Inside the Macintosh SE


The following models of the Macintosh SE were released.

Dual Drive

This model, also known as M5010, came with two 800 KB floppy disk drives, but it didn’t come with an internal hard drive. As the motherboard was the same as the standard model, you could install an internal hard drive. However, there was not enough space for two floppy disk drives and a hard disk drive, so you had to remove one of the floppy drives to install a hard drive. It is possible, however, to create a homemade bracket to install the two floppy drives and a hard drive simultaneously.

You can identify this model by the presence of two floppy disk drives as well as the model number M5010 and the phrase “Two 800K Drives” on its rear label.

Macintosh SE TutorialFigure 10: Rear label of the Macintosh SE dual drive

Standard Model

The standard model came with one 800 KB floppy disk drive and either a 20 MB or 40 MB hard disk drive. It used the model number “M5011,” which is the same as the FDHD and the SuperDrive models. You can differentiate it from these other two models as they have the names “FDHD” or “SuperDrive” written on their front panel.

Macintosh SE TutorialFigure 11: The standard Macintosh SE


The Macintosh SE FDHD (Floppy Drive High Density) was a Macintosh SE with a 1.44 MB floppy disk drive instead of an 800 KB floppy disk drive. Its model number is the same as the standard model, but you can tell the two apart by the presence of the letters “FDHD” on the front panel. See Figure 12.

Macintosh SE TutorialFigure 12: The Macintosh SE FDHD


After a while, Apple renamed the Macintosh SE FDHD to “SuperDrive.” So, the Macintosh SE FDHD and the Macintosh SE SuperDrive are the same computer but with a different name. This model has the word “SuperDrive” written on its front panel.

Macintosh SE TutorialFigure 13: The Macintosh SE SuperDrive

Macintosh SE/30

The Macintosh SE/30, released in 1989, used a different motherboard that was based on the Motorola 68030 microprocessor (hence its name), which was more powerful than the 68000 processor used on other models. The “30” in the name had nothing to do with the size of the hard drive that came with the computer.

This model had a different model number: M5119. It came with a 1.44 MB floppy disk drive and could come with either a 40 MB or an 80 MB hard disk drive. Furthermore, it had either 1 MB or 4 MB of memory, which could be expanded up to 128 MB.

Another difference between the Macintosh SE/30 and the other Macintosh SE models was the type of expansion connector with which it came. While the expansion connector was generically called PDS (Processor Direct Slot) in both systems, the connector on the Macintosh SE had 96 contacts (three rows with 32 contacts each) and was called PDS 68000, while on the Macintosh SE/30 this connector had 120 contacts (three rows with 40 contacts each) and was called PDS 68030.

You could easily identify this model by the name it had on its front panel, “Macintosh SE/30,” or by the model number written on the label available on its back part. Interestingly, while on the other models the name “Macintosh SE” was written on the right-hand side of the front panel, on the Macintosh SE/30 its name was written on the left-hand side, near the Apple logo.

Macintosh SE TutorialFigure 14: The Macintosh SE/30

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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