Mac Classic II, a Compromised Mac

Second Class Macs are Apple’s somewhat compromised hardware designs. For the most part, they’re not really bad – simply designs that didn’t meet their full potential. Take the 16-bit motherboard of the LC, replace the 68020 CPU with a 68030, strip out the expansion slot, and put it into a Classic case – and you have another Second Class Mac.

Mac Classic IIProblems the Classic II (a.k.a. Performa 200) shares with the LC and LC II are a 32-bit CPU hobbled by a 16-bit data bus and a 10 MB RAM ceiling.

Apple tried to position the Classic II as a replacement for the venerable SE/30. However, the 16-bit data path gives it about 60% as much horsepower as the SE/30. On top of that, the Classic II has a 10 MB RAM ceiling, while the SE/30 can handle 128 MB. Finally, the SE/30 has a PDS expansion slot, but the Classic II has no expansion slot.

Still, it was a nice step up from the Plus, SE, or Classic, all of which have an 8 MHz 68000 and are limited to 4 MB RAM. Compared with them, a 16 MHz CPU and up to 10 MB of RAM was quite a step up.

The Classic II wasn’t a terrible Mac, just a compromised one.

Details

  • introduced October 1991 at $1,900; discontinued September 1993 (Performa discontinued April 1993)
  • requires System 7.0.1 to 7.6.1
  • CPU: 16 MHz 68030
  • FPU: 6882 (optional)
  • Performance: 1.8 (relative to SE)
  • RAM: 2 MB, expandable to 10 MB using two 100ns 30-pin SIMMs
  • 9″ b&w screen, 512 x 342 pixels
  • ADB: 2 ports for keyboard and mouse
  • serial: 2 DIN-8 RS-422 ports on back of computer
  • SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
  • expansion slots: none

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