label on underside will say 4160STE if it came from factory with 4MB.

TOS
1.06/1.6 - The same version, actually. Just referenced two different ways. Basically it's same as ST 1.04, but upgraded to support new STE hardware.
1.62 - Some bug fixes on 1.06/1.6.
2.06 - The best for this series. (again, see the wiki for more version details

ST & STE models were produced in much higher numbers than later models, like the TT030 (or TT) and Falcon030 (or Falcon).
Games were also less compatible on those later models. Most games were meant for the ST lines.
The STE is said to be the ultimate Atari gaming system.

It's getting harder and harder to find any Atari computers for sale.
Even if you get a simple 520ST w/TOS 1.0, the RAM and OS can be upgraded.
In the end, you want at least 1MB of RAM to support all the games. But if you want to use a hard drive, some larger games won't have enough RAM to run after HDD drivers are loaded.

Go for an STE and 4MB. :)
Last edited by AnakiMana on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DarkLord
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 4329
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:06 pm
Location: Prestonsburg, KY - USA
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby DarkLord » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:54 am

I personally don't think that there is one "best" ST model.

Some are better suited for certain activities than others.

I like the 1040 STe as a general "do all" ST with the most features, and
probably the model that would serve the typical ST owner the best.

The Mega ST was the first ST to come with a separate keyboard, blitter
chip, etc,. I think of the Mega's as workhorses. I use mine to run my BBS
24/7, 365 days a year.

The Mega STe is the top of the line, as far as the ST/STe's are concerned,
having most of the desirable upgrades to the ST/STe line built in from the
start (separate keyboard, 16mhz 68000, SIMM RAM, TOS v2.xx, expansion
slots, etc).

A STacy (rare) or ST Book (even more rare) gives you a portable ST that you
can easily take on the road. (although their native screens are mono only).

The TT030 is a very powerful machine. Hard to find these days, they have
lots of expansion options, including graphic cards (again, hard to find). It's
actually faster than a stock Falcon. Also unfortunately, they are a little bit
incompatible with ST games.

The Falcon is the last and most powerful model officially released by Atari.
It can do some amazing things because of extra features like its DSP. It
also has quite a few aftermarket add-ons like the CT60 accelerator, CTPCI,
and soon to be released SuperVidel upgrade.

There were several powerful clones released (Medusa, Hades, Milan) but
the most recent and most powerful, as well as currently supported is the
Firebee.

HTHs. :)
Welcome To DarkForce! http://www.darkforce.org "The Fuji Lives.!"
Atari SW/HW based BBS - Telnet:darkforce-bbs.dyndns.org 520

User avatar
AnakiMana
Atari freak
Atari freak
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 am
Location: Richland, WA, USA

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby AnakiMana » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:17 am

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the Mega ST and Mega STE lines. :o

I don't think you have to worry about running across a STacy or ST Book, because of their rarity, like DarkLord stated.
It would be awesome to run across one cheap if someone didn't know what they had. But the ST Book is extremely fragile and prone to break in many different ways.
The screens on those systems would be difficult for me to enjoy, I think. But that's just me.

I would read through the wiki here, plus the forums, and take the time to learn everything you can before making a decision.

I grew up using a 1040STF 1mb w/TOS 1.0 and it was nothing short of amazing to me. Gaming heaven. I didn't even know there were other TOS versions back then.

The only problem now days is you'll probably get an Atari without the 720k floppy disks. An Atari without any software is useless.
So you really need to utilize one of the many methods of transferring the readily available software on the internet onto your new Atari.

The UltraSatan by Lotharek, SD Floppy Emulator by Lotharek, and GigaFile SD Card Drive by Inventronik are probably the best options right now.

Am I leaving anything out?

Ozzy
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:02 am

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Ozzy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:52 am

Holy crap, thanks guys! :) The main reason I was wondering is that I know so far that some machines are more compatible then others. I was thinking about getting the STE, but would the Mega STE be worth the extra money over the STE? Also, is there more space in the Mega STE for additions? I know if I do get one, I'm going to be running MiNT, so I think the upgrade would be worthwhile.

User avatar
AnakiMana
Atari freak
Atari freak
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 am
Location: Richland, WA, USA

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby AnakiMana » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:56 am

I don't know how much more it will cost you, but the Mega STE would be better than a standard STE. I'd love to have one someday. If you can, get that one! There's not much room inside the STE case. Megas have an expansion card slot and drive bay, so definitely better.

User avatar
alexh
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2726
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:52 pm
Location: UK - Oxford
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby alexh » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:34 pm

Ozzy wrote:would the Mega STE be worth the extra money over the STE?

Short answer is no. Save your money and get an UltraSatan for your STe instead.

Ozzy wrote:Also, is there more space in the Mega STE for additions?

Other than an internal HDD there is really nothing to get. Potentially a VME ethernet card but you're more likely to get a cartridge port one.

Ozzy wrote:I know if I do get one, I'm going to be running MiNT

Going to be very painful on a MegaSTe. You'd be better with MagiC/Mag!X

If stuff like MiNT/SpareMiNT is what you're interested in then you should stick your hand in your pocket and get either a TT or an Falcon030

User avatar
DarkLord
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 4329
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:06 pm
Location: Prestonsburg, KY - USA
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby DarkLord » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:08 pm

Totally agree with AlexH here. I love my Mega STe but I'd never try to put MINT on
it.

MagiC/Jinnee or Neodesk/Geneva would be one of the combo's I'd use. They offer
tons of features and actually allow a bog standard ST to multitask (within reason).

BTW, there has been movement on the Neodesk/Geneva front, as amazing as that
is:

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=22466&hilit=dan+wilga&start=25
Welcome To DarkForce! http://www.darkforce.org "The Fuji Lives.!"
Atari SW/HW based BBS - Telnet:darkforce-bbs.dyndns.org 520

User avatar
Omikronman
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 530
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Omikronman » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:21 pm

Well, some games do not like the STE, so a ST would be the right choice maybe. TOS 1.4 also because Atari has fixed some bugs of the older TOS´s. The STm is more easy to connect to a TV.

AtariZoll
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2978
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:29 pm

alexh wrote:
Ozzy wrote:would the Mega STE be worth the extra money over the STE?

Short answer is no. Save your money and get an UltraSatan for your STe instead.
Ozzy wrote:Also, is there more space in the Mega STE for additions?

Other than an internal HDD there is really nothing to get. Potentially a VME ethernet card but you're more likely to get a cartridge port one.


I don't think so. Beside internal HD and adapter for it, Mega STE has 2x faster CPU with cache, better keyboard, better PSU, prof. case, and even much more space inside case - for potential upgrades. There is VME bus too, although not much was produced for it - best known is graph. card .
And maybe most important: quality of mainboard is much better too. Mega STE will likely work years after your ST(E) stops.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

AtariZoll
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2978
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:31 pm

Omikronman wrote:Well, some games do not like the STE, so a ST would be the right choice maybe. TOS 1.4 also because Atari has fixed some bugs of the older TOS´s. The STm is more easy to connect to a TV.


All games can be fixed more-less easily for STE . So, I say that for gamers STE is best chouce. Or even better the Mega STE :D
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

Ozzy
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:02 am

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Ozzy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:32 pm

Ok, thanks for telling me about mint. I'm thinking I'll buy a STFM and hold off on a falcon. many thanks for all of the info! :)

User avatar
alexh
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2726
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:52 pm
Location: UK - Oxford
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby alexh » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:46 pm

AtariZoll wrote:
alexh wrote:Other than an internal HDD there is really nothing to get [for a MegaSTe]. Potentially a VME ethernet card but you're more likely to get a cartridge port one.

Mega STE has 2x faster CPU with cache

For most users this is irrelevant. Demo's and Games need to run at 8MHz in most cases.

AtariZoll wrote:There is VME bus too, although not much was produced for it - best known is graph. card .

VME graphics cards are so incredibly rare, expensive. (And usually developed for the TT)

AtariZoll wrote:And maybe most important: quality of mainboard is much better too. Mega STE will likely work years after your ST(E) stops.

Yes?? I don't know much about this. Both my STe and MegaSTe still work fine.

But I do know the MegaSTe has a battery which the STe doesn't. Battery leaks are well known to kill classic computers. (I admit the battery is pretty good on MegaSTe compared to Amiga ones)

AtariZoll
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2978
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:19 pm

Don't feel need to reply on all, weak arguments .
But that with "battery leaks" made me smile - never seen NiCd to leak. According to Alexh, RTC is something dangerous. Should we warn people that buy no UltraSatan because it has battery ? :mrgreen:
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

User avatar
DarkLord
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 4329
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:06 pm
Location: Prestonsburg, KY - USA
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby DarkLord » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:17 pm

Well, not taking sides here or anything, but I'm sure AlexH was referring to "old"
onboard battery setups. I've not known of it to be a real issue on the Atari line
of computers, but like AlexH said, it has been a real problem on the Amiga.

And as far as the ST vs STe point about games, you also lose all the STe enhanced
games and demo's if you stick with a STFm. Many of the ST games have been
redone to run on STe. Also, as far as I know, all the STe's have a built in modulator
for TV use. You can also "softload" an older version of TOS to run any non-compliant
games on the STe.

Just some random points of thought there, not arguing with anyone. :)
Welcome To DarkForce! http://www.darkforce.org "The Fuji Lives.!"
Atari SW/HW based BBS - Telnet:darkforce-bbs.dyndns.org 520

Ozzy
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:02 am

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Ozzy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:30 pm

Thanks DarkLord, I had no idea :roll: I was looking at the Mega STE prices, is there a specific price range I should be looking at? I know Best Electronics is overpriced, and the best price I could find is $250 at ST Freakz (And thats not including the UK adapters) I think I'll be going with a Mega STE, best game compatibility(I think) and I might be getting into chiptunes. Maybe I could host a BBS :wink:

User avatar
DarkLord
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 4329
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:06 pm
Location: Prestonsburg, KY - USA
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby DarkLord » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:47 pm

Ozzy wrote:Thanks DarkLord, I had no idea :roll: I was looking at the Mega STE prices, is there a specific price range I should be looking at? I know Best Electronics is overpriced, and the best price I could find is $250 at ST Freakz (And thats not including the UK adapters) I think I'll be going with a Mega STE, best game compatibility(I think) and I might be getting into chiptunes. Maybe I could host a BBS :wink:


The Mega STe is top of the line, as far as the ST range goes, and it does have many of the upgrades
and desired features that most users would want.

Keep in mind, IF you were mostly just a games player, then I would still recommend the plain STe,
because it's cheaper and just a bit more compatible than the Mega STe.

If you can get a Mega STe for a decent price though, then go for it. I paid $150.00 (US dollars) for
mine when I got it, and I think I got a pretty good deal on it. Sometimes, one that is in really good
shape can command pretty stiff prices on Ebay.

I'd be afraid of buying a Mega STe from any of the dealers - I think they would be expensive. :(

HTHs.
Welcome To DarkForce! http://www.darkforce.org "The Fuji Lives.!"
Atari SW/HW based BBS - Telnet:darkforce-bbs.dyndns.org 520

Ozzy
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:02 am

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Ozzy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:56 pm

Yea, I'm not looking for some brand new machine. I think I'll shop around a bit, maybe I'll find a good deal. I wish I would have got into Atari sooner, eBay prices just keep raising. Now, I think I need to go searching for some software :D

Dal
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 4178
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:31 am
Location: Cheltenham, UK
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Dal » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:51 pm

Where are you based Ozzy?
Mega"SST" 12, MegaSTE, STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's

Ozzy
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:02 am

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Ozzy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:12 pm

The US. A FYI I can't buy the machine, I need to wait quite a while.(Just incase you thought of giving one up :wink: )

User avatar
alexh
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2726
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:52 pm
Location: UK - Oxford
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby alexh » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:42 pm

AtariZoll wrote:But that with "battery leaks" made me smile - never seen NiCd to leak. According to Alexh, RTC is something dangerous. Should we warn people that buy no UltraSatan because it has battery ? :mrgreen:

Just google "NiCd and leak"

Image

The battery on the MegaSTe is like I said, better than those barrel batteries. It was a much more expensive "leak-proof" design. Which is why it is huge black beast, some 3-4x the size of a normal RTC battery.

One alternative might be to consider an FPGA like the MiST project. There was talk of it having an ultra-low price tag. Not below a second hand EU ST(e) but well below the $200 other FPGA projects have.

http://harbaum.org/till/mist/index.shtml
https://code.google.com/p/mist-board/
Last edited by alexh on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
viking272
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:50 pm
Location: west of London, UK

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby viking272 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:46 pm

Ozzy wrote:The US. A FYI I can't buy the machine, I need to wait quite a while.(Just incase you thought of giving one up :wink: )


Well let us know which one you end up going for... and good luck in the search.

Ozzy
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:02 am

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby Ozzy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:01 pm

I'll definitely be showing it off once I get it, for now I'll probably run Hatari or STeem. Any recommended games?

User avatar
wongck
Ultimate Atarian
Ultimate Atarian
Posts: 12680
Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 2:09 pm
Location: Far East
Contact:

Re: A Recommended Atari ST

Postby wongck » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:20 pm

I owned a MSTE once.

For games, regular STE would do nicely with better hardware support.
For applicatiions, MSTE with added CPU speed and HDD support does better.

Depends on your needs.

Games & demo, stick to STE.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63 CTPCI ATI RTL8139 USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
Shared SCSI Bus:ScsiLink ethernet, 9GB HDD,SD-reader @ http://phsw.atari.org
My Atari stuff for sale - click here for list


Social Media

     

Return to “Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests