Macintosh LC 520

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Macintosh LC 520
Performa 520
CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68030
RAM Type:72-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 36 MiB
Expansion slots: Enhanced LC-PDS
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 7.6.1
Introduced:June 28 1993
Discontinued:February 2 1994
MSRP:$2000 (US)
Full Specifications

Taking the original Macintosh concept of an all-in-one machine, Apple re-visited the idea using the low-budget LC series. The result was a machine that eliminated the need to even hook up a monitor but still included features such as a CD-ROM drive, colour and a modicum of expansion.


Once upon a time, the Macintosh had been a small, compact little box that had everything (except keyboard and mouse) in one neat little box. With its integrated 9" screen, the Mac had been a doddle to setup and the saviour of the technologically challenged, eliminating the need to connect boxes together. In recent years though Apple had moved away from the all-in-one design, prefering the more modular approach that seemed to be favoured by the business world. So, just over nine years after the original Mac had been unleashed onto the world, Apple went back to its roots in the shape of the LC 520.

To release a machine with an internal 9" black and white screen in 1993 would have been stupid (as Apple had seen, to a certain extent, with the Mac Classic - only price had managed to save it). To release such a machine at the LC 520's $2000 list price would have been suicide. Technologically a lot had changed since 1984 and Apple, wisely, made sure that the 520, while retaining the idea of everything being all-in-one, was far more up to date.

To some the 520 was nothing more than an LC III with a 14" colour display bolted onto it. This though sold the machine short as, although an LC III underneath, Apple also added a CD-ROM drive, stereo speakers and a microphone. Hardly radical stuff but Apple certainly deserved something for their early attempts at recycling and the 520 was still the first all-in-one Mac with a built in optical drive.

Performance wise the 520 was the equal of the LC III (hardly surprising given that they were the same machine) and users, while not getting a cutting edge machine, did get a solid, reliable machine that would do most things (and it was still a massive step up from the 'crippled' LC and LC II). The single RAM slot allowed memory to be taken all the way up to 36 MiB from the standard 5 MiB (4 MiB onboard plus 1 MiB pre-fitted in the expansion slot) and the LC PDS slot did allow some expansion options. Even the video memory could be expanded from the standard 512 KiB to a slightly more useful 768 KiB.

A neat all-in-one package, the 520 could be up and running with the minimal of effort and Apple quickly identified the potential for the machine in the home market as well as the education market (the home user version was titled the Performa 520). Its low cost made Mac computing a realistic option for ordinary people who couldn't get past the tangle of wires that were most computers at the time.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68030
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 25 MHz
    • Data Path: 32-bit
    • RAM Type: 72-pin SIMM (80 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 5 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 1
    • Maximum RAM: 36 MiB
    • Cache: ½ KiB (L1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 1
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (DB-25)
    • Audio In: Mini-jack
    • Audio Out: 8-bit 22 KHz stereo (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Stereo
    • PDS Slot Type: Enhanced LC
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 80 MiB - 160 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
    • Optical Drive: 1
    • Optical Drive Type: CD-ROM (2x speed SCSI)
  • Video
    • Built-in Display: 14" Colour CRT
    • Max Resolution: 640×480 (8-bit)
    • Standard VRAM: 512 KiB
    • VRAM Onboard: 512 KiB
    • VRAM Slots: 1
    • Maximum VRAM: 768 KiB
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Hook
    • Gestalt ID: 56
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V Half-AA
    • Case Style: LC 520
    • Dimensions: 13.5" x 16.5" x 17.9" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 40.5 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 7.1 - Mac OS 7.6.1
    • System Enabler: System Enabler 403
    • Introduced: June 28 1993
    • Introduced: February 2 1994
    • MSRP: $2000 (US)

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