Apple Macintosh LC

Apple Macintosh LC (68020)The “Pizza Box” Macintosh LC is a distant cousin of the Macintosh II in a smaller case and lacks many of the expansion options. It shipped with system 6 as it’s operating system.  Like the Apple Mac IIsi, announced at the same time, the LC was shipped with colour capable video output built in.  However, unlike it’s predecessors, the computer was available at low cost.

Low Cost Computing:

The label “LC” reportedly stands for low cost colour.  Although an attempt by Apple to make low cost- affordable Macs, the computer was designed to reduce overheads and cut some corners on performance, such as using the 68020 processor, which had already been deployed and replaced by the 68030 in current high end models. Slower than the Mac II, released some 3 years earlier, the key difference was the 16 bit data path, half that of the Mac II.  Memory was limited in the LC to all of 10 MB, leaving this mac lagging behind the higher end units released by Apple.  However, the computer sold well, with 500,000 units being snapped up during the first 12 months of sale.


The Apple Macintosh LC features a 16 MHz 32 bit Motorola 68020 processor on a 16 bit Bus.
Motorola 68020 processor

The 68020 processor was developed by Motorola and offered 32 bit addressing with a 256 byte cache onboard. It could interact with coprocessors including a floating point unit (MC68881 or MC68882 FPU) and the paged memory management unit (MC68851 PMMU).

Video & Graphics

The Macintosh LC has a single video memory slot that supports a 100 ns VRAM SIMM. The factory fitted 256k module can be replaced with a 512k one. The Computer supports  512×384 at 8 bit or 640×480 with 4-bit color when fitted with 256k of VRAM,. Upgraded to 512k of VRAM, the LC can support 512×384 at 16-bit color and 640×480 at 8-bit color. The Macintosh LC only supports a single display, but a second one can be supported with the addition of an LC PDS video card.


The Macintosh LC accepts 100ns 30 pin SIMMS.  A total of 10MB ram can be added via 2 x 4MB SIMMS.  A total of 2MB is pre-installed (soldered) to the motherboard.

Ports & connectivity:

Ports include a DB-15 video port, DB-25 SCSI port, Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), 2 x serial ports (Modem & Printer), Mono (8 bit) sound out and a sound in analogue (3.5mm jack) that would only accept the plaintalk microphone.

System Variations:

Apple shipped three different versions of the Macintosh LC, each with subtle changes to the specification:

  • M0442LL/A was configured with a 40 MB hard drive and  2 MB of RAM.
  • M1218LL/A was configured with a 40 MB hard drive and 4 MB of RAM.
  • M1201LL/A was configured with an 80 MB hard drive and 4 MB of RAM.

Operating Systems:

The Macintosh LC shipped with Macintosh System 6.  It could be upgraded to System 7.5.5.  with a memory upgrade beyond 4 MB.

Introduction Date: October 15, 1990 Discontinued Date: March 23, 1992
Processor Speed: 16 MHz Processor Type: 68020
Processor Upgrade: Third-Party FPU: None
System Bus Speed: 16 MHz Cache Bus Speed: N/A
ROM/Firmware Type: Macintosh ROM ROM/Firmware Size: 512k
L1 Cache: 0.25k L2 Cache: N/A
RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM Min. RAM Speed: 100 ns
Details: N/A
Standard RAM: 2 MB, 4 MB Maximum RAM: 10 MB
Motherboard RAM: 2 MB RAM Slots: 2
Video Card: Dedicated VRAM Type: VRAM SIMM
Standard VRAM: 256k Maximum VRAM: 512k
Display Support: Single Display Resolution Support: 512×384, 640×480
Standard Hard Drive: 40 MB, 80 MB Int. HD Interface: SCSI
Standard Optical: None Standard Disk: 1.44 MB* (Auto)
Standard Modem: None Standard Ethernet: None
Expansion Slots: 1 LC PDS Expansion Bays: None
Details: By default, both the floppy disk and 3.5″ hard drive bays are occupied.
Case Type: Desktop Form Factor: Macintosh LC
Apple Order No: M0442LL/A Apple Subfamily: Macintosh LC
Apple Model No: M0350 Gestalt ID: 19
Battery Type: 3.6V Lithium Battery Life: N/A
Original Mac OS: 6.0.7 Supported Mac OS: 6.0.7-7.5.1, 7.5.3-7.5.5