Oldest mac to support ethernet

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kingcrowing, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    I want to get an old mac to play around with, what is the oldest mac to support ethernet? so I can connect it to the internet, also what is the minimum OS I would need? I'd prefer an all-in-one, I've just got no idea! and I have a PCI ethernet card that I could use, but if there is somethign pre-PCI(ISA?) that would be ok too

    Also, whats the oldest laptop? It looks like the 1400 pBook can do it, but you need some type of ethernet add on card?
  2. mcmillan macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2004
    I think you're looking for the 95' Power Macintosh 7200.

    That site will give you info about all the Macs ever available.
  3. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    Lots of older Macs had ethernet, but usually through AAUI. You'd need an adapter to use a regular RJ45 cable.
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    So you're looking for a machine that can only run Classic? If that is the case I'd go for an old Beige G3. Cause a 7200, or 7500 are gonna be sloooow... not to mention RAM upgrades and hard drives (SCSI) are not cheap. The Beige G3 is IDE, and RAM is cheaper, not to mention it has RJ-45 ethernet, no adapter needed. Classic Macs are cool, but the reminescing (sp?) factor will wear off fast when you see how slow those things are.

    A Beige G3 has the option of running OS X too, but System 9.2.2 is what it is meant to run.
  5. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    The Quadra 700 and 900 were the first to have ethernet built in (1991). Any Mac with a Nubus slot can have ethernet added, so just about any of the modular Macs from the Macintosh II (1987) on. And there were expansion cards for the Macintosh SE, SE/30 and IIsi that provided ethernet. Same with the LC series as I recall.

    Really, the only Macs that don't have the ability to support ethernet are ones without it built in and no expansion ability.

    I keep a number of Nubus ethernet cards around for my systems. They're pretty much plug-n-play. I've used them in Mac II and Quadra series systems without any issues.
  6. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    I have a quadra 650 using ethernet via AAUI adapter. Minimum OS for using anything like that is 7.1, but in all reality, 8.1 is where it starts to get real good.

    Oldest mac to use ethernet at all would probably be the SE.
  7. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    My first powerbook, the PB 540c, had a built in ethernet port that needed some kind of small adapter. I remember how people thought it was so cool that it was built in as most PCs then had to rely on a pc card to accomplish the same thing. Anyway, the 540c was produced in 1994-95, I think?
  8. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    hey! I used to have that machine! It was my second mac! :eek: Yeah, it did OK on the Internet :) :eek:
  9. ryan42 macrumors 6502


    Dec 3, 2003
    Near Houston, TX
    There's ethernet cards for the Apple IIgs.

    Asante also sells serial ethernet cards IIRC.
  10. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    Actually, my LCII had a PDS ethernet card. So basically what it boils down to is that almost all macs past the 80s can hook up to ethernet one way or another. What do you intend on using it for? Old macs make great webservers (for low traffic sites of course.)
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Certainly the 7200 and any of the other PCI Macs are the easiest with which to work. You could also do well with the various PowerComputing PowerCenter machines but you should replace the CD-ROM drive with an Apple branded one as the Mac OS 8/9 CD-ROM driver won't handle it. You can boot from 3rd party drives but those with the Apple ROM are recognised 100 %. One advantage of the PowerComputing brand is that they had the VGA connector built-in so you didn't have to buy the adapter.
  12. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    With a GatorBox (LocalTalk to Ethernet bridge) any macintosh, of any vintage, should be able to join an ethernet network. Failing that, there were the old SCSI to Ethernet adapters. I probably still have one in storage, somewhere.. but I know I no longer have the GatorBox.

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