The Mac IIvx was an okay computer, but a big “Huh?” for Mac IIci users. Where the LC and LC II had been compromised by using a 32-bit processor on a 16-bit data bus, the IIvx ran a 32 MHz CPU on a 16 MHz bus. This gave it slower performance than the IIci, which was still available (stock IIci tests 30% faster than IIvx; adding 32 KB cache to the IIci bumps this to 60%).
In fact, the old 16 MHz Mac IIx outperformed the IIvx on some benchmarks! Needless to say, most serious Mac users chose the IIci over the IIvx.
The Mac IIvx and its near-twin, the Performa 600, were the first Macs available with a built-in CD-ROM drive and also the first Macs to use a metal case.
The floppy drive mounting sled used in the IIvi, IIvx, Centris 650, Quadra 650, and Power Mac 7100 can also be used for a hard drive if you no longer need the floppy drive.
Although it wasn’t officially discontinued until October 1993, with the introduction of the 25 MHz 68040-based Centris 650 in the same enclosure and at the same price just five months later, Apple slashed it’s base price from US$2,949 to US$1,899 overnight. Needless to say, a lot of recent IIvx buyers were none to happy with Apple over that.
The IIvx and Performa 600 easily merit the Road Apple designation.
See our NuBus Video Card Guide for information on adding a video card.
- Got a Mac II or other vintage Mac? Join our Vintage Macs Group or Vintage Macs Forum.
- Our System 7 Forum is for those using System 7.
- code name: Brazil, Lego
- introduced 1992.10.19 at $2,949 (4/80), $3,319 (4/230), and $3,219 (5/60/CD); prices slashed on 1993.02.10 with introduction of Centris 650; discontinued 1993.10.21
- model no.: M1350
- Gestalt ID: 48
- upgrade path: Quadra 700, Quadra 650, Power Mac 7100 motherboard
- requires System 7.1 to 7.6.1
- addressing: 24-bit or 32-bit
- CPU: 32 MHz 68030
- FPU: 32 MHz 68882
- ROM: 1 MB
- RAM: 4 MB on motherboard, expandable to 68 MB using lone 4-SIMM bank of 80ns 30-pin memory; can use 256 KB, 1 MB, 2 MB, 4 MB, and 16 MB SIMMs
- L2 cache: 32 KB
- 2.7, relative to SE
- 7.0 MIPS
- 7.5, Speedometer 3
- 0.44, Speedometer 4
- built-in 8-bit video with 512 KB VRAM, supports 512 x 384 at 16-bits, 640 x 480 at 8-bits, and portrait monitor (640 x 870) at 4-bits
- video port: DB-15
- Hard drive: 40, 160, or 400 MB SCSI
- floppy drive: 1.4 MB double-sided
- ADB ports: 2
- serial ports: 2 DIN-8 RS-422 ports on back of computer
- SCSI ports: DB-25 connector on back of computer
- PDS slot supports L2 cache only in IIvx, accelerator card in both models
- NuBus slots: 3
- size (HxWxD): 6.0″ x 13.0″ x 16.5″
- Weight: 25 lbs.
- PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
- power supply: 230W
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Chipping the Mac II Series
- Apple Quadra 650 motherboard (33 MHz 68040)
- Daystar Turbo 040 (33 MHz, 40 MHz 68040), discontinued
- Daystar Turbo 601, 66 MHz and 100 MHz versions, discontinued (resource: Unofficial Turbo 601 Site)
- MicroMac Diimo/030 (50 MHz 68030), 64 KB cache, optional 50 MHz 68882 FPU
- Sonnet Technologies Presto 040 (40 MHz 68040 or 68LC040), optional 128 KB cache
- Guide to the Macintosh II Series, an overview of the Mac II family.
- Low End Mac’s Best Classic Mac OS Deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Environmentally Responsible Retirement for Old Macs, Rick Lawson, Pioneers in Mac Development, 2008.06.13. After you’ve scavenged what useful parts you can from your old Mac, what’s the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of the rest?
- Know Your Mac’s Upgrade Options, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.08.26. Any Mac can be upgraded, but it’s a question of what can be upgraded – RAM, hard drive, video, CPU – and how far it can be upgraded.
- Creating Classic Mac Boot Floppies in OS X, Paul Brierley, The ‘Book Beat, 2008.08.07. Yes, it is possible to create a boot floppy for the Classic Mac OS using an OS X Mac that doesn’t have Classic. Here’s how.
- The Compressed Air Keyboard Repair, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn’t working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- A Vintage Mac Network Can Be as Useful as a Modern One, Carl Nygren, My Turn, 2008.04.08. Old Macs can exchange data and share an Internet connection very nicely using Apple’s old LocalTalk networking.
- Vintage Mac Networking and File Exchange, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.19. How to network vintage Macs with modern Macs and tips on exchanging files using floppies, Zip disks, and other media.
- Vintage Mac Video and Monitor Mania, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.17. Vintage Macs and monitors didn’t use VGA connectors. Tips on making modern monitors work with old Macs.
- Getting Inside Vintage Macs and Swapping Out Bad Parts, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.14. When an old Mac dies, the best source of parts is usually another dead Mac with different failed parts.
- Solving Mac Startup Problems, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.12. When your old Mac won’t boot, the most likely culprits are a dead PRAM battery or a failed (or failing) hard drive.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Better and Safer Surfing with Internet Explorer and the Classic Mac OS, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.11.06. Tips on which browsers work best with different Mac OS versions plus extra software to clean cookies and caches, detect viruses, handle downloads, etc.
- The 10 worst Macs ever, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.10.23. The ten worst Macs of all time – and one of them came out just last year.
- Simple Macs for Simple Tasks, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2007.10.19. Long live 680×0 Macs and the classic Mac OS. For simple tasks such as writing, they can provide a great, low distraction environment.
- 4 hits, 2 misses: 6 new Macs introduced 15 years ago, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.10.19. The Macintosh IIvi and IIvx are better forgotten, but the first grayscale PowerBooks and the first PowerBook Duos moved Apple ahead.
- Interchangeabilty and Compatibility of Apple 1.4 MB Floppy SuperDrives, Sonic Purity, Mac Daniel, 2007.09.26. Apple used two kinds of high-density floppy drives on Macs, auto-inject and manual inject. Can they be swapped?
- Vintage Macs provide a less distracting writing environment, Brian Richards, Advantage Mac, 2007.09.18. A Mac OS X user finds an old Macintosh IIsi and discovers the joy of writing undisturbed by music, messaging, and streaming content.
- Mac System 7.5.5 Can Do Anything Mac OS 7.6.1 Can, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.06.04. Yes, it is possible to run Internet Explorer 5.1.7 and SoundJam with System 7.5.5. You just need to have all the updates – and make one modification for SoundJam.
- Appearance Manager Allows Internet Explorer 5.1.7 to Work with Mac OS 7.6.1, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.05.23. Want a fairly modern browser with an old, fast operating system? Mac OS 7.6.1 plus the Appearance Manager and Internet Explorer may be just what you want.
- Format Any Drive for Older Macs with Patched Apple Tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Apple branded hard drives – until you apply the patches linked to this article.
- Project Quadra: Building a FrankenMac from a Quadra 700, IIci, and IIvx, Joseph Burke, My Turn, 2007.04.19. How a found Mac IIci plus an eBayed Q700 mainboard ended up in a Mac IIvx found at a neighbor’s yard sale.
- Making floppies and CDs for older Macs using modern Macs, Windows, and Linux PCs, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.03.15. Older Macs use HFS floppies and CDs. Here are the free resources you’ll need to write floppies or CDs for vintage Macs using your modern computer.
- System 7 Today, advocates of Apple’s ‘orphan’ Mac OS 7.6.1, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2006.10.26. Why Mac OS 7.6.1 is far better for 68040 and PowerPC Macs than System 7.5.x.
- 30 days of old school computing: No real hardships, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.10.11. These old black-and-white Macs are just fine for messaging, word processing, spreadsheets, scheduling, contact management, and browsing the Web.
- Mac OS 8 and 8.1: Maximum Size, Maximum Convenience, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.09.11. Mac OS 8 and 8.1 add some useful new features and tools, and it can even be practical on 68030-based Macs.
- Floppy drive observations: A compleat guide to Mac floppy drives and disk formats, Scott Baret, Online Tech Journal, 2006.06.29. A history of the Mac floppy from the 400K drive in the Mac 128K through the manual-inject 1.4M SuperDrives used in the late 1990s.
- Moving files from your new Mac to your vintage Mac, Paul Brierley, The ‘Book Beat, 2006.06.13. Old Macs use floppies; new ones don’t. Old Macs use AppleTalk; Tiger doesn’t support it. New Macs can burn CDs, but old CD drives can’t always read CD-R. So how do you move the files?
- System 7.6.1 is perfect for many older Macs, John Martorana, That Old Mac Magic, 2006.03.24. Want the best speed from your old Mac? System 7.6.1 can give you that with a fairly small memory footprint – also helpful on older Macs.
- System 7.5 and Mac OS 7.6: The beginning and end of an era, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.02.15. System 7.5 and Mac OS 7.6 introduced many new features and greater modernity while staying within reach of most early Macintosh models.
- Web browser tips for the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.01.03. Tips on getting the most out of WaMCom, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, iCab, Opera, and WannaBe using the classic Mac OS.
- Which system software is best for my vintage Mac?, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2005.11.22. Which system software works best depends to a great extent on just which Mac you have and how much RAM is installed.
- The legendary DayStar Turbo 040 hot rods 68030 Macs, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2005.11.29. DayStar’s vintage upgrade can make an SE/30 and most models in the Mac II series faster than the ‘wicked fast’ Mac IIfx.
- Macintosh II Family Technical Overview, darknerd, Angelfire. Some excellent, rarely discussed technical details on the whole Mac II lineup.
- The 10 worst Macs ever built, Remy Davison, Insanely Great Mac, 2001.08.06
- Run Mac OS 8.1 on your ‘030 Mac, Charles W Moore, Applelinks, 8/8/00. “Born Again enables certain 68030 Macs to support Mac OS 8.1.”
- Games for ‘030s, Brian Rumsey, Low End Mac Gaming, 5/26. A look at games that run nicely on the old 68030-based Macs.
- Information on 32-bit addressing
- Mac IIvx Upgrade Page, MacSpeedZone
- Memory upgrade guide
- Macintosh IIvx Technical Specifications, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- Apple discontinued support and parts orders for this model on 2001.01.01. You may be able to find dealers with parts inventory either locally or on our parts and service list.
- Serial port normally restricted to 57.6 kbps; throughput with a 56k modem may be limited. See 56k modem page. For more information on Mac serial ports, read Macintosh Serial Throughput.
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