Memory Upgrades: Mac Color Classic

The Color Classic has 4 MB of system memory soldered to its motherboard. There are two SIMM sockets that can be used to expand it to 6 MB, 8 MB, or 10 MB.

Macintosh Color ClassicThe Color Classic has a very nice design – the motherboard is on rails and simply slides out the back after you remove a pair of screws and remove the tabbed back cover, eliminating any need to take the case apart for RAM upgrades or adding a PDS card.

When upgrading, be careful not to damage the SIMM sockets, especially if you are removing memory.

To upgrade the Color Classic, you will need two matching 30-pin SIMMs. They must be rated at 100ns or faster and may be 1 MB, 2 MB, or 4 MB in capacity. With a pair of 1 MB SIMMs, you’ll have 6 MB of system memory. With 2 MB SIMMs, 8 MB, and with 4 MB SIMMs, 10 MB (the ROMs will not let it access more than 10 MB of system memory, even though you will have 12 MB installed).

Mac Color Classic page from Apple Memory Guide

Mac Color Classic page from Apple Memory Guide.

Since there are only two SIMM sockets, it’s easy to figure out where the memory goes. And since the Classic II automatically recognizes additional memory, there are no jumpers to worry about. Just click the new RAM into the SIMM sockets.

Now reseat the motherboard in its mount, reconnect all cables, and test it. (Careful of exposed wires – nothing worse than getting the whole thing back together and discovering you have a bad SIMM or have not seated the memory correctly.) Boot your Color Classic with extensions off (hold down the shift key) and check “About This Macintosh” under the Apple menu. If it doesn’t give the expected number, you should reseat your memory.

Once you know the upgrade is a success, put the back on your Color Classic, tighten the screws, and enjoy the extra memory. Some suggestions:

  1. Increase the size of the disk cache to boost hard drive performance.
  2. Create a RAM disk, which is much faster than a hard drive. We recommend ramBunctious, which can automatically save your RAM disk to a hard drive, Zip drive, etc.


  • If you have less than 10 MB installed, get a pair of 4 MB SIMMs and upgrade to the maximum.

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