Macintosh 512k

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Macintosh 512k
CPU: 8 MHz Motorola MC68000
Maximum RAM: 512 KiB (Apple), 512 KiB (Actual)
Supported OS: System 1.0/Finder 1.0 - System 4.1
Introduced:September 10 1984
Discontinued:April 14 1986
MSRP:$3195 (US)
Full Specifications


Unleashed onto the public just 8 months after the original Macintosh, the Macintosh 512K was the same as the original machine just with four times the memory.

History

The release of the Macintosh in January 1984 had certainly made people wake up and take note; but what many Macintosh users realised was that with 128 KiB of main memory, getting the little machine to do anything was a right royal pain. This wasn't how it was meant to be, as the Macintosh design team had originally wanted to go with 256 KiB of main memory, but prices at the time nixed this idea.

With prices falling, the option to release a new Mac with more memory became a possibility but, rather than have to redesign the entire machine, clever work at the design phase of the original Macintosh had meant that expanding the available memory wouldn't be a problem. Unlike every Mac from the Mac Plus onwards, expanding the 512K — like the original Macintosh — was not something that users were advised to do. With the memory chips soldered directly to the motherboard, the only option for those users brave enough to even consider such an upgrade was to de-solder the existing RAM chips and replace them with higher capacity units.

The release of the Macintosh 512K was something of a formality, from a technical point of view, but more of a pain from a marketing perspective — just how do you sell a machine that has no advantage over its predecessor except for more memory (and an extra $800 on the price tag)? And just how do you differentiate between the two? The solution was to rebrand the original Macintosh as the 'Macintosh 128K', call the newer machine the 'Macintosh 512K' and tell potential buyers that while the Mac 128K was a "machine for everybody", the Mac 512K was a "powerful business computer".

The Macintosh 512Ke, or "enhanced", was introduced in April 1986, immediately replacing the standard 512K. It featured 128K ROMs and an 800K drive much like the Macintosh Plus. The 512Ke was a refreshed "low-end" model that was more easily upgradable to a Plus and remained more capable years after its introduction. Unlike the standard 512K, the 512Ke can run System 6 and can take advantage of more software titles as a result. The 512Ke continued as a value-priced alternative to the Plus when the Plus became the low-end machine in March 1987 following the introduction of the SE and II. 1987-produced 512Kes have the same platinum case as the Plus but are not marked on the front bezel. There is no way to tell a beige 512Ke from a standard 512K by looking at its badge. The 512Ke was discontinued in September 1987. In Europe, this model was known as the 512K/800.

The 512Ke was the final model to use the original Macintosh case with the square-backed Apple logo.

The 512Ke was marketed as the Macintosh ED to educational institutions and appears to have been far more popular in Europe than other parts of the world. It was produced longer than the 512Ke, with examples produced in 1988 known. The platinum model has "Macintosh ED" screened onto the front but looks like a 512K from its rear bucket.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 8 MHz Motorola MC68000
    • ROM: 64 KiB
    • Bus Speed: 8 MHz
    • Data Path: 16-bit
    • Standard RAM: 128 KiB
    • RAM Onboard: 128 KiB
    • RAM Slots: 0
    • Maximum RAM(Apple): 512 KiB
    • Maximum RAM(Actual): 512 KiB
  • I/O & Expansion
    • Serial: 2 (DB-9)
    • Floppy Connector: 1
    • Audio Out: 8-bit mono (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Mono
  • Storage
    • Floppy Drive: 1x 400 KiB 3.5"
  • Video
    • Built-in Display: Internal 9" B&W
    • Max Resolution: 512×342 pixels (1-bit)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Apple Model Number: M0001W
    • Codename: Fat Mac
    • Gestalt ID: 1
    • Power: 60W
    • PRAM Battery: 4.5V PX 21
    • Case Style: Macintosh
    • Dimensions: 9.6" x 10.9" x 13.6" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 16.5 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 1.0/Finder 1.0 - System 4.1
    • Introduced: September 10 1984
    • Introduced: April 14 1986
    • MSRP: $3195 (US)

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