[vcf-midatlantic] Original Macintosh Architecture Questions

Ethan O'Toole telmnstr at 757.org
Wed Jun 23 20:55:15 UTC 2021


The Mac sound hardware was pretty rudimentary :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_128K/512K_technical_details

It is basically a DAC mono running at 22.25kHz. I guess it was kind of 
advanced for the time? I assume all the speech stuff was software 
synthesis, like the DOS programs like say.exe that did similar tricks.

Sound Blaster 1.0 was limited to 11khz on it's DAC so the Macintosh was 
better. But SBPro had dual 22.5khz for stereo.

The Atari ST was similar CPU, no idea why it could achieve faster 
performance. Early Macs sure are pretty sluggish though.

 			- Ethan



On Wed, 23 Jun 2021, John Heritage via vcf-midatlantic wrote:

> Hey folks --
>
> Two items I'm curious about on the classic (and very original) Apple Macs..
>
> 1.  Mac (128kb ,512kb, etc) audio -- was there a custom or off the shelf
> sound chip for the audio on the original Mac?  and was it 1 channel / and
> was it a custom chip by Apple?  (how did it achieve speech synthesis in
> 1984)
>
> 2.  The Macintosh Classic released in 1990 "was about 25% faster than the
> original Macs".  This is in line with the Atari ST often being quoted as
> faster than a Mac when emulating a Mac via Magic Sac or similar.  What
> changed in the architecture to make the Mac Classic (or an ST in emulation)
> faster than the original Mac?  Was it faster memory that gave more
> availability for CPU usage?  were only certain instructions sped up or was
> everything faster?
>
> Thanks!
>


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