Macintosh IIfx

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Macintosh IIfx
Macintosh IIfx.jpg
DeveloperApple Computer
Product familyMacintosh II
Release dateMarch 19, 1990 (1990-03-19)
Introductory priceUS$8,969 (equivalent to $17,767 in 2020)
DiscontinuedApril 15, 1992 (1992-04-15)
Operating systemSystem 6.0.5-7.1.1(Pro), 7.5-7.6.1
CPUMotorola 68030 @ 40 MHz
Memory4 MB, expandable to 128 MB (80 ns 64-pin SIMMs)
DimensionsHeight: 5.5 inches (14 cm)
Width: 18.7 inches (47 cm)
Depth: 14.4 inches (37 cm)
Mass24 pounds (11 kg)
PredecessorMacintosh IIx
SuccessorMacintosh Quadra 900

The Macintosh IIfx is a personal computer designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer from March 1990 to April 1992. At introduction it cost from US$9,000 to US$12,000, depending on configuration, and it was the fastest Macintosh available at the time.

The IIfx is the most powerful of the 68030-based Macintosh II family and was replaced at the top of Apple's lineup by the Macintosh Quadra in 1991. It is the last Apple computer released that was designed using the Snow White design language.


Dubbed "Wicked Fast"[1] by its Product Manager, Frank Casanova – who came to Apple from Apollo Computer in Boston, Massachusetts, where the Boston term "wicked" is commonly used to denote anything extreme – the IIfx runs at a clock rate of 40 megahertz, has 32 KB of Level 2 cache, six NuBus slots, and includes a number of proprietary ASICs and coprocessors. Designed to speed up the machine further, these chips require system-specific drivers. The 40 MHz speed refers to the main logic board clock (the bus), the Motorola 68030 CPU, and the computer's Motorola 68882 FPU. The machine has eight RAM slots, for a maximum of 128 MB RAM, an enormous amount at the time.

The IIfx features specialized high-speed (80 ns) RAM using 64-pin dual-ported SIMMs, while all other contemporary Macintosh models use 30-pin SIMMs. The extra pins are a separate path to allow latched read and write operations. It is also possible to use parity memory modules; the IIfx is the only stock 68K Macintosh to support them along with special versions of the Macintosh IIci. The logic board has a total of 8 RAM slots; these must be populated four at a time with 1, 4, or 16 MB chips; this results in a maximum memory amount of 128 MB.[2]

The IIfx includes two special dedicated processors for floppy disk operations, sound, ADB, and serial communications.[3] These I/O chips feature a pair of 10 MHz embedded 6502 CPUs, which is the same CPU family used in Apple II machines.[4]

The IIfx uses SCSI as its hard disk interface, as had all previous Macintosh models since the Macintosh Plus. The IIfx requires a special black-colored SCSI terminator for external drives.[5]


When first introduced, the IIfx was offered in these configurations:[6]

  • Macintosh IIfx: 4 MB memory, 1.44 MB SuperDrive. US$8,989.[7]
  • Macintosh IIfx 4/80: 4 MB memory, 80 MB HDD. US$9,869.[7]
  • Macintosh IIfx 4/160: 4 MB memory, 160 MB HDD. US$10,969.[7]
  • Macintosh IIfx 4/80 with Parity Support: 4 MB of parity error-checking RAM, 80 MB HDD.

Introduced May 15, 1990:

  • Macintosh IIfx 4/80 with A/UX: 4 MB memory, 160 MB HDD, A/UX 2.0 preinstalled. US$10,469.[8] Shipments began in June.

Timeline of Macintosh II models


  1. ^ Pogue, David; Schorr, Joseph (1999). "Chapter 12: From 128K to Quadra: Mac to Mac". MacWorld Mac Secrets, 5th Edition. IDG Books. pp. 467-468. ISBN 0-7645-4040-8.
  2. ^ "Macintosh IIfx: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  3. ^ Collyer, Rich (April 1990). "Technote HW 09 – Macintosh IIfx: The Inside Story". Archived from the original on February 3, 1999. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "Mac IIfx". Low End Mac. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Technical Note DV15 - SCSI termination".
  6. ^ "Macintosh IIfx - Overview" (PDF). Apple.
  7. ^ a b c "Apple introduces high-performance Macintosh products". Apple. March 19, 1990.
  8. ^ "Apple Computer announces A/UX 2.0 pricing, availability". Apple.

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