Discussion:
RAM Chips Used in Early II+'s?
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Michael Mann
2017-07-10 21:16:53 UTC
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Hello hardware guys and historians.

What types of RAM chips were Apple using to populate the original II and II+ motherboards, say, from '78 to '83-ish? I've seen these:

NEC UPD416
ITT 4116
MOS MK4116
MM5290 (Manufacturer?)

Did Apple deal with the lowest bidder, or did they have contracts only with specific companies? Was Woz involved in choosing which company's chips were used? I'm very curious. Bonus question: is it possible to predict which 4116's would be found in a motherboard based on the date code?
James Davis
2017-07-10 22:58:48 UTC
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Post by Michael Mann
Hello hardware guys and historians.
NEC UPD416
ITT 4116
MOS MK4116
MM5290 (Manufacturer?)
Did Apple deal with the lowest bidder, or did they have contracts only with specific companies? Was Woz involved in choosing which company's chips were used? I'm very curious. Bonus question: is it possible to predict which 4116's would be found in a motherboard based on the date code?
You might find what you are looking for in the "Apple II Family Hardware Information.pdf" <ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_IIdocumentation/hardware/misc/Apple%20II%20Family%20Hardware%20Information.pdf>.
Michael Mann
2017-07-11 11:18:51 UTC
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You might find what you are looking for in the "Apple II Family Hardware Information.pdf"...
Nice! Thanks, James. I didn't know about that book. I'll check it out.
s***@mailtostu.com
2017-07-12 11:52:54 UTC
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My II+ has different RAM in each bank. Sent you pictures.
Jorge
2017-07-12 15:27:54 UTC
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Post by s***@mailtostu.com
My II+ has different RAM in each bank. Sent you pictures.
I have one with a bunch of ruski К565РУ3 and no problems so far:

http://imgur.com/a/gv7tM
--
Jorge.
Michael J. Mahon
2017-07-12 16:43:06 UTC
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Post by s***@mailtostu.com
My II+ has different RAM in each bank. Sent you pictures.
Many II+'s were purchased as 16K machines, then had RAM added in 16K chunks
later.

I bought mine with 16K and added another 32K about two months later.
--
-michael - NadaNet 3.1 and AppleCrate II: http://michaeljmahon.com
Michael Black
2017-07-12 17:00:54 UTC
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Post by Michael J. Mahon
Post by s***@mailtostu.com
My II+ has different RAM in each bank. Sent you pictures.
Many II+'s were purchased as 16K machines, then had RAM added in 16K chunks
later.
I bought mine with 16K and added another 32K about two months later.
Couldn't you get an Apple II with 4K ICs? Maybe I'm thinking of other
computers, but there was a bigger shift because the earlier DRAMs used
more voltages. So you had to change some jumpers on some computers. I
thought that applied to the II too, but I'm not certain.

But yes, it wsa a long time ago, nobody would worry about maxing out the
memory of a computer now.

Michael
Michael J. Mahon
2017-07-12 19:44:26 UTC
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Post by Michael Black
Post by Michael J. Mahon
Post by s***@mailtostu.com
My II+ has different RAM in each bank. Sent you pictures.
Many II+'s were purchased as 16K machines, then had RAM added in 16K chunks
later.
I bought mine with 16K and added another 32K about two months later.
Couldn't you get an Apple II with 4K ICs? Maybe I'm thinking of other
computers, but there was a bigger shift because the earlier DRAMs used
more voltages. So you had to change some jumpers on some computers. I
thought that applied to the II too, but I'm not certain.
But yes, it wsa a long time ago, nobody would worry about maxing out the
memory of a computer now.
Michael
The Apple ][ and early model ][+'s could be purchased with 4K DRAMs, but by
the time I got mine--late 1980--the RAM configuration blocks and 4K DRAMs
were no longer an option.

But Apple's price premium for more than 16K was pretty fierce, and several
third parties offered sets of eight 16K DRAMs for about $50. I went that
way.
--
-michael - NadaNet 3.1 and AppleCrate II: http://michaeljmahon.com
Jorge
2017-07-13 00:54:41 UTC
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Post by Michael Black
Couldn't you get an Apple II with 4K ICs? Maybe I'm thinking of other
computers, but there was a bigger shift because the earlier DRAMs used
more voltages. So you had to change some jumpers on some computers. I
thought that applied to the II too, but I'm not certain.
Yes, +5, -5 and -12 volts IIRC, these are the jumpers that came with mine in 1977:

http://imgur.com/a/Mmdkl
--
Jorge.
James Davis
2017-07-13 07:06:15 UTC
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Post by Michael J. Mahon
Many II+'s were purchased as 16K machines, then had RAM added in 16K chunks
later.
I bought mine with 16K and added another 32K about two months later.
I did the same. But I got my chips direct from Intel for free. My best friend worked at Intel. The chips had no markings, but they were pure ceramic (cold to the touch) like slate, and could really take (radiate) the heat.
Jorge
2017-07-13 02:13:17 UTC
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Post by Michael Mann
NEC UPD416
ITT 4116
MOS MK4116
MM5290 (Manufacturer?)
All these were compatible 4116s:

http://imgur.com/a/x78bX

(from"Understanding the Apple II", page 5-33)
--
Jorge.
Michael Mann
2017-07-13 17:52:39 UTC
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Interesting replies! Thanks.

I purchased my Apple II+ in '80 (?) and it had all 48K in it. BUT, I did enjoy that upgrade experience: a year prior to that, I'd purchased RAM chips to add to my TRS-80 Expansion Interface. Sorry about the use of the 'T' word...

I'm still curious about one thing, perhaps even more the essence of my question: which chips were OEM at the factory? The chart from "Understanding" lists compatible chips (great post, BTW), but which chips were official, Apple-installed? Which companies had the big contracts? If I bought a II+ in a certain year, which 4116 RAM chips would I likely have received? Outside of the YYmm date code on the chip, how would someone know if the chips were factory-installed? It's a history question, really, and one that may be impossible to answer.
James Davis
2017-07-13 18:12:07 UTC
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Post by Michael Mann
Interesting replies! Thanks.
I purchased my Apple II+ in '80 (?) and it had all 48K in it. BUT, I did enjoy that upgrade experience: a year prior to that, I'd purchased RAM chips to add to my TRS-80 Expansion Interface. Sorry about the use of the 'T' word...
I'm still curious about one thing, perhaps even more the essence of my question: which chips were OEM at the factory? The chart from "Understanding" lists compatible chips (great post, BTW), but which chips were official, Apple-installed? Which companies had the big contracts? If I bought a II+ in a certain year, which 4116 RAM chips would I likely have received? Outside of the YYmm date code on the chip, how would someone know if the chips were factory-installed? It's a history question, really, and one that may be impossible to answer.
Why don't you ask/contact Apple Computer, Inc.?

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