Macintosh SE/30

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Macintosh SE/30
A Macintosh SE/30
Also known as"Green Jade"[1]
ManufacturerApple Computer, Inc.
Product familyCompact Macintosh
Release dateJanuary 19, 1989; 29 years ago (1989-01-19)
Introductory priceUS$4,369 (equivalent to $8,639 in 2017)
DiscontinuedOctober 21, 1991 (1991-10-21)
Operating systemSystem 6.0.3System 7.5.5
With a 32-bit clean ROM upgrade, Mac OS 7.6 - Mac OS 8.1
CPUMotorola 68030 @ 16 MHz
Memory1 MB RAM (120 ns 30-pin SIMM), expandable to 128 MB
DimensionsHeight: 13.6 inches (35 cm)
Width: 9.6 inches (24 cm)
Depth: 10.9 inches (28 cm)
Weight19.5 pounds (8.8 kg)
PredecessorMacintosh SE
SuccessorMacintosh Classic II
Related articlesMacintosh IIx

The Macintosh SE/30 is a personal computer designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from January 1989 to October 1991. It is the fastest of the original black-and-white compact Macintosh series.

The SE/30 has a black-and-white monitor and a single PDS slot (rather than the NuBus slots of the IIx, with which the SE/30 shares a common architecture) which supported third-party accelerators, network cards, or a display adapter. Although officially only able to support 32 MB, the SE/30 could expand up to 128 MB of RAM (a significant amount of RAM at the time), and included a 40 or 80 MB hard drive. It was also the first compact Mac to include a 1.44 MB high density floppy disk drive as standard (late versions of the SE had one, but earlier versions did not). In keeping with Apple's practice from the Apple II+ until the Power Macintosh G3 was announced, a logic board upgrade was available to convert a regular SE to a SE/30. The SE would then have exactly the same specs as an SE/30, with the difference only in the floppy drive if the SE had an 800 KB drive. The set included a new front bezel to replace the original SE bezel with that of an SE/30.

In the naming scheme used at that time, Apple indicated the presence of a 68030 processor by adding the letter "x" to a model's name. When the Macintosh SE was upgraded with the 68030 processor, this posed an awkward problem; Apple was not willing to name their new computer the "Macintosh SEx". Thus, "SE/30" was the name chosen.[citation needed] Internally, code names such as Green Jade, Fafnir, and Roadrunner were used.[2]

This machine was followed in 1991 by the Macintosh Classic II, which, despite the same processor and clock speed, was only 60% as fast as the SE/30 due to its 16-bit data path,[3] supported no more than 10 MB of memory, lacked an internal expansion slot, and made the Motorola 68882 FPU an optional upgrade.


Although it uses 32-bit instructions, the SE/30 ROM, like the IIx ROM, includes some code using 24-bit addressing, rendering the ROM "32-bit dirty". This limited the actual amount of RAM that can be accessed to 8 MB under System 6.0.8.[1] A system extension called MODE32 enables access to installed extra memory under System 6.0.8. Under System 7.0 up to System 7.5.5 the SE/30 can use up to 128 MB of RAM. Alternatively, replacing the ROM SIMM with one from a Mac IIsi or Mac IIfx makes the SE/30 "32-bit clean" and thereby enables use of up to 128 MB RAM and System 7.5 through OS 8.1.

A standard SE/30 can run up to System 7.5.5,[4] since Mac OS 7.6 requires a 32-bit clean ROM.[5]

Additionally, the SE/30 can run A/UX, Apple's older version of a Unix that was able to run Macintosh programs.[6]

Though there was no official upgrade path for the SE/30, several third-party processor upgrades were available. A 68040 upgrade made it possible to run Mac OS 8.1, which extended the SE/30's productive life for many more years. The Micron Technology Xceed Gray-Scale 30 video card fit into the SE/30's PDS slot, enabling in to display greyscale video on its internal display, the only non-color compact Mac able to do so.[7][8]


  • Macintosh SE/30:[9] Available in multiple configurations.
    • US$4,369 (1MB RAM, No hard disk)
    • US$4,869 (1MB RAM, 40MB Hard disk)
    • US$6,569 (4MB RAM, 80MB Hard disk)[10]


Bruce F. Webster wrote in Macworld in March 1989 that the SE/30 did not "break new ground. It does, however, establish Apple's commitment to the classic Mac product line, and it provides users with an Apple-supported alternative to either a small, slow Mac or a large, powerful one. More important, it fills a gap in the Macintosh family ... a new level of power and portability for the Macintosh community".[11]

In a January 2009 Macworld feature commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Macintosh, three industry commentators – Adam C. Engst of TidBITS, John Gruber of Daring Fireball, and John Siracusa of Ars Technica – chose the SE/30 as their favorite Mac model of all time. "Like any great Mac," wrote Gruber, "the SE/30 wasn't just a terrific system just when it debuted; it remained eminently usable for years to come. When I think of the original Mac era, the machine in my mind is the SE/30."

Popular culture[edit]

In the NBC TV series Seinfeld, Jerry has an SE/30 sitting on his desk during the first seasons. This would be the first of many Macs to occupy the desk, including a PowerBook Duo and a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh.

In the FX series It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the Waitress is seen with a Macintosh SE/30 on her bedroom desk in the episode "The Gang Gives Back".

In the film Watchmen, Ozymandias has an all-black TEMPEST-shielded SE/30 on his desk.[citation needed]

In the film Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker is shown to have a Macintosh SE/30 in his bedroom.

Timeline of compact Macintosh models

Power MacintoshMacintosh LC 520PowerBookMacintosh LCMacintosh PortableMacintosh II seriesApple IIeMacintosh Classic IIMacintosh Color ClassicMacintosh SE/30Macintosh ClassicMacintosh PlusMacintosh PlusMacintosh XLMacintosh SEMacintosh 512KeApple LisaMacintosh 128KMacintosh 512K


  1. ^ a b Pogue, David; Schorr, Joseph (1999). MacWorld Mac Secrets, 5th Edition. IDG Books. pp. 461–462. ISBN 0-7645-4040-8.
  2. ^ Linzmayer, Owen W. (2004). Apple Confidential 2.0. No Starch Press. p. 48. ISBN 1-59327-010-0.
  3. ^ "Lowendmac".
  4. ^ "Lowendmac".
  5. ^ "Lowendmac". Minimum requirements for Mac OS 7.6 included a 68030 CPU, "32-bit clean" ROMs, 8 MB of RAM (12-16 MB recommended), and 70 MB of hard drive space. It no longer supported 24-bit addressing or classic Mac networking (it used OpenTransport exclusively).
  6. ^ "A/UX FAQ". A/UX 3.0 works on the Mac II (with PMMU or 68030 upgrade with FDHD ROM's installed), IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIfx, SE/30, IIsi (with 68882 chip) and the Quadra 700/900/950 computers.
  7. ^ "SE/30 GrayScale ScreenShots".
  8. ^ "Lowendmac".
  9. ^ "Macintosh SE/30: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  10. ^ "InfoWorld March 27, 1989".
  11. ^ Webster, Bruce F. (March 1989). "The Mac SE Turns 030". Macworld. pp. 112–117. Retrieved 20 August 2016.