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Macintosh IIfx

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The Macintosh IIfx is the fastest of the II line and shipped with a 40MHz Motorola 68030 processor.

General Information

Released in March 1990, The Mac IIfx was the fastest Mac ever built at the time. The IIfx shipped in a Mac II-style case, and could accommodate up to two Super Drives and and internal SCSI hard disk. Dubbed "Wicked Fast" by the press, the IIfx also contained a number of proprietary ASICs designed to speed up the machine further. These required software written specifically for the IIfx to run at top speed, but either way it was an extremely powerful machine. It sold for $10,000 - $12,000, depending on configuration.

The floppy drive, ADB and serial ports on the Macintosh IIfx are controlled by a pair of 10MHz 6502 processors.

Codenames: Stealth, Blackbird, F-16. The IIfx was discontinued in April 1992. Originally shipped with system software 6.0.5.


The Macintosh IIfx uses the Motorola 68030 processor clocked at 40MHz, making it the fastest '030 based Macintosh from the factory. A Motorola 68882 math co-processor is included.


The IIfx uses unique memory which uses 64 pins, not shared by any other Macintosh model.


The Apple Macintosh IIfx is an extremely high-speed and elegantly engineered personal computer that has been designed for people who need the ultimate in Macintosh responsiveness as well as new Macintosh capabilities. To provide maximum Macintosh performance and responsiveness, the Macintosh IIfx incorporates a high-speed, 40-megahertz 68030 microprocessor, a 32K Static RAM Cache memory subsystem, and a 68882 floating-point coprocessor for high-speed processing of complex mathe­matical functions.

The Macintosh IIfx also incorporates, for the first time, dedicated I/O (input/output) processors. These custom-designed ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) boost system efficiency by managing low-level I/O tasks - for the Apple Desktop Bus floppy disk drives, and serial ports - that were previously carried out by the 68030 processor. In addition, the Macintosh IIfx contains a dedicated SCSI/DMA (Small Computer System Interface/Direct Memory Access) controller that improves SCSI performance.

Users who need maximum system ex­pandability will especially appreciate the versatility of the Macintosh IIfx. First, system memory can be expanded from 4 to 8 megabytes for high-performance applications that demand superior system responsiveness. Second, the Macintosh IIfx includes six NuBus expansion slots that can accommodate a wide range of Apple and third-party expansion cards, such as additional network interface and graphics cards. A new Processor Direct Slot (PDS) provides a direct interface for third-party hardware options. And six external interface ports accommodate peripherals such as hard disks and printers, LocalTalk network connections, and Apple Desktop Bus devices.

For floppy disk storage, the Macintosh IIfx uses the 1.4-megabyte Apple SuperDrive disk drive, which allows users to read from and write to 3.5-inch Macintosh floppy disks as well as 3.5-inch disks used in a variety of other personal computers. The Macintosh IIfx can also be configured with up to 160 megabytes of internal hard disk storage, and it will accommodate a second SuperDrive.

Best of all, the Macintosh IIfx is a Macintosh, which means that it still offers all of the benefits of earlier Macintosh systems: access to more than 3,000 of the most powerful, graphics-based applications available; ease of learning and ease of use through a consistent, graphics-based interface; choice without confusion in hardware and software; the convenience of "plug and play" compatibility; and the assurance that all Macintosh components will work together smoothly.


  • Set the system date to 3/19/90 (the release date of the IIfx), and restart while holding down Command-Option-f-x. You'll see a color picture of the IIfx design team. Click the mouse to continue.





See Also

The Macintosh II Series from Apple Computer
Macintosh II -- Macintosh IIx -- Macintosh IIcx -- Macintosh IIci -- Macintosh IIsi -- Macintosh IIvx -- Macintosh IIvi -- Macintosh IIfx