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Macintosh IIfx

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Macintosh IIfx
DeveloperApple Computer
Product familyMacintosh II
Release dateMarch 19, 1990 (1990-03-19)
Introductory priceUS$8,969 (equivalent to $20,917 in 2023)
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
RelatedMacintosh Classic
Macintosh SE/30
Macintosh IIci
Macintosh IIsi

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 even 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]

Industrial Light & Magic upgraded their image processing hardware to the IIfx by the time Terminator 2: Judgment Day entered post-production.[6]


When first introduced, the IIfx was offered in the following configurations:[7]

  • Macintosh IIfx: 4 MB memory, 1.44 MB SuperDrive. US$8,969.[8]
  • Macintosh IIfx 4/80: 4 MB memory, 80 MB HDD. US$9,869.[8]
  • Macintosh IIfx 4/160: 4 MB memory, 160 MB HDD. US$10,969.[8]
  • 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.[9] Shipments began in June.


Timeline of Macintosh II family models
Macintosh QuadraMacintosh LCMacintosh PortableMacintosh SE/30Apple IIc PlusMacintosh SEMacintosh PlusMacintosh IIvxMacintosh IIviMacintosh IIsiMacintosh IIfxMacintosh IIciMacintosh IIcxMacintosh IIxMacintosh II


  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. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  3. ^ Collyer, Rich (April 1990). "Technote HW 09 – Macintosh IIfx: The Inside Story". developer.apple.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 1999. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "Mac IIfx". Low End Mac. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Technical Note DV15 - SCSI termination". Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  6. ^ “”Terminator 2″ Computer Graphics Effects” by Cameron - ACM SIGGRAPH HISTORY ARCHIVES
  7. ^ "Macintosh IIfx - Overview" (PDF). Apple. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 19, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Apple introduces high-performance Macintosh products". Apple. March 19, 1990. Archived from the original on January 19, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  9. ^ "Apple Computer announces A/UX 2.0 pricing, availability". Apple. May 15, 1990. Archived from the original on January 19, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2017.

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