Initial Year: 1989
Initial price: US$4,369 (equivalent to $8,441 in 2016)
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, but when the Macintosh SE was updated to the 68030, this posed an awkward problem, as Apple was not willing to name their new computer the “Macintosh SE/X”. Thus, “SE/30” was the name chosen. Internally, code names such as Green Jade, Fafnir, and Roadrunner were used.
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, supported no more than 10 MB of memory, lacked an internal expansion slot, and made the Motorola 68882 FPU an optional upgrade.