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In the ever-evolving landscape of personal computing, there are milestones and relics that remind us of the journey that has brought us to the sleek, powerful machines we use today. On September 19, 1988, Apple unveiled a groundbreaking addition to its lineup – the Macintosh IIx. This powerful personal computer was part of the Macintosh II series, and although it didn’t achieve commercial success, it left a lasting mark on the history of technology.
At the heart of the Macintosh IIx was its impressive 16 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, a significant leap forward from the Macintosh II’s 8 MHz processor. The addition of the Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor made it a beast when it came to handling floating-point calculations. Back then, the Mac IIx was ahead of its time, capable of handling both complex tasks and multitasking with ease. It featured 1 MB or 4 MB of RAM, a 40 MB or 80 MB hard drive, and one or two 1.44 MB floppy drives. For those craving more graphics power, there was an optional Macintosh II video card available.
Building on the success of the Mac II, the Mac IIx introduced a series of innovations. One notable feature was the inclusion of the 1.4 MB SuperDrive, also known as FDHD (floppy disk, high density), which allowed the Mac IIx to read and write to DOS-compatible disks. This was a game-changer, bridging the gap between Mac and PC worlds. Additionally, it introduced virtual memory, a crucial feature that expanded the Mac IIx’s capabilities.
Despite being advertised as a 32-bit computer, the Mac IIx had “dirty” ROMs, containing some 24-bit code. Running it in true 32-bit mode required a software patch called Mode32. These were minor hiccups in an otherwise impressive machine.
Surprisingly, the Macintosh IIx did not enjoy commercial success and was discontinued on October 15, 1990, merely two years after its introduction. However, today, it stands as a testament to the evolution of personal computing. Now, 35 years old, the Macintosh IIx is considered a vintage gem by collectors and technology enthusiasts.
The Macintosh IIx was a pioneering computer, boasting remarkable hardware features that set the stage for the future of personal computing. While it may not have achieved commercial success in its time, it left an indelible mark on the industry. As we look back at this vintage powerhouse, we’re reminded that the march of progress in the tech world is often led by innovators willing to take risks and push boundaries. Apple’s Macintosh IIx was certainly one of those innovators.
Macintosh IIx Details
|Introduced||September 19, 1988|
|Discontinued||October 15, 1990|
|Dimensions||5.5” H x 18.7” W x 14.4” D|
13.97 cm H x 47.49 cm W x 36.57 cm D
Mac IIx Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||16 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||16 MHz|
|Cache||0.25 KB L1|
|Coprocessor||Motorola 68882 FPU|
Storage & Media
|Media||1 or 2 – 1.44 MB Floppy|
|Built-in Memory||1 MB|
|Maximum Memory||128 MB|
|Memory Slots||8 – 30 pin SIMMs (Groups of 4) |
(4 MB or larger modules must be PAL SIMMs)
|Minimum Speed||120 ns|
|Expansion Slots||6 – NuBus|
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|Original OS||System Software 6.0.1|
|Maximum OS||System 7.5.5|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm stereo output jack|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||230 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh IIx: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh IIx – Wikipedia
- Mac IIx – Low End Mac
- Macintosh II/IIx/IIfx Service Source (PDF) – Apple Repair Manuals
- Today in Apple history: Powerful, upgradeable Macintosh IIx arrives – Cult of Mac
Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.
Last updated: October 14, 2023