Macintosh IIcx

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Macintosh IIcx.jpg
Macintosh IIcx
CPU: 16 MHz Motorola MC68030
FPU:Motorola 68882
RAM Type:30-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 128 MiB
Expansion slots: 3 NuBus
Supported OS: System 6.0.3 - System 7.5.5
A/UX 1.0 - 3.1.1
Introduced:March 7 1989
Discontinued:March 11 1991
MSRP:$5399 (US)
Full Specifications


Third in the series of Macintosh II desktop machines, the Macintosh IIcx took the essence of the Macintosh IIx and squeezed it into a smaller, cheaper, and more user friendly box.

History

The Macintosh IIx had already taken the original Macintosh II and increased not only processor speed, but also drive capacity by switching from the older 800 KiB 3.5" floppy drives to the newer 1.44 MiB 3.5" floppy 'SuperDrive'. While it was still a monster of a machine in physical terms, the biggest problem with the Mac IIx had been its price. Coming in at $7769 (or $9299 with the optional 40 MiB hard drive) it was simply beyond the reach of most users. Apple were faced with a question: Either keep the Mac IIx exclusive or find some way to get its power into the hands of those users not blessed with massive bank accounts.

Released in March 1989, the IIcx managed to retain the power of the Mac IIx but slashed nearly $2500 off the list price. Cutting costs in computing is easy, but Apple didn't take the easy option by simply reducing processor speed or cutting features. No, what they did do was to look at what had made the IIx such a great machine and figure out a way to carry as much of it forward into the new machine as possible.

With the exception of a reduced set of NuBus expansion slots (down to three from the original six), the option of only one 3.5" floppy drive (instead of two), and a hard drive bay that would only accept drives up to 3.5" in size (the Mac IIx would accept drives up to 5.25"), the IIcx was essentially a Mac IIx in a smaller box. Just like its bigger brother, the Macintosh IIcx could access up to 128 MiB of RAM, had on-board SCSI support, and came with a 1.44 MiB SuperDrive. The reduction in expansion slots and drive bays had another positive effect, as the IIcx was far smaller and 'friendlier' than the IIx. Its power supply was reduced to a mere 90W (compared to the IIx's 230W) and it was a doddle to assemble and disassemble – a fact proved by, then Apple president, Jean-Louis Gassee who assembled a Mac IIcx in under 60 seconds without any tools at the 1989 MacWorld Expo.

All of this was great news for both users and Apple themselves, but the IIcx did have some drawbacks. The machine had brought much across from the Mac IIx and, sadly, this also included some of the 'irritations', most notably the 'dirty' 24-32 bit ROM and the need for an additional graphics card over and above the cost of the base unit itself.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 16 MHz Motorola MC68030
    • FPU: Motorola 68882
    • ROM: 256 KiB
    • Data Path: 32-bit (dirty)
    • RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM (120 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 1 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: None
    • RAM Slots: 8
    • Maximum RAM: 128 MiB
    • Cache: ½ KiB (L1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 2
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (DB-25)
    • Floppy Connector: 1
    • Audio Out: 8-bit stereo 22 KHz (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Stereo
    • NuBus Slots: 3
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
  • Miscellaneous
    • Apple Model Number: M5650
    • Codename: Aurora, Cobra, Atlantic
    • Gestalt ID: 8
    • Power: 159W
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V Lithium
    • Case Style: Macintosh IIcx
    • Dimensions: 11.9" x 14.5" x 5.5" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 13.6 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 6.0.3 - System 7.5.5
    • Introduced: March 7 1989
    • Introduced: March 11 1991
    • MSRP: $5399 (US)

Common Problems

Aztec Powersupply

Some of the IIcx Powersupplies suffer from the same problem as the ones found in the Quadra 650.

More Information