Macintosh LC II

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Macintosh LC II
Performa 400-430
CPU: 16 MHz Motorola MC68030
RAM Type:30-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 10 MiB
Expansion slots: LC-PDS
Supported OS: System 6.0.7 - System 7.5.5
Introduced:March 23 1992
Discontinued:October 18 1993
MSRP:$1400 (US)
Full Specifications


The follow up machine to the, surprisingly, well-selling Macintosh LC, the LC II may have introduced a better processor but still didn't hide the fact that the LC series were fundamentally crippled.

History

Despite its crippled architecture (a 32-bit CPU running on a 16-bit data bus) and massive corner cutting, the Mac LC had been something of a surprise hit with buyers. Given the machine's problems, the only reason for its phenomenal success was its bargain price, when compared to the machines that made up the Macintosh II series.

With the release of the replacement to the LC, Apple had the opportunity to address many of the problems of the original machine. Sadly, they passed. The LC had been crippled by running its 68020 CPU on a bus which simply didn't match the CPU's needs. Despite ditching the 68020 in favour of the more powerful 68030, the LC II steadfastly refused to address the data bus issue. So, once again, Apple released a machine fitted with a 32-bit processor and ran it on a 16-bit data bus. To the layman this meant very little, but in practical terms it meant that every memory access or data transfer around the system had to take place in two stages. This had a marked impact on performance and never was this better demonstrated than when the LC II was compared to the Mac IIx: both machines ran the same CPU at the same clock speed...but the LC II only managed to achieve 60% of the performance of its older brother. Even compared to the LC, the LC II sometimes fared worse in some tests — the 68030 really didn't like being run on a 16-bit data bus.

Like the processor/data bus issue, other design flaws (or 'quirks', depending on your point of view) persevered from the LC. Main memory was still based on 30-pin SIMMs (rather than the newer 72-pin SIMMs) and the memory ceiling was still fixed at 10 MiB, despite the fact that Apple had doubled the amount of on board memory to 4 MiB. Users could fit two 4 MiB SIMMs giving them 12 MiB in total, but only access 10 MiB of it.

The single LC PDS expansion slot remained (as did SCSI and serial ports) but, in the wake of sales of the LC and the requirements of System 7, the option to have a dual floppy drive system was dropped and all LC IIs came with a single FDD (floppy disk drive) and a hard drive. The case was also modified so that the second floppy drive slot was removed altogether. There was even a (very) slight improvement in spec, as the LC II shipped with 512 bytes of level one (L1) cache — the LC had shipped with just 256 bytes. The LC II was definitely streets ahead of the LC in one department: price. While the LC had been considered 'cheap' at $2399, the LC II was available for a paltry $1400. Now that was what buyers could call 'computing on a budget'.

Eventually, the LC II was released as the Performa 400, 405, 410 and 430. Despite the name change, they were still the same machine, with the same hardware setup. The different model numbers simply indicated different software bundles.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 16 MHz Motorola MC68030
    • ROM: 512 KiB
    • Bus Speed: 16 MHz
    • Data Path: 16-bit
    • RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM (100 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 4 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 2
    • Maximum RAM: 10 MiB
    • Cache: ½ KiB (L1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 1
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (DB-25)
    • Floppy Connector: 1
    • Audio In: Mini-jack
    • Audio Out: 8-bit 22 KHz mono (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Mono
    • PDS Slot Type: LC
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 40 MiB - 80 MiB (optional)
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
  • Video
    • Max Resolution: 640×480 (4-bit), 512×384 (8-bit), 640×480 (8-bit – 512 KiB VRAM)
    • Standard VRAM: 256 KiB
    • VRAM Onboard: 0 KiB
    • VRAM Slots: 1
    • Maximum VRAM: 512 KiB
    • Video Out: DB-15
  • Miscellaneous
    • Apple Model Number: M1700
    • Codename: Foster Farms (LC II), Lady Kenmore, Vail (Performa 400)
    • Gestalt ID: 37
    • Power: 50W
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V Half-AA
    • Case Style: LC
    • Dimensions: 12.2" x 15.3" x 2.9" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 8.8 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 6.0.7 - System 7.5.5
    • Introduced: March 23 1992
    • Introduced: October 18 1993
    • MSRP: $1400 (US)

More Information