Micro Machines: Atari TT030

Micro Machines: Atari TT030

Part of the Atari ST family, the TT030 was released in 1990, a year after the STE. The system was marketed as a powerful workstation capable of competing with the toughest of rivals, such as Apple and its Macintosh. Originally the TT030 was going to be a serious Unix workstation but Atari failed to deliver a port of the OS in time. When Unix SVR4 finally was released two years later, the ship had sailed.⁠

The specs for TT030 were truly impressive in 1990 – but so was the price. At $2995 TT030 was certainly not a games machine or something, most young computer enthusiasts would be able to buy. Rather, Atari aimed the system at the DTP, CAD and professional music markets.

Atari TT030 was an enticing workstation. It built on all of the major features that made the ST family so popular and added a super fast CPU (Motorola 68030 @ 32 MHz), much higher graphic resolutions (check the table below), separate FPU, true SCSI port and the option to add fast TT RAM. The system also had its versions of the Shifter and GLU processors.⁠

Although the TT030 was not a great commercial success, the system has done well in professional environments, especially in Germany, and has captured a significant part of the DTP market as a low-cost Mac alternative. The Atari Falcon followed in 1992, just two years after the launch of the TT, displacing the latter. The move is interesting considering that the devices are aimed at different markets. The Falcon, with its integrated keyboard, was designed as an allround and consumer system.

TT030 display mode list (colours)⁠

320 x 200 (16)⁠
320 x 480 (256)⁠
640 x 200 (2)⁠
640 x 400 (2)⁠
640 x 480 (16)⁠
1280 x 960 (mono with special monitor)⁠


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