Mac IIvi Mac IIvi

Macintosh IIvi Explained

In the early 1990s, Apple was making waves in the personal computer market with its Macintosh II series. Among the lineup was the Macintosh IIvi, a machine that may not have received the same fanfare as its counterparts, but nevertheless left an indelible mark on Apple’s product history. Today, as we celebrate 31 years since its release, let’s take a closer look at this underpowered gem.

The Macintosh IIvi made its debut on October 19th, 1992, with a starting price tag of $3,000. It boasted a sleek metal case, a departure from the traditional beige boxes of the era, instantly capturing the attention of design enthusiasts. Apple’s dedication to aesthetics was evident in this machine.

Underneath its stylish exterior, the Macintosh IIvi featured a 16 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, and 4 MB of RAM. While not the most powerful specifications of its time, the IIvi managed to hold its own in performance tests, surprising users and critics alike. Its hard drive options ranged from a modest 40 MB to a more impressive 400 MB, providing ample storage for the era’s demands.

One standout feature of the Macintosh IIvi was its built-in CD-ROM drive, a first for a Macintosh computer. This addition opened up new possibilities for users, enabling them to enjoy multimedia content and access a vast array of software on CD-ROMs. Additionally, the IIvi sported a 1.44 MB floppy drive, a common storage medium of the time.

While the Macintosh IIvi found its way to markets in Europe, South America, and Japan, it remained conspicuously absent from the shelves of American retailers. Perhaps Apple deemed it more suitable for international markets, focusing its efforts on other models for the US consumer base. However, IIvi’s absence in the United States did not diminish its significance.

Despite its international availability, the Macintosh IIvi lived in the shadow of its more powerful sibling, the Macintosh Performa 600. The Performa line, introduced around the same time, offered improved specifications and performance, relegating the IIvi to the role of an underpowered alternative.

Interestingly, the Macintosh IIvi lacked the capability to accept a level 2 (L2) cache, setting it apart from its counterparts. However, users had the option to install an accelerator, providing a potential performance boost. Though the IIvi couldn’t match the Macintosh IIvx in raw power, it did manage to hold its own in certain benchmarks, surprising those who doubted its capabilities.

Apple eventually discontinued the Macintosh IIvi on February 10, 1993, ending its short-lived production run. However, its impact on the Macintosh lineup and Apple’s design legacy cannot be overlooked. The IIvi’s metal case design became a signature element for future Macintosh computers, emphasizing Apple’s commitment to elegant aesthetics.

Even today, 31 years after its release, the Macintosh IIvi stands as a testament to Apple’s relentless pursuit of innovation. While it may not have been the most powerful or well-known machine of its time, its inclusion of a built-in CD-ROM drive, the first in a Macintosh, set a new standard for the industry.

Moreover, the IIvi’s legacy lives on in the shared floppy drive mounting sled it shares with other models like the IIvx, Centris 650, Quadra 650, and Power Mac 7100. This versatile feature allowed users to repurpose the sled for a hard drive, offering a convenient upgrade path for those seeking additional storage capacity.

Macintosh IIvi
Source: preterhuman.net – Macintosh IIvi

Macintosh IIvi Details

IntroducedOctober 19, 1992
DiscontinuedFebruary 10, 1993
Model Identifier44
Model NumberM1350
Order NumberM1378J/A
M1354J/A
Original Price$3,000
ColorsPlatinum
Weight35 Ibs.
15.875 KG
Dimensions6” H x 13” W x 16.5” D
15.24 cm H x 33 cm W x 41.91 cm D

Mac IIvi Tech Specs

Processor

ProcessorMotorola 68030
Processor Speed16 MHz
Architecture32-bit
Number of Cores1
System Bus16 MHz
Cache0.5 KB L1
CoprocessorMotorola 68882 FPU (Optional)

Storage & Media

Storage40 MB
80 MB
160 MB
400 MB
Media1 – CD-ROM (Optional)
1 – 1.44 MB Floppy

Memory

Built-in Memory4 MB
Maximum Memory68 MB
Memory Slots4 – 30 pin SIMMs
Minimum Speed80 ns
ROMUnknown
Interleaving SupportNo

Display

Built-in DisplayNone

Graphics

Graphics CardNone
Graphics MemoryUnknown
Display ConnectionUnknown

Expansion

Expansion Slots3 – NuBus
1 – Cache Bus (PDS)
Hard Drive InterfaceSCSI

Connections

EthernetNone
ModemNone
ADB2
Serial2
SCSI1 – DB-25
Floppy PortNone
Audio In1 – 3.5-mm mono input jack
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm stereo output jack
DisplayUnknown

Software

Original OSSystem Software 7.1
Maximum OSMac OS 7.6.1
FirmwareMacintosh ROM

Power

Backup Battery3.6 V lithium
Maximum Continuous Power230 W
Line VoltageUnknown

Further Reading and References

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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