Mac LC II

What was the smallest desktop Mac prior to the Mac mini? Apple’s LC series, which measured just under 3″ tall, although it had as big a footprint as four minis.

Macintosh LC IIThe LC II (a.k.a. Performa 400-430 and code named Foster Farms) was a slightly less crippled version of the LC. Still running a 32-bit CPU on a 16-bit data bus and limited by design to support no more than 10 MB of RAM, at least the 68030 offers virtual memory and works with RAM Doubler (the LC II is slower than the Mac IIx, even though both use the same 16 MHz 68030 CPU).

The only other improvement over the LC is 4 MB of onboard memory instead of the 2 MB of the earlier model.

As a cost-cutting measure, Apple eliminated the internal connector for a second floppy drive, since fewer than 5% of LCs were sold with two floppies. The video circuitry was also tweaked to better serve those using VGA and multisync monitors.

Although its clock speed was the same as the LC, the LC II is what the LC should have been. (In fact, many benchmarks show the LC II is slightly slower than the LC. Go figure!) Even with a couple improvements over the Mac LC, we still call it a Compromised Mac.

Details

  • LC II introduced 1992.03.23 at $1,400; discontinued 1993.03.15
  • Performa 400, 405, 410, and 430 released 1993.09.14; discontinued 1993.10.18; model number reflects software bundle, not any difference in hardware
  • Gestalt ID: 37
  • model no.: M1700

Mac OS

  • requires System 6.0.7 to 7.5.5
  • addressing: 24-bit or 32-bit

Core System

  • CPU: 16 MHz 68030
  • FPU: 68882 (optional, uses PDS slot)
  • ROM: 512 KB
  • RAM: 4 MB on motherboard, expandable to 10 MB using a pair of 100ns 30-pin SIMMs; can use 1 MB, 2 MB, and 4 MB SIMMs (cannot address more than 10 MB, even with 12 MB installed)
  • L2 cache: none

Performance

  • 1.7, relative to SE (compare to 2.9 for Mac IIx)
  • 0.22, Speedometer 4
  • 3.9 MIPS

Graphics

  • video: 256 KB VRAM SIMM, expandable to 512 KB; supports 512 x 384 and 640 x 480 resolutions (must have 512 KB VRAM for 8 bits at 640 x 480, 16 bits at 512 x 384)
  • VRAM: accepts one 100ns VRAM SIMM, 256 KB standard, can be upgraded with single 512 KB VRAM SIMM, other specs unknown, VRAM SIMM appears to be specific to early Macs.
  • video port: DB-15

Drives

  • Hard drive: 40 or 80 MB SCSI
  • floppy drive: 1.4 MB double-sided

Expansion

  • ADB ports: 1 for keyboard and mouse
  • serial ports: 2 DIN-8 RS-422 on back of computer
  • SCSI ports: DB-25 connector on back of computer
  • Hard drive: none, 40, or 80 MB
  • sound: 8-bit mono
  • audio in: 8-bit mono
  • expansion slot: LC PDS slot

Physical

  • size (HxWxD): 2.9″ x 12.2″ x 15.3″
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs.
  • PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
  • power supply: 50W
  • upgrade path: LC III, Quadra 605

Accelerators & Upgrades

  • Macintosh LC III (25 MHz 68030), although it’s probably cheaper to simply buy a used LC III
  • MicroMac Thunder (32 MHz 68030), optional 16 MHz 68881 FPU
  • MicroMac Thunder Cache (32 MHz 68030), 32KB cache, optional 32 MHz 68882 FPU
  • MicroMac ThunderPro (32 MHz 68030), optional 32 MHz 68882 FPU, breaks 10 MB barrier
  • MicroMac Power WorkStation (32 MHz 68030), 32KB cache, expansion bay
  • Quadra 605 motherboard (25 MHz 68LC040), although it’s probably cheaper to just buy a Quadra 605/LC 475
  • Sonnet Technologies Presto 040 LC (25 MHz 68040 or 68LC040), discontinued
  • Sonnet Presto Plus (33 MHz 68LC040 or 68040, Ethernet, and 32 MB additional RAM)
  • LC Power WorkStation from MicroMac is an expansion chassis that includes a 32 MHz 68030 processor with a 32 KB cache, has room for two PDS cards, and has room for a second hard drive and an optical drive. Not cheap!

Discontinued accelerators (68030 unless otherwise noted) include the Applied Engineering TransWarp (50 MHz), DayStar Universal PowerCache (33, 40, 50 MHz), Extreme Systems Impact (33 MHz), and Total Systems Enterprise (32 MHz).

Online Resources

Cautions

  • 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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