Jump to content
cbmeeks

Can my Atari ST be converted to an STE?

Recommended Posts

I have three different 1040ST boards.  Only one has a modulator.

 

Two of those boards have an empty socket for U66 (Blitter).

 

If I were to buy a blitter and put it in, do I now have an STE?

 

I'd like to max out one of those boards and make it my "every day" ST.  I can post pics and revision numbers if needed.


Thanks for any guidance!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can’t really “make” an STE. It had a different motherboard with added hardware and added capabilities and these could not be added to an existing machine. The STE had blitter, an enhanced color palette and stereo sound. The only way to get an STE is to buy an STE. You can still do other things to max out your existing STFM and possibly even add blitter but that still won’t make it an STE. It’ll be a maxed out STFM, not a maxed out STE.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You a Commodore guy? It would be like saying can I convert my Amiga 500

to a 1200.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, but if you add a blitter to one of the STFM boards with the empty socket you'll have a snappier performing machine.  You can get both the chip and the socket at the Exxos web store.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info.  Yeah, I’m certainly a Commodore, TI and Apple guy.  Trying to learn more about Atari. ;-)

 

So is there any real benefit to adding the blitter?  I like the idea of a maxed out STFM but if it’s like a Porsche that sits in the driveway then what’s the point. ;-)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really helps for games that were written to take advantage of a blitter, and it will make TOS windows and menus open and move faster/smoother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the others have said, there is more to the STE than just a Blitter (enhanced sound chips and graphics were added) and the graphics are the most difficult to upgrade on the non-MEGA ST's.

 

The following upgrades would really improve your machine and make it a "SuperST"...

- add a BLiTTER chip to that empty socket

- expand the RAM to 4Mb (I did this in the late 1990s)

- double the speed to 16MHz (something I plan to do)

- adding a WiFi232 or similar device for Internet/BBS connectivity (I only recently discovered this device)

- realtime clock (I added one in the late 1990s)

- GOTEK USB drive (in addition to your floppy rather than replacing it)

 

One place that has a lot of hardware upgrades is www.exxoshost.co.uk.  Anyone have other upgrade suggestions?

 

Cheers,

Steve

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You won't get double speed with 16Mhz. It's like 25%. Bitter doesn't do that much different. 

 

I would say a HDD. UltraSatan or a IDE interface internally . 

 

ParCp-USB or NetUSBee for transfer. 

 

Can you solder? 

Edited by snarkdluG
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Complete list of what is added, changed in STE compared to ST is:

Blitter as serial part. It was present in later STs too, since Mega ST in 1987, but in some they spared chip 😞

4096 colors palette instead 512 .

Video start address can be at any even value, not on 256 byte boundaries as by ST .

HW supported scroll - as part of video circuit .

Enhanced joystick port, with 2 new connectors .

DMA audio + audio mixer circuit. That self takes pretty much space on STE mainboard, btw .

TOS ROM location is changed, because it's longer - fits not in 192 KB anymore.

 

How much will gain with 16 MHz CPU depends from is it only CPU (then really not much gain), or is there faster RAM, cache too ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, snarkdluG said:

Can you solder? 

Yep.  Just recapped morning Amiga 1200 and Amiga 600 recently and they almost look factory.  🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2020 at 12:26 AM, cbmeeks said:

Thanks for the info.  Yeah, I’m certainly a Commodore, TI and Apple guy.  Trying to learn more about Atari. ;-)

 

So is there any real benefit to adding the blitter?  I like the idea of a maxed out STFM but if it’s like a Porsche that sits in the driveway then what’s the point. ;-)

 

 

TOS 1.04 and 4MB RAM will give you a set-up that can reliably support a hard drive (you can do it on less but I found it to be a limited experience with 1.02 and 2.5MB RAM and many of PPs games were unstable).

 

I can't see much benefit to adding a blitter or upgrading the CPU.  When you introduce non-standard things into a system, you run the risk of creating more problems than you solve.

 

I recognise your username from Denial.  Are you a fellow VIC-20 user?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, English Invader said:

 

...

I can't see much benefit to adding a blitter or upgrading the CPU.  When you introduce non-standard things into a system, you run the risk of creating more problems than you solve.

...

Blitter is standard component since Mega ST (1987), and TOS 1.02 already supports it .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, English Invader said:

I recognise your username from Denial.  Are you a fellow VIC-20 user?

 

Yep, that's me.  🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...