Macintosh LC 580

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Macintosh LC 580
Performa 580, 588
CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68LC040
RAM Type:72-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 52 MiB
Expansion slots: Enhanced LC-PDS
1 (TV Tuner)
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
Introduced:April 3 1995
Discontinued:February 3 1996
MSRP:$1300 (US)
Full Specifications


The LC series had always been about low cost computing and this had never been more apparent than in the LC 5xx series where components had been liberally 'borrowed' from other machines. The fourth, and final, machine in the series, the LC 580, would take cost cutting that one step further.

History

The launch of the LC 520 had been a big step for Apple as it had been the first all-in-one (AIO) Mac that hadn't descended directly from the 128k. It had brought colour and the CD-ROM to the world of the all-in-one but it had, from a technical perspective at least, been little more than an LC III with a 14" monitor bolted onto it. Its two successors, the LC 550 and LC 575, had both 'borrowed' motherboards form other machines (the Colour Classic II and Quadra 605, respectively) rather than have new boards designed for them. This 'recycling' was good for business and it did put – what was then – cutting edge technology into the hands of users at a bargain price. Yet the question was: could the new LC 580 keep up the good work?

Although there had often been very few changes between the LC 5xx machines, each computer was still more powerful than its predecessor. The LC 580 wasn't. From a speed perspective, the LC 580 was the equal of the LC 575 and this was purely down to the fact that both machines ran the Motorola 68LC040 at 33 MHz. In fact there was nothing that the 580 could do that the 575 couldn't. So where was the difference?

From a user perspective, the only difference was that of price, down to $1300 from $1700, but there was no way that Apple would absorb a $400 price drop for nothing. So where was the saving coming from? It was only when the technical specs were examined that the true extent of Apple's cost-cutting became apparent. The 14" colour display was now a cheaper model and the SCSI hard drive, the mainstay of the Macintosh since the Macintosh Plus, had given way to a cheaper, slower IDE alternative. In fact, the LC 580 was based on the Quadra 630.

It wasn't all negatives, though, as the 580 did have some plus points...with a twist, of course. Coming with two RAM slots instead of one, the machine should have been far more expandable but, as per usual, Apple intervened and restricted the second slot so that it could only accept single-sided SIMMs (i.e. 1 MiB, 4 MiB or 16 MiB) bringing the memory ceiling to a very bizarre 52 MiB. VRAM was increased to a full 1 MiB, but this simply filled both of the VRAM slots and users couldn't expand any further. The TV tuner slot was a nice feature and enabled users to add the TV tuner card designed for the original Performa series.

While not exactly a step forward (in any real sense), the LC 580 did ship for $400 less than the older LC 575, showing that Apple were aiming for wallets rather than performance.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68LC040
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 33 MHz
    • Data Path: 32-bit
    • RAM Type: 72-pin SIMM (80 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 8 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 2
    • Maximum RAM: 52 MiB
    • Cache: 8 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
    • Other Slots: 1 (TV Tuner)
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 500 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: IDE
    • 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 (16-bit)
    • Standard VRAM: 1 MiB
    • VRAM Slots: 2
    • Maximum VRAM: 1 MiB
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Dragonkid
    • Gestalt ID: 99
    • PRAM Battery: 4.5V alkaline
    • 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 8.1
    • System Enabler: System Enabler 065
    • Introduced: April 3 1995
    • Introduced: February 3 1996
    • MSRP: $1300 (US)

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