Apple Macintosh LCII

Like it’s predecessor, the LC, the LCII was designed around a 16 bit path, preventing full use of the 68030′s 32 bit addressing capabilities.  Discontinued in 1993, it was  re-released later that year as a consumer system: the Performa 400, Performa 405, Performa 410, and Performa 430.

Given the price of the LCII and the longevity of this product, many users found that it lasted for some 6 years before needing to be upgraded.  The double clips to the rear of the case allowed for very easy access to what was in effect a very simple, yet efficient layout.  The cooling fan in itself was minimal due to the lack of heat generated by the 68030 processor.

Specs:

The Apple Macintosh LC II features a 16 MHz 32 bit 68030 processor on a 16 bit data controller.  It was supported by 0.5k of level 1 cache. It is very similar to the Macintosh LC, but uses a more powerful processor and includes a PMMU chip for virtual memory. However, unlike it’s forerunner, it lacks dual floppy disk drive capability.  This mac took an FPU upgrade chip via a nubus style connector that also doubled as an upgrade port for an ethernet card or additional video card slot.

Video & Graphics:

The Macintosh LC II only supports a single display, but a second one can be supported with the addition of an LC PDS video card. With the default 256k of VRAM, the LC II can support a single display at 512×384 with 8-bit color or 640×480 with 4-bit color. Upgraded to 512k of VRAM, it can support 512×384 at 16-bit color and 640×480 at 8-bit color.

Memory:

The LCII took 100ns 30 pin simms and had 2 memory slots.  A further 4MB of RAM was soldered directly to the motherboard. With two 4 MB SIMMs installed (12 MB including the 4 MB of onboard memory), only 10 MB can be addressed.

Storage:

In addition to the standard 1.44MB floppy disk drive, the LCII incorporated either a 40MB, 80MB or 160MB SCSI hard drive.  Ease of access to the interior of the computer allowed for quick upgrading of the storage device- however, users had to be familiar with the SCSI interface and the use of SCSI IDs as the motherboard was set to SCSI 0.  The internal drive was automatically terminated and terminating resistors were not required.

Supported OS:

This was the first LC to be shipped with and take advantage of System 7 which had significant advantages over it’s predecessor, system 6.  Most notable was the addition of virtual memory, which used the hard disk as a temporary swap file and could be turned on and altered by the user.  Codenamed “Big Bang”, it was to span some 6 years and would ultimately be referred to by many users as Mac OS 7.  The OS that ultimately replaced it, OS 8 would go on to run on the first of the G3 line of macs.

Model Variants:

Apple produced a number of subtly different versions of the LCII, all offered under a different order number:

  • M1701LL/A was configured with 4 MB of RAM, 256k of VRAM, and a 40 MB hard drive and shipped with System 7.0.1.
  • M1723LL/A was configured with 4 MB of RAM, 256k of VRAM, and a 40 MB hard drive and shipped with System 6.0.8.
  • M1707LL/A was configured with 4 MB of RAM, 512k of VRAM, and an 80 MB hard drive.
  • M1387LL/A was configured with 4 MB of RAM, 512k of VRAM, and a 160 MB hard drive.
  • M1720LL/A configuration shipped with 4 MB of RAM, 256k of VRAM and only a floppy drive and was education only.

LC II motherboardUpgrade Options:

This mac could be upgraded with third party and OEM cards which added further functionality:

Introduction Date: March 23, 1992 Discontinued Date: March 15, 1993
Processor Speed: 16 MHz Processor Type: 68030
Details:
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: 0.5k L2 Cache: N/A
RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM Min. RAM Speed: 100 ns
Details: N/A
Standard RAM: 4 MB Maximum RAM: 10 MB
Details:
Motherboard RAM: 4 MB RAM Slots: 2
Video Card: Dedicated VRAM Type: VRAM SIMM
Details:
Standard VRAM: 256k, 512k Maximum VRAM: 512k
Display Support: Single Display Resolution Support: 512×384, 640×480
Details:
Standard Hard Drive: 40, 80, 160 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: M1701LL/A Apple Subfamily: Macintosh LC II
Details:
Apple Model No: M1700 Gestalt ID: 37*
Battery Type: 3.6V Lithium Battery Life: N/A
Original Mac OS: 6.0.8, 7.0.1 Supported Mac OS: 6.0.8-7.5.1, 7.5.3-7.6.1
Details:
Dimensions: 2.9 x 12.2 x 15.3 Avg. Weight: 8.8 lbs (4 kg)
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