Macintosh IIvx

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Macintosh IIvx.jpg
Macintosh IIvx
CPU: 32 MHz Motorola MC68030
RAM Type:30-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 68 MiB
Expansion slots: 3 NuBus
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 7.6.1
Introduced:September 14 1992
Discontinued:October 18 1994
MSRP:$2949 (US)
Full Specifications


Released in 1992 just prior to the Quadra/Centris machines, the Macintosh IIvx was not only out-paced and outdated but was also the final Macintosh II machine released in the U.S. market. Warning: contrary to popular belief, the Performa 600 IS NOT a IIvx. It is ensentially a Macintosh IIvi with a faster CPU. This misconception has led to give a bad reputation to the Macintosh IIvx.

History

The Motorola 68030 had been at the heart of the Macintosh since the Mac IIx had been released in 1988, but time marched on and didn't wait for little slivers of silicon to catch up. In the intervening four years, Apple had not only released ever faster machines based around the 68030, they were also in the process of adopting the new Motorola 68040 (and 68LC040). With this in mind, it was baffling as to why they'd ever think of releasing a new machine that was largely based on old technology. Even more baffling was why they'd attempt to cripple that technology even further.

The release of the LC series machines had seen some bizarre abuses of processor/bus speed and the Mac IIvx seemed unable to resist the lure of going down this route. On the surface, the IIvx looked to be able to hold its head above water; and, with its 68030 clocked at 32 MHz, it certainly wasn't going to be slow. Why, then, did it run 30% slower than an ageing Mac IIci running at a mere 25 MHz (and over 60% slower if the IIci had its optional 32 KiB cache installed)? Even the Mac IIx outpaced it in some tests.

That the IIvx ran its CPU at 32 MHz was impressive. That it was then coupled up with a data bus running at only half the speed was a serious bottleneck and a recipe for disaster. All packed into a dreadful, steel, PC-style case the IIvx was not only slow but it didn't even look good while it was being slow.

In spite of the above, it wasn't all bad news; the IIvx did do some things right. Shipping with 4 MiB of RAM soldered directly onto the motherboard allowed the machine to be expanded all the way up to a respectable 68 MiB of main memory. The video system had 512 KiB of dedicated RAM (rather than 'leeching' from the main memory as in the IIci and IIsi). There were 3 NuBus expansion slots, and the option of having a CD-ROM drive fitted.

Released when it was, the IIvx was quickly outpaced and outdated. It may have been solid and reliable but was incredibly sluggish, and users who opted to buy it were seriously disappointed — especially when the first Quadra and Centris machines appeared not long afterwards. Users certainly felt as though Apple had misled them by rushed out an inferior machine to wring out every last one of their pennies.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 32 MHz Motorola MC68030
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 16 MHz
    • Data Path: 32-bit
    • RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM (100 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 4 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 4
    • Maximum RAM: 68 MiB
    • Cache: ½ KiB (L1) 32 KiB (L2)
  • 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: Mono
    • NuBus Slots: 3
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 40 MiB - 400 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
  • Video
    • Max Resolution: 512×384 (16-bit), 640×480 (8-bit), 640×870 (4-bit)
    • Standard VRAM: 512 KiB
    • Maximum VRAM: 1 MiB
    • Video Out: DB-15
  • Miscellaneous
    • Apple Model Number: M1350
    • Codename: Brazil 32c (IIvx), IIvm (Performa 600)
    • Gestalt ID: 48 (45 for Performa 600)
    • Power: 230W
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V Lithium
    • Case Style: Macintosh IIvx
    • Dimensions: 13.0" x 16.5" x 6.0" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 25 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 7.1 - Mac OS 7.6.1
    • Introduced: September 14 1992
    • Introduced: October 18 1994
    • MSRP: $2949 (US)

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