Macintosh IIfx with Portrait Display and Extended Keyboard II Macintosh IIfx with Portrait Display and Extended Keyboard II

History of Macintosh II Explained

The Macintosh II computer series holds a special place in the hearts of tech enthusiasts and Apple aficionados alike. Launched in 1987, it marked a significant milestone in Apple’s history, breaking away from the all-in-one design of previous Mac models and introducing a vibrant world of color graphics. Targeting business and professional users, the Macintosh II family revolutionized the way people interacted with their computers.

Before the Macintosh II came onto the scene, Apple’s Mac line featured built-in displays, limiting the options available to users. However, the Macintosh II series changed the game by providing external display support. Apple offered a variety of displays to complement the Macintosh II’s capabilities, including the Two-Page Monochrome display, Portrait display, 12-inch RGB or Monochrome displays, and impressive Color 16-inch or 21-inch displays. This newfound flexibility allowed users to customize their computing experience like never before.

In this article, we explore the Macintosh II series, a groundbreaking lineup of personal computers introduced by Apple between 1987 and 1993.

Macintosh II

Macintosh II
Source: – Macintosh II

Introduced on March 2, 1987, the original Macintosh II boasted impressive specifications for its time. Powered by a 16 MHz Motorola 68020 processor and featuring a Motorola 68881 FPU coprocessor, it delivered enhanced performance to handle demanding tasks. The Macintosh II offered a choice between 1 MB or 4 MB of RAM, 40 MB or 80 MB hard drive options, and two 800 KB floppy drives. Users could also opt for the Macintosh II video card to further enhance their graphics capabilities. With a price tag of $5,498, the Macintosh II targeted professionals seeking power and versatility.

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Macintosh IIx

Macintosh IIx
Source: – Macintosh IIx

Following the success of the Macintosh II, Apple continued to innovate, releasing subsequent models within the series. One such model was the Macintosh IIx, introduced on October 23, 1988. Sporting a 16 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, the Macintosh IIx provided improved performance compared to its predecessor. It offered similar RAM and storage options, along with one or two 1.44 MB floppy drives. Priced at $7,769, the Macintosh IIx catered to professionals with demanding computing needs.

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Macintosh IIcx

Apple Macintosh IIcx
Source: – Apple Macintosh IIcx

Another notable addition to the Macintosh II series was the Macintosh IIcx, unveiled on March 7, 1989. With its compact design and powerful specifications, it quickly became a popular choice among users. Featuring a 16 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, the Macintosh IIcx offered 1 MB or 4 MB of RAM, 40 MB or 80 MB hard drive options, and a 1.44 MB floppy drive. Priced at $5,369, it provided a balance of performance and affordability.

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Macintosh IIci

Macintosh IIci
Source: – Macintosh IIci

Apple’s commitment to pushing technological boundaries led to the introduction of the Macintosh IIci on September 19, 1989. This model featured a faster 25 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, elevating performance to new heights. With 1 MB or 4 MB of RAM and 40 MB or 80 MB hard drive options, the Macintosh IIci met the demands of professionals seeking a reliable workstation. Its original price stood at $6,700.

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Macintosh IIfx

Macintosh IIfx
Source: – Macintosh IIfx

The Macintosh IIfx, released on March 19, 1990, brought even more power to the Macintosh II series. Equipped with a blazing 40 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, and 4 MB of RAM, it was a force to be reckoned with. Storage options included 80 MB or 160 MB hard drives, while two 1.44 MB floppy drives ensured easy data transfer. Priced at $8,970, the Macintosh IIfx targeted professionals who demanded top-tier performance.

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Macintosh IIsi

Macintosh IIsi
Source: – Macintosh IIsi

In October 1990, the Macintosh IIsi made its debut, showcasing a sleek design and improved specifications. Powered by a 20 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, it offered 2 MB or 5 MB of RAM and various hard drive options ranging from 40 MB to 160 MB. With its compact form factor and expandability, the Macintosh IIsi appealed to a broad range of users. It carried a price tag of $8,970.

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Macintosh IIvi

Mac IIvi
Source: – Mac IIvi

As the Macintosh II series neared its end, Apple introduced the Macintosh IIvi and the Macintosh IIvx in October 1992. The Macintosh IIvi, priced at $3,000, featured a 16 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, and 4 MB of RAM. Its storage options ranged from 40 MB to 400 MB, and it also included a CD-ROM drive alongside a 1.44 MB floppy drive.

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Macintosh IIvx

Macintosh IIvx
Source: – Macintosh IIvx

On the other hand, the Macintosh IIvx offered a 32 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, and 4 MB of RAM. Storage options for this model expanded further, ranging from 40 MB to 400 MB or beyond. It also included a CD-ROM drive and a 1.44 MB floppy drive. The Macintosh IIvx came with a price tag of $2,950.

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In retrospect, the Macintosh II series stands as a testament to Apple’s commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of personal computing. With its introduction, Apple shattered the limitations of all-in-one designs and brought forth a new era of customizable computing experiences. The ability to connect external displays and harness the power of color graphics opened up new creative avenues for professionals and businesses alike.

Each model within the Macintosh II series showcased the relentless pursuit of performance and functionality. From the original Macintosh II to the later iterations like the Macintosh IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIfx, IIsi, IIvi, and IIvx, Apple continued to refine and improve upon its designs, catering to the ever-evolving needs of its users.

While the Macintosh II series may now be considered vintage technology, its impact and legacy remain significant. These computers laid the foundation for the modern Mac lineup, setting the stage for future innovations and advancements. The Macintosh II series represents an important chapter in Apple’s history, highlighting the company’s unwavering commitment to delivering powerful, user-friendly computing solutions.

As we reflect on the Macintosh II series, it serves as a reminder of the transformative power of technology and how it has shaped our digital landscape. These pioneering machines paved the way for the powerful, sleek Macs we know today. While they may have faded into the background, they will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Apple enthusiasts and remain a symbol of Apple’s dedication to revolutionizing the computing industry.

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: June 19, 2023