Macintosh Classic

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Macintosh Classic
CPU: 8 MHz Motorola MC68000
RAM Type:30-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 4 MiB
Supported OS: System 1.1g - System 7.5.5
Introduced:October 15 1990
Discontinued:September 14 1992
MSRP:$999 or $1500 with HD (US)
Full Specifications

The original Macintosh had been released to great fanfare in 1984. Six years later Apple's new Macintosh Classic was hardly what fans had been hoping for.


In 1984 an 8 MHz 68000 powered desktop machine sporting a B&W (black and white) graphical user interface (GUI) had been something revolutionary and staggering. In 1990, such a machine didn't exactly cut the mustard; not that this stopped Apple from releasing just that in the shape of the Macintosh Classic.

The Mac Classic may have been conceived with good intentions in mind. A genuine Mac for under $1000? A bargain in anyone's book — although, if users wanted a 40 MiB hard drive, then they needed to find an extra $500. The end result was a machine that was outdated, underpowered, and woefully out of place. Shipping with 1 MiB of RAM, the Classic certainly had some nods towards the march of time — it still sported ADB and SCSI ports on the back — but elsewhere it was a throwback to a bygone age, and all of this felt especially insulting following on from the powerhouse Mac SE/30.

The Classic reverted back to using the (now antique) 68000 running at a pedestrian 8 MHz. The floating point unit was ditched; any expansion slots were eliminated; the sound was demoted from stereo to mono; and even the brightness control was ditched in favour of a software driven control. If that wasn't enough, the few plus points that Classic had over the Macintosh 128k came with compromises: the memory expansion was via a special daughtercard, which supposedly eliminated the need to remove the motherboard to upgrade the memory.

Amidst all of this, the Classic did have one unique selling point: it could be booted without the need for a floppy or hard disk. Apple engineers had sufficient space on the machine's ROM to fit a stripped down — though fully functional, including AppleTalk for networking and the MacsBug debugger — version of System 6.0.3 with Finder 6.1x. Users simply had to hold down Command-Option-X-O (⌘⌥XO) at startup to get it to boot from ROM. The System folder of the ROM disk contains an invisible folder with credits inside.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 8 MHz Motorola MC68000
    • ROM: 512 KiB
    • Bus Speed: 8 MHz
    • Data Path: 24-bit
    • RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM (120 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 1 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 0
    • Maximum RAM: 4 MiB
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 1
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1
    • Floppy Connector: 1
    • Audio Out: 8-bit mono (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Mono
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 40 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
  • Video
    • Built-in Display: Internal 9" B&W
    • Max Resolution: 512×342 pixels (1-bit)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Apple Model Number: M0420
    • Codename: XO, Civic
    • Gestalt ID: 17
    • Power: 76W
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V Lithium
    • Case Style: Macintosh Classic
    • Dimensions: 9.6" x 10.9" x 13.6" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 16 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 6.0.6 - System 7.5.5
    • Introduced: October 15 1990
    • Introduced: September 14 1992
    • MSRP: $999 or $1500 with HD (US)

More Information