Atari MEGA STE
The Atari Mega STE was Atari Corporation's last ST series personal computer, released in 1991. The MEGA STE was essentially a late-model 680x0-based STE mounted in the case of the otherwise unrelated Atari TT computer, although a number of TT features were also blended in. The resulting machine was a more business-like version of the ST line.
Atari Mega STE
|Introductory price||US$1,799 (equivalent to $3,377 in 2019)|
|Operating system||Atari TOS|
|CPU||Motorola 68000 @ 8 MHz or 16 MHz|
|Memory||1, 2 or 4 MB|
|Graphics||320×200 (16 out of 4096 colors), 640×200 (4 out of 4096 colors), 640×400 (mono)|
The MEGA STE is based on STE hardware. The 2 MB and 4 MB models shipped with a high resolution mono monitor, and an internal SCSI hard disk (the 1 MB model included neither a monitor, hard disk, nor hard disk controller). While offering better ST compatibility than the TT, it also included a number of TT features, from the ST-grey version of the TT case with separate keyboard and system unit, optional FPU, a VMEbus slot, two extra RS232 ports (all 9-pin rather than 25-pin as previous models had), a LocalTalk/RS-422 port (no AppleTalk software was ever produced) and a 1.44 MB HD floppy support. Support for a third/middle mouse button was included, too.
A unique feature of the MEGA STE in relation to previous Atari systems is the software-switchable CPU speed, which allows the CPU to operate at 16 MHz for faster processing or 8 MHz for better compatibility with old software. An upgrade to the operating system was also produced after the first units were shipped that upgraded the onboard ROMs to TOS 2.05 and later to 2.6/2.06.
The VME bus provided expansion capability using cards that enhanced the computer's capabilities such as enhanced graphics processing capability and Ethernet network connectivity.
- CPU: Motorola 68000 @ 8 or 16 MHz with 16kB cache
- FPU: Motorola 68881 or Motorola 68882
- BLiTTER - graphics co-processor chip
- RAM: 1, 2 or 4 MB ST RAM expandable to 4 MB using 30-pin SIMMs
- Sound: Yamaha YM2149 + enhanced sound chip same as in Atari STe
- Drive: 720 KB (first MEGA STE version) or 1.44 MB (later version) 3½" floppy disk drive
- Ports: MIDI In/Out, 3 x RS-232, "Serial LAN" LocalTalk/RS-422, printer, monitor (RGB and Mono), RF modulator, extra disk drive port, ACSI, SCSI (ACSI/SCSI daughterboard), port, VMEbus inside case, detachable keyboard, joystick and mouse ports on keyboard
- Operating System: TOS (The Operating System) with the Graphics Environment Manager (GEM) graphical user interface (GUI) TOS versions: 2.05 in ROM or 2.06 in ROM
- Display modes: 320×200 (16 out of 4096 colors), 640×200 (4 out of 4096 colors), 640×400 (mono)
- Character set: Atari ST character set (based on code page 437)
- Case: Two-piece slimdesktop-style.
- The Music & Computer Educator - Volume 2, Issues 1-6, 1991, Page 27, By Lorenz Rychner, ...True to their slogans, "power without the price" and "the computer for the rest of us," Atari has made it ... The MEGA STE (retail prices starting at $1,799.00)...
- Z*Net Newswire: Atari at Comdex 1990, Mega STE a Reality, By John Nagy, START VOL. 5 NO. 6 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 1991, ...The Mega STE is real (this report was written on one). The configuration is as predicted months ago: A casing identical to the TT, although in grey rather than off-white, with 4MB RAM, an internal 40MB hard disk, LAN and VME ports, a 16MHz clock speed and the new TT-style Desktop. The Mega STE is not in production yet, but may see distribution in early 1991 with retail base price of around $1,200. At least five Mega STEs were set up in the Atari booth along with several TTs...
- Subject:Seagate ST-157N Hard Drive, by WOJCIE, 06 Aug 1993, Atari Board, ...So far I found out that the hard drive that I have inside of my Mega STe 4 is a Seagate ST-157N...
- Atari VME Expansion for TT030 and Mega STE Products, Jul 19, 1991, ...TT030 and Mega STE Products. The TT030 and Mega STE each support one single height (3U) VME slot...
- (in English) Web page of Guillaume Tello What to do with a Mega STE?
- (in English and French) Programs for the ST/TT family and technical articles (in french)
- (in English) Atari MegaSTe Memory Cache
- (in English) The MEGA STe review, 1992