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A very late 040

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LC/LCIIs deserve the criticism they get - even with period correct software, they are slow.  But I guess they really served as a glorified word processor in most cases... I just remember being shocked when I walked into 9th grade computer class in 2001 and saw a lab of LCIIs networked together by PhoneNet adapters.  That was three years after 6th grade keyboarding class where we used (relatively) lightning fast 386 and 486 based IBM and Compaq machines!!!  To add another layer of comedy to that, some of those IBM 386 machines were donated to the school by a local bank.

 

Thinking back to those days is kinda funny, the attitude seemed to be "we need to teach computers" so they bought computers with very little regard to what they would actually be used for or were capable of.  Our computer classes involved either simply typing documents or more commonly, games...they were often forgotten in a corner until there was some free time to play Tank Wars, the modern equivalent to setting up a Playstation in a classroom.

 

Having been involved in an IT role a few years later, it seemed that a lot of those old, slow machines up to and including the early PowerPC era were just simply not used that much, ever, because their usefulness outside of ClarisWorks was limited.

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We had an LC at the office back when they were new.  It was used for our ordering system and probably word processing too.  Pretty sure it wasn't the host computer but a workstation.  And, as I recall, it worked fine for that.  I believe we had it until the LCIIIs came out and then it was replaced with an LCIII.  The LC was sold to a local government department where they used it for another couple years.  (There's a chance it was an LCII, but I am pretty sure it was an LC.)

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I found an L88M by luck on eBay awhile back by looking through a “Motorola CPU” saved search everyday. Came with an XC68040 and a 060, the pins were a mess on all of them but I heated them up with a hot air gun and slowly straighten them out. 
 

...But more to your point, I do have it in my Quadra 605 actually!

 

Not sure what the best way I could measure the heat output would be to compare to yours?

Edited by Fizzbinn

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8 hours ago, Fizzbinn said:

 

 

Not sure what the best way I could measure the heat output would be to compare to yours?

 

My old XC at idle runs about 48C with the cover off and no heat sink.  I've read here somewhere that the L88M runs cool to the touch at idle, no heatsink?

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I just booted mine into 7.6.1 with extensions off and top case removed. After 25 minutes it is certainly NOT cool to the touch. Using a cheap laser thermometer I measure temps between 46-49C around the top half (chip markings) with temps at the bottom half around 10 degrees cooler...  I never measured the temps with the original CPU. Interesting. 

 

0041FF7D-96D6-48BA-8DED-45A0FC3F1800.thumb.jpeg.a070237cb4b68c59f9cf32417c36981f.jpeg

 

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If it’s hot, it’s probably not an L88M and it’s a reseller fake with the original markings wiped off the top.

 

 

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I came up with a list of prospective Macs starting in about 1990 going through the 68k era, and I replaced the components with what I thought should have been what the specs of each of the machines.  For example, releasing the Classic with a 68000 processor, and the LC with a 68020 was a mistake, in my opinion.  Also, Apple admitted that the monochrome displays of the classic Macs could have done grayscale, and that adding a grayscale video controller actually didn't affect the pricing all that much, but it would have cannibalized sales of other Macs.  

 

This is just an opinion, and I realize Apple was trying to hit certain costs and also they were trying not to cannibalize the sales of other machines.  However, looking back, the downfall was that Apple produced machines with inferior specs, and high prices, and continued releasing products you just have to shake your head at (IIvi followed by the IIvx ??).

 

This chart I made only covers a lot of the 68k era.

 

In regards to the 6200/6300/6400 series, I can only say that I was looking for a new computer in 1995 and I went into a computer store to test out various machines.  I sat down at the 6x00 machines and ran some software, and found out they were very, very slow.  I ran several benchmark software (and I made my own using a HyperCard stack that tested script performance).  I ended up buying a 7200/75 because its performance was faster than the 6x00 machines I tested.

 

If anyone here has a 6x00 series computer, we could run some 68k emulation and PPC benchmarks on different machines and post the results.  Would be an interesting excercise.

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9 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

However, looking back, the downfall was that Apple produced machines with inferior specs, and high prices, and continued releasing products you just have to shake your head at

^^^^

 

It's apparent Jobs realized the pricing schema was a huge issue when he took over, introducing the Power Macintosh G3 at a staggeringly low figure for an Apple flagship station. I wonder how thin the margins were there on those machines, or even the iMac for that matter...

 

It seems that the 1990s status quo was complete Gordon Gekko. (supposition) Apple was so used to eating high on the hog they couldn't bear the dip in margins, even during the "good" days. Later, because they were so disorganized, not stopping the poly-faceted blood-letting that was happening across all areas, they probably justified their margins to stay in the black (or at least what they thought was in the black).

 

So, yes, by the mid '90s the relative cost of a Performa or LC system was fractional to that of a Power Macintosh 9500, but just not competitive in the grand scheme of "economy Mac" or even the home personal computer market, for that matter. More of that exclusivity tax?

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On 8/5/2020 at 7:07 AM, Cory5412 said:

Not that five 6200s is a reasonable buy instead of a 9500

Four 6200s, ethernet cards, a hub, a second monitor for one of them, and a KVM might actually be significantly better and more stable for multitasking, though...

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8 hours ago, jessenator said:

It seems that the 1990s status quo was complete Gordon Gekko. (supposition) Apple was so used to eating high on the hog they couldn't bear the dip in margins, even during the "good" days. Later, because they were so disorganized, not stopping the poly-faceted blood-letting that was happening across all areas, they probably justified their margins to stay in the black (or at least what they thought was in the black).

IBM was using the same strategy in the early to mid-90s and it worked to an extent. On paper, an IBM PS/2 was a pretty lousy deal given most were crippled with a 16-bit bus and 24-bit RAM addressing limit thanks to the glorified 386SX designs (486SLC) most of them used. Your average clone running a real 486DX and local bus video ran circles around them. IBM's own PS/1 and Aptiva lineup for the home did too, but businesses weren't buying them, they were directed (forced?) towards the cash cow PS/2 line. Eventually the jig was up thanks to Dell, Compaq, HP, etc. but even IBM adapted in the mid-90s with the more reasonably priced PC300 series.

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Sorry for the really long post. This an ultra interesting discussion.

 

On 8/5/2020 at 5:54 AM, Brett B. said:

LC/LCIIs deserve the criticism they get - even with period correct software, they are slow. 

 

Yeah, so, with the original LCs, "slow" is kind of a relative thing, too. Like, if you have an early LC, it probably shipped with 7.0 or 7.0.1 on it, it'll run system 6 easily enough - which might actually be a better use case for it than system 7, especially anything after 7.1.

 

But, I mean, they cost a lot less than the other modular Macs at the time, had color, had the slot for IIe or ethernet. I guess it depends on the criticism. I mean, Apple could hypothetically have put faster guts in them, but JLG didn't even want the LC to exist, and was pushing really hard during his time in Apple's leadership to get 55% margins, creating the chant "55 or die" which is probably why the LC launched at like $2500, which was like a third of what a IIci was selling for and a bit over half what a IIsi cost, but also still kind of a lot for something that wasn't actually as fast as the only other '020 Apple ever built.

 

 

 

10 hours ago, Brett B. said:

Thinking back to those days is kinda funny, the attitude seemed to be "we need to teach computers" so they bought computers with very little regard to what they would actually be used for or were capable of.  Our computer classes involved either simply typing documents or more commonly, games...they were often forgotten in a corner until there was some free time to play Tank Wars, the modern equivalent to setting up a Playstation in a classroom.

It seems like the most common conception of "teaching computers" really does involve teaching, mechanically, how to use computers to accomplish work, and doesn't necessarily involve thinking about work different because computers exist, and hasn't maybe since some time in the '80s really involved much in the way of programming.

 

My K-12 schools was structured similarly to what a lot of people are describing here. One or two computers in the library for card catalog usage, a couple office computers, each teacher had a computer (sometimes two, depending), a flagship computer lab, sometimes a secondary lab created out of what fell out of the flagship lab most recently, and then most classrooms had two, sometimes three computers hanging around in the back of the room.

 

We had LCs in the flagship lab until ~1998-1999 and they were "fine". We did ClarisWorks stuff and HyperCard+HyperScript on them, had networked home directories, at first via LocalTalk and then via Ethernet. Those were replaced with Dells running NT4 and I found out later all the LCs moved to a manufactured building at the back of the campus because some classes still wanted to use them.

 

I need to go get it, but I have an original LC and it's also "fine". It's not my very first choice, compared to an 840av or any powermac but it runs 7.1 and a lot of the Claris stuff I like well enough. Really, I think in the early '90s outside of education specifically where kid games and edutainment were important, I think we might be underestimating just how much ClarisWorks was really doing for people.

 

I think that how you go with this really depends. A lot of what I've seen on this front is memorizing how to do $TASK by rote and not thinking about how to use a computer to solve problems, and, maybe more critically, getting people to think of powerful Office applications in any way other than as a typewriter. MS Office in particular is capable of a lot of automation and really powerful stuff that people leave K-12 and university not knowing how to use or how to think about. And, what's worse is that that third party training courses like the ones from Lynda/LinkedIn Learning are really good at this particular kind of instruction but we're not at a point where "I took the Lynda Word course" is a good proxy for being suitable for doing computer office work. So, that's not necessarily a solution, it's just a good resource.

 

10 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

I came up with a list of prospective Macs starting in about 1990 going through the 68k era, and I replaced the components with what I thought should have been what the specs of each of the machines.

So, there's an interesting undercurrent here about just putting better technology in the basic computers and it's interesting to think about how that would've gone. I continue to maintain that the basic Macs were "fine", especially if you had existing system6-based workflows or whatever.

 

My personal take here is that adding models probably isn't the right way to go about it. If it were me, I'd take a good long look at what was available, in, say, 1990, and then start cutting. (1990 has this less bad than, say, 1992, but my point stands for basically the entire decade between 1987 and 1997.)

 

If you aren't selling three models of SE, for example, you can get away with charging less for them through volume. If you're worried about the IIsi eating some of your IIci sales, just don't sell it. (And, I legitimately believe Apple was kind of worried about this in 1990, in a way they claim since 1998 or so not to have been.)

 

The other problem is Apple leaving old models in place too long. Arguably by, like, 1992, the Quadra 700 and 900 are the "fast" computers and reviews in 1992 comparing the Performa 600/IIvx to the IIci acknowledge that the IIci was several years old by then. Maybe the solution was to build the IIvx/P600 by refreshing+nerfing the IIci platform instead of leaving the IIci in place. Though, there's some "040 supply issues" going on there which is most, IIRC, of why the IIci was still on sale to begin with.

 

The question is basically, who you leave out and when do you choose to leave money on the table, and if you leave money on the table by, say, just dropping the IIci board into your Mac IIcd/IIvx or whatever and pricing it what the IIvx/P600 cost, are you possibly saving money by not doing development on a new unique model or by basing the new model on a revision of something a little more tried and true? (well, "tried and true" is the wrong phrase here. the IIvi/vx/P600 worked well, they just weren't as fast because their architecture comes from the LC series with NuBus and a better RAM controller added on, which is why they do about half what a IIci will in benchmarks, but, the IIci is already superceded by the Quadra 700, so I feel like just killing it in favor of the CDROM machine would've been fine and it would probably have cost Apple similarly either way, at least in terms of engineering costs, because you do kind of still arguably have to fix up the VRAM situation.)

 

To be honest though, I think there's a reasonable argument Apple wasn't thinking these through clearly. There's also the admitted benefit of hindsight being 20/20 in these kinds of scenarios, and we don't necessarily know what conditions or information Apple was working on when it was planning things in the '90s.

10 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

(IIvi followed by the IIvx ??).

I've always thought of the IIvi and IIvx as sort of parallel models, meant for different international markets. It's my recollection that the IIvi never actually sold in the US, instead, it was for more cost-sensitive European markets, where the IIvx and Performa 600 did sell in the US.

 

10 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

In regards to the 6200/6300/6400 series, I can only say that I was looking for a new computer in 1995 and I went into a computer store to test out various machines. 

The 6300/100-120 launched in 1996 and the 6400 launched in 1997. A 6300/100 should perform approximately as well as a 7200 and a 6400 should do better than any 7200, perhaps unless you wrench things to the max and have a 7200/120 with a generous L2 cache and a cacheles 6400/180 or 6360/160. (The cacheless 6400 was, again, primarily for cost-conscious markets and it's my understanding that relatively few cacheless 6400s sold in the US.)

 

The 6100 and 6200 have basicaly the same performance at PowerPC code.

 

The 6300 was a huge boost from the 6100-6200 but wasn't really a meaningful break from the architecture, and that whole "603 upgrade on an 040 machine adapted forward from an 030 platform" aspect of it does really hold it back compared to things like the PCI 604s, but it's anybody's guess as to how, say, a 6300/120 vs. 7200/120 showdown would go, I just don't have those machines on hand to try.

 

The other issue here is that given that you had the knowledge/expertise and resources to do that kind of indicates you really were a 7000/8000 customer anyway, and might even have been able to justify going up to a 7500/100. That kind of smooth product gradient is a lot of why people laud '90s Apple, for having a product in every price bracket and for every need. And, the 6200 was for people whose needs were more simple and involved fewer legacy software applications than yours did at the time.

 

That's not a failing of the 6200 per se, it's just how it shook down because it was cheap. (i.e. people need to stop expecting that the cheapest Mac will always be equal to the best Mac in terms of performance.)

10 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

If anyone here has a 6x00 series computer, we could run some 68k emulation and PPC benchmarks on different machines and post the results.  Would be an interesting excercise.

I've got a 6220/75 and in macbench 4 it returns almost the same results as my 6100. It's within a few percentage points. I've also got a 7200/90, but not a /75 or /120 or any cache for that machine.

 

I'm totally interested in workshopping some ideas for how to test 68k emulation performance. My initial thought was an older version of MacBench targeted to 68k Macs. MB4 is from 1998 and so everything is scaled so that a 6100 or 6200 gets roughly 100 and a G3/300 gets roughly 1000, and everything else falls between, up to the 8600/300 which gets you like 750 in floating point and 480 or so in integer compute.  (Which is the other thing, too, you have to remember just how insanely huge the G3 leap was, which is the other half of why the 6100 and 6200 (and probably the 7100/66) just look so bad.

 

8 hours ago, jessenator said:

It's apparent Jobs realized the pricing schema was a huge issue when he took over, introducing the Power Macintosh G3 at a staggeringly low figure for an Apple flagship station. I wonder how thin the margins were there on those machines, or even the iMac for that matter...

Two notes:
The Beige G3s actually started out "just" a couple hundo less than what they were replacing, if not the same price. Prices dropped like a brick by almost a thousand dollars in well under a year though as most of the rest of the Mac lineup got discontinued and Apple was saving absolute raftloads of money *And* G3s were worth every penny as replacements to the 7300/7600 and 8600 and everything underneath. In addition, there was a *lot* of shared componentry between the different G3 models, compared to, say, the way the 7300/7600/8600 had been built with unique motherboards.

 

I suspect Apple was making a killing, for a lot of different reasons. Cloning had ended. The G3 chip, Mac OS 8, Jobs, the MS agreement, and ultimately the iMac had all served to totally reinvigorate the Mac platform. The (WS/PDQ) PowerBook G3s (which were re-factored Beige G3s) were arguably the best laptops Apple had ever built at that point, and had lots of meaningful quality of life boosts like 14-inch 1024x768 displays, better cardbus support, dual battery capabilities back in from the 500 series, among other things, and of course that huge speed boost.

 

I think the real question is whether or not that kind of whole-stack product line reimagination would have been possible in 1996, or 1995, or even 1993 or 1992, or was it made possible in a unique way by a nominally "low end" completely clobbering everything enabling the entire product line of ~25+ machines to consolidate down to three basically overnight. (The 6500 survived the cull for a few months but let's be real here, the Beige G3 as a home bundle would've filled that slot fine. The 9600 was killed and then unkilled if I remember correctly due to demand for a 6-slot Mac, but it did poorly and that was only a couple months because the vast majority of Mac users decided they wanted fast more than slots.) UMAX S900s were stuck in the channel at bargain-basement prices until like late 1999 or early 2001, at which point you needed a PowerMac G4's worth of money on top of the S900's selling price to upgrade it to be suitable to run Mac OS X anyway

 

Some of these questions aren't fully answerable due to confounding factors like the IIci's graphics system arguably needing to be replaced and it not having sound either. The IIci also was kept around in part due to 040 supply issues pushing the Q700 and Q900 prices extraordinarily high. I believe it was like $7200/$10600 (might be slightly misremembering these numbers but they were Up There) or so to the IIci's 6000ish, that late. 

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8 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

That's not a failing of the 6200 per se, it's just how it shook down because it was cheap. (i.e. people need to stop expecting that the cheapest Mac will always be equal to the best Mac in terms of performance.)

I've got a 6220/75 and in macbench 4 it returns almost the same results as my 6100. It's within a few percentage points. I've also got a 7200/90, but not a /75 or /120 or any cache for that machine.

 

I'm totally interested in workshopping some ideas for how to test 68k emulation performance. My initial thought was an older version of MacBench targeted to 68k Macs. MB4 is from 1998 and so everything is scaled so that a 6100 or 6200 gets roughly 100 and a G3/300 gets roughly 1000, and everything else falls between, up to the 8600/300 which gets you like 750 in floating point and 480 or so in integer compute.  (Which is the other thing, too, you have to remember just how insanely huge the G3 leap was, which is the other half of why the 6100 and 6200 (and probably the 7100/66) just look so bad.

I have used Norton Utilities Speed Test, version 2.0, which is not PPC native.  It's fairly accurate.  I have a lot of machines I could test with, and we could compare results.  That would be a fun exercise, actually.

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8 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

I'm totally interested in workshopping some ideas for how to test 68k emulation performance.

My vote is The Even More Incredible Machine and an FPS counter       /s

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8 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

To be honest though, I think there's a reasonable argument Apple wasn't thinking these through clearly. There's also the admitted benefit of hindsight being 20/20 in these kinds of scenarios, and we don't necessarily know what conditions or information Apple was working on when it was planning things in the '90s.

I've always thought of the IIvi and IIvx as sort of parallel models, meant for different international markets. It's my recollection that the IIvi never actually sold in the US, instead, it was for more cost-sensitive European markets, where the IIvx and Performa 600 did sell in the US.

The IIvi was sold in Canada.  The IIvx came out within a few weeks of it, and sold for the same price.  Seriously, within 4 weeks anyone who bought a IIvi could have had twice the machine for the same price.  Not only that, Apple allowed retailers to discount the IIvi a very small amount, like $100 or something (can't remember specifically) but it was pretty lame.  I sold Macs back when this happened, and I knew the IIvx was coming and I couldn't sell a IIvi to anyone in good conscience.

 

In reality, the IIvi should never have existed in the specs it had, at the price that it was.  If they wanted to have the IIvi and IIvx co-exist, they should have been like 30% separating the prices.

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8 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

I have used Norton Utilities Speed Test, version 2.0, which is not PPC native.  It's fairly accurate.  I have a lot of machines I could test with, and we could compare results.  That would be a fun exercise, actually.

 

Do you have an account on vtools? PM me with what you want your user name to be and I'll make you an account. We can make a folder for this in the public share, put the software there, and start comparing results.

 

With MacBench 4 and 5, the results are output as data files that MacBench can read later and you can generate graphis from.

 

A bunch of the results files are on vtools via AFP, I've put a copy of the software and some files up on my site, it was temporary but excuses to link it keep coming up: http://vtools.68kmla.org/~/coryw/macbench/

 

The only real reason to bench a 6200 with 68k code is to reveal what we already know: 16k of L1 wasn't enough cache for the emulator, but it would be nice to have numbers.

 

8 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

Seriously, within 4 weeks anyone who bought a IIvi could have had twice the machine for the same price. 

Good to hear that the IIvx had this happen at both ends. The Quadra 650 created this exact same consternation.

 

More than anything this seems like a poor ability to plan. Looking at EveryMac, the IIvi and IIvx have the same introduction date (but we've already talked about the problems with LEM/EveryMac/Wikipedia intro/disc dates not lining up and often being based on best guesses mroe than anything else) and the IIvx is actually cheaper than the IIvi (again, same deal). EveryMac also  shows the P600 as being a IIvi (not IIvx, though the P600's page correctly links it back to the IIvx, this errror has probably been in place 20+ years) variant even though the P600 has the IIvx's 33MHz CPU, so.

 

With this in mind, killing the IIvi makes sense unless the 16MHz CPU really costs Apple enough less to make that it's worth chopping like $500 off the price, for a $2500 and $3000 computer, but I bet that wasn't the case.

 

This is exactly what I mean by Apple having too many models. This issue extends really far beyond 630/6200/6300 proliferation, which was also a severe and also slightly different overall problem.

 

There's also the late-stage 7000 issue where the 7200/7500 and 7300/7600 were kind of side-by-side products filling two ends of a single product band for "office desktop" with and without video input, which was nominally either very low-end desktop video and multimedia authoring work or for video conferencing. In some markets (Japan in particular) the 7600 got a /200 variant.

 

And, there's also the entire existence of the 4400, which isn't entirely justifiable other than as a tech demo for the cloners to follow with the 6360 and 6400 kind of straddling it on either side in price and capability. And, the 5620 and 5280, which was basically a 5300 but cost-reduced with a 640x480 display to be cheaper for schools.

 

I suspect what it comes down to is mostly that Apple wanted to capture as much money as possible and was doing so at the expense of having a product family that was easy to understand. In adition, I suspect that there wasn't very strong/good centralized leadership within Apple at the time and for Apple in particular the product line needs to be managed holistically from the top, or from a director of all Mac products, instead of by individual product teams.

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At one point I had both a Performa 600CD and a IIvx. Both appeared identical inside. For a while that Performa 600 was my only Mac (this was around 1998ish) and it was still just as slow as my friend's was back in 1993. It worked "good enough" as a bridge machine for reading 800k disks though. Eventually it got replaced with a 6100/66 that I still have.

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17 hours ago, IIfx said:

If it’s hot, it’s probably not an L88M and it’s a reseller fake with the original markings wiped off the top.

 

 

Is there a definitive way to verify markings are original on these? I have a 40MHz chip identical to these pictures but have not split-tested its thermal performance. I didn't see any trace of scuffing or removal of previous etching, and the print looks identical to the pictures: bolder and more painted compared to the older embossed looking style. As far as I can tell, both styles of markings were used legitimately.

 

Any tips/tricks?

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/193586325333

https://www.ebay.com/itm/323076959423

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On 8/5/2020 at 1:42 PM, Fizzbinn said:

I just booted mine into 7.6.1 with extensions off and top case removed. After 25 minutes it is certainly NOT cool to the touch. Using a cheap laser thermometer I measure temps between 46-49C around the top half (chip markings) with temps at the bottom half around 10 degrees cooler...  I never measured the temps with the original CPU. Interesting. 

 

 

 

If the CPU is at idle reading upper 40sC, then it's for-sure not a L88M, mostly likely a 0.8um XC.

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8 hours ago, dr.diesel said:

If the CPU is at idle reading upper 40sC, then it's for-sure not a L88M, mostly likely a 0.8um XC.

That’s disappointing, anyone see any tell tale sign in the CPU picture I posted. The wear from a removed heat sync seemed like a good sign it was not remarked. 
 

Anyone know of a reference that lists expected temperatures for the various 040 revisions/mask sizes running at the same frequency?

Edited by Fizzbinn

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10 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

More than anything this seems like a poor ability to plan. Looking at EveryMac, the IIvi and IIvx have the same introduction date (but we've already talked about the problems with LEM/EveryMac/Wikipedia intro/disc dates not lining up and often being based on best guesses mroe than anything else) and the IIvx is actually cheaper than the IIvi (again, same deal). EveryMac also  shows the P600 as being a IIvi (not IIvx, though the P600's page correctly links it back to the IIvx, this errror has probably been in place 20+ years) variant even though the P600 has the IIvx's 33MHz CPU, so.

 

With this in mind, killing the IIvi makes sense unless the 16MHz CPU really costs Apple enough less to make that it's worth chopping like $500 off the price, for a $2500 and $3000 computer, but I bet that wasn't the case.

 

 

The IIvi was launched Sept 1992 and discontinued February 1993. The IIvx launched Oct 1992 and discontinued Oct 1993. The prices were actually the same. It was silly. You could walk into a store and see them side by side, both newly launched machines, both the same price, one twice as fast. 

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10 hours ago, NJRoadfan said:

At one point I had both a Performa 600CD and a IIvx. Both appeared identical inside.

Trivia: The IIvx has 32KB of cache on the motherboard and came with a FPU chip installed vs. no cache and an empty FPU socket on the Performa 600. They both had a processor upgrade slot that looked like the IIci cache slot but apparently was not for plain cache cards. (The IIvi is a 16Mhz Performa 600)

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That makes sense and also makes it worse.

 

Backing away from hypotheticals and armchair CEOing for a moment, Ive shared this before and I'll definitely share it again, but I wanted to re-state MacWorld's case for the Performa 600:

 

On the other hand, just by way of "What it was like to buy a Mac in 1992" - the Performa 600 wasn't the worst possible thing. MacWorld benchmarked and reviewed it in 1992 and the conclusion was basically, half the speed of the IIci, but also half the cost, graphics that don't eat regular RAM, VRAM upgrade to get 16-bit color, CD-ROM drive and a bundled software loadout and keyboard making it a good machine for somebody who was getting started, needed a second computer, or had relatively "basic" needs. (i.e. these things were never meant for laying out a newspaper or doing photo manipulation on and shouldn't be judged that way.) That review is here: https://www.vintageapple.org/macworld/pdf/MacWorld_9211_November_1992.pdf 

 

I had a Performa 600 as a kid, and used it alongside a Performa 578 and a Quadra 840av, and it was thoroughly fine. I don't remember really doing an awful lot with it. I didn't have networking gear, external mass storage, a modem suitable for it, or anything like that, so it mostly sat next to my iMac or one of my other machines and I thought about how cool it would be to have more infrastructure.

 

image.png

 

The conclusion is basically "it's fine, it's got some neat tricks, CD-ROM is the future, it's not a great performer but it's expandable and relatively inexpensive." 

 

For completeness, here are MacWorld's benchmark/test results:

image.png

 

They're not great, but if you're shopping around, neither is the IIci relative to a Quadra, which is a huge point people miss when discussing the IIvx and the Performa 600. This point often gets missed when discussing low end Macs in general. The next point of comparison upward was, itself, disappointing compared to whatever was at the top of the line. And, that's fine. These systems, are all priced different ways (and in 1992 the Performas were literally sold a different way, to a different market, sitting next to comparable machines on the PC side of the fence) and perform differently for different markets.

 

I get that this is a bummer for people who end up with them used and might want to do different things with them, or a common theme here, people whose parents buy a machine for themselves and then share it with the kids who then gain additional interests over what the parents do. I lived all of that too (although I lived in a suburb of Seattle as a kid and early MLA poster, so my Quadra 840av was like $40 in 2000 or 2001 when I got it so, for whatever that's worth.)

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I know this has been said many times, but in my mind the dumbest thing about the IIvx/IIvi is that they reversed the nomenclature vis-a-vis power hierarchy of the IIcx/IIci for no reason whatsoever.  Why would they reuse the same suffixes but in the opposite order?  It made literally zero sense.  To this day I still get confused about which was the better one.

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On 8/5/2020 at 7:07 AM, Cory5412 said:

I just want to say, I'm living for everybody basically saying "Cory was right" (in so many words).

 

To the point of what @Trash80toHP_Mini said:

You straightened me out on that with a link to a great article. I almost mentioned you back into this thread to post that link in my post above, so I'll quote you back into the thread now to do so! [}:)]

 

The 128k was the first intentionally hobbled RoadApple and the CC was another very badly hobbled one  .  .  .  but favored despite that.

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