Apple Macintosh II

Apple Macintosh IIThe Macintosh II was designed by hardware engineers Brian Berkeley (monitor) and Michael Dhuey (computer). A basic system with 20 MB drive and monitor cost about $5200. A color-capable system , including monitor, video card, memory and Hard Drive could cost as much as $10,000. This high end price placed it in the workstation bracket, competing directly with Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard- all of which used the Unix system. By comparison, the Macintosh II ran the single user Macintosh System. While the hardware features were comparable to workstation-class systems, the OS features placed it more squarely in competition with i386 based PCs and the Amiga 2000.  The Macintosh II was eventually replaced by the Macintosh IIcx

Specs:

The Apple Macintosh II features a 16 MHz 68020 processor with 1 MB of RAM, a SCSI hard drive Macintosh II Motherboardand the option of an Apple Macintosh II video card in a relatively easy-to-expand desktop case. The Macintosh II was nicknamed the “Open Mac” because of its 6 NuBus slots which made expansion and customization easy (ergo- it was constantly being opened up to upgrade it). The Macintosh II was also the first color Macintosh and set a new standard for color in the computer industry.

Memory:

The Mac II requires 30 pin SIMMs with an access speed of 120ns.  PAL SIMMs must be installed for 4 MB and larger capacities.

The ROM Is “32-bit dirty” and by default, the Macintosh II with its original ROM only supports 8 MB of RAM (1 MB SIMMs in each of eight slots). With the FDHD upgrade kit, the system is capable of supporting 68 MB of RAM (1 MB SIMMs in bank A and 16 MB SIMMs in bank B). However, with 32-bit addressing and the MODE32 system extension this model will support 128 MB of RAM (16 MB SIMMs in all eight slots).

Storage:

The Macintosh II incorporated either a 40 or 80 MB hard drive on it’s internal SCSI interface.  The release of this Mac was prior to the introduction of the 3.5″ standard for Hard Drives and this unit used a 5.25″ drive.  With it’s dual 800k floppy drives, no space was available for additional drives.

Ports:

The first mac to have no on-board video, the Macintosh II required a video card to provide output to a screen.  It’s mothboard incorporated SCSI (DB-25), Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), 2 DIN-8 serial ports for Printer and Modem and a single mono (8 bit) sound output port.

Video & Graphics:

The standard video card options for the Macintosh II had either 256k or 512k of VRAM and supported multiple resolutions with the most common being 512×384 and 640×480. The Macintosh II can support multiple displays  using multiple video cards in NuBus expansion slots.  Portrait (vertical orientation) displays also were popular.

Available Variations:

At the time of it’s release, the Macintosh II was available in a number of different custom configurations:

  • M5333 refers to a configuration with 1 MB of RAM and a single 800k floppy disk drive.
  • 1 MB of RAM, an 800k floppy drive and a 40 MB hard drive is order number M5430
  • 4 MB of RAM, an 800k floppy drive, and a 40 MB hard drive is order number M5410.

Upgrades:

Third-party upgrades and accelerators were available including the Sonnet Allegro Macsonnet allegro 33mHz 68030 II processor upgrade card.  Featuring a 33 MHz 68030 processor and a PMMU, it allows installation of additional memory and the use of virtual memory software. The card plugs into the CPU socket, replacing the original 68020 processor.

A logic board upgrade to a Macintosh IIfx was also available for the Mac II. Further to the memory limitations highlighted above, the ROM on the Mac II is 32-bit dirty and Mode32 is required to use more than 8 MB RAM without any further hardware upgrades.  However only 1 MB SIMMs can be used in Bank A, limiting RAM to 68 MB. However, by incorporating Macintosh IIx roms into this Mac, 128MB ram can be addressed.

Introduction Date: March 2, 1987 Discontinued Date: January 15, 1990
Processor Speed: 16 MHz Processor Type: 68020
Details: This model has a 32-bit processor and a 32-bit data path.
Processor Upgrade: Third-Party* FPU: 68881
System Bus Speed: 16 MHz Cache Bus Speed: N/A
ROM/Firmware Type: Macintosh ROM ROM/Firmware Size: 256k*
L1 Cache: 0.25k L2 Cache: N/A
RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM* Min. RAM Speed: 120 ns
Details:
Standard RAM: 1 MB, 4 MB Maximum RAM: 128 MB*
Details:
Motherboard RAM: None RAM Slots: 8*
Video Card: Video Card VRAM Type: Video Card
Details:
Standard VRAM: 256k, 512k Maximum VRAM: 256k, 512k
Display Support: Up to 6 Displays Resolution Support: 512×384, 640×480
Details:
Standard Hard Drive: 40 MB, 80 MB Int. HD Interface: SCSI
Standard Optical: None Standard Disk: 800k x2 (Auto)
Standard Modem: None Standard Ethernet: None
Expansion Slots: 6 NuBus Expansion Bays: None
Details:
Case Type: Desktop Form Factor: Macintosh II
Apple Order No: M5333 Apple Subfamily: Macintosh II
Details:
Apple Model No: M5000 Gestalt ID: 6
Battery Type: 3.6V Lithium x2* Battery Life: N/A
Original Mac OS: 2.0 Supported Mac OS: 2.0-7.5.1, 7.5.3-7.5.5
Details: Earlier and later versions of the Macintosh System/Finder and Mac OS are not supported.
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