Site info



Atari 1040 STE Facts

[1040 STE]    [Mega STE]    [Hardware]

Lets begin with the name: STE is for  S ixteen T hirtytwo E nhanced . The exact or even the vague date when the STE was first planned is unknown to the author. Surely the success of Commodores Amiga played quite a role in the improvements integrated into the STE.

The first facts I have, is the introduction in the market in the year 1989. By that time the technical specification where not amazing anymore with Amigas around for several years. Also there was quite some trouble with some developers who were not satisfied with the new hardware. They started to attack the STE in interviews, even before it was sold. All in all it was a hard time to get into the market for the brother of the ST.

Sadly a planned 256 colour mode was dropped by Atari, presumeable because the 8 Mhz machine was to slow to cope normal workflow in that resolution. The main hardware differences to the normal ST were:  

  • 4096 colour palette
  • DMA 8 bit Stereo-Sound with up to 50 khz digisound replay
  • two additional Joypadports (for Jagpad)
  • graphic coprocessor chip Blitter.
  • easy to upgrade SIMM based memory (up to 4 MB)
  • Genlock support

Other standard ST datas are:

  • MC68000 at 8Mhz
  • 3 1/2" disc drive
  • Graphics 320x200 at 16 colours, 640x200 at 4 colours and 640x400 at 2 colours
  • Midi in/out
  • ROM port

The models a user could buy were the 520 STE with 512kb and the 1040 STE with 1 MB. An 4160 STE existed only for developers and had 4 MB memory.

The operating system is TOS,  the versions in the STE were 1.06 and 1.62 (RainbowTOS). Later also TOS 2.06.

How many STE were sold is at the moment not known.

Atari advertisment from 1989 (klick on image to enlarge):

advertisment for the Atari STE


This site has no commercial intention. It is dedicated to the old Atari computers and has nothing to do with the new Atari-Label owned by Infogrames!

Last update 12.07.06