All About The Atari ST

Released in 1985, the Atari ST is a family of computers designed to compete in the 16-Bit era, more specifically, with the Commodore Amiga.

System Overview

Pipping the Amiga 1000 launch by a month, the Atari ST was very much a personal statement by Jack Tramiel towards Commodore. Tramiel was forced out of the company he started (Commodore) in 1984. Employing a number of ex-Commodore engineers, the Atari ST was born.

Similar to the Amiga in that the Atari ST utilises a Motorola 68000 processor and has 512k of RAM as standard. The ST lacked the custom chipsets that the Amiga had, but one key feature was its key to a wider customer base.

The inclusion of MIDI in and out ports saw the Atari ST develop quickly into a system for musicians and studios. Along with software such as Cubase, the Atari ST became the standard for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

There are several variants of the Atari ST, including the STE, STM, STFM and the Falcon. All utilise the same core specification, but with enhanced CPUs, RAM capacity, onboard improvements, and expansion potential.

The Atari ST ultimately was a successful system, competing well with the Amiga. It is debatable which machine won the war (depending on who you talk to), but it is generally perceived that the Amiga is looked back at with higher regard and nostalgia.

Atari ST
The Atari ST

How To Emulate This System?

Atari ST emulation is reasonably well catered for, we recommend taking a look at RetroArch if you are seeking an all-in-one solution. RetroArch emulates a large number of systems including the Atari ST. RetroArch is a front end that utilises emulator ‘cores’, it is reasonably easy to use and has lots of good supporting documentation on how to use it. RetroArch is available across a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and many consoles. Take a look at our quick start guide for RetroArch which can get you up and running in 5 minutes.

Check out RetroArch here

Also, check out the other Atari ST emulators we enjoy using:

HatariHatari is an Atari ST/STE/TT/Falcon emulator for multiple platformsWindows / Mac / Linux