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Background and Identification
The Apple IIGS is the fifth and most powerful of the Apple II computer family. It is a 16-bit personal computer produced by Apple Computer, Inc. beginning in September 1986. The Apple IIGS features the Macintosh design with resolution and color similar to the Commodore Amiga and Stari ST and remains compatible with earlier Apple II models. The “GS” in the name stands for “Graphics and Sound,” referring to its then-state-of-the-art audio and enhanced multimedia hardware.
The Apple IIGS includes a 16-bit 65C816 microprocessor with direct access to megabytes of random-access memory (RAM) and mouse. This microprocessor was a dramatic departure from any previous Apple II computer. The Apple IIGS was the first computer produced by Apple to use a color graphical user interface and Apple Desktop Bus interface for keyboards, mice, and other input devices (color was introduced on the Macintosh II six months after the release of the Apple IIGS). It is the first personal computer to have a wavetable synthesis chip using technology from Ensoniq. The IIGS includes either 256 KB or 1 MB of memory which is expandable up to 8 MB.
Apple ceased IIGS production in December 1992 as Apple increasingly focused on the Macintosh platform. The IIGS includes Apple’s multi-colored apple logo with the name “Apple IIGS” in the bottom left-hand corner of the computer’s front face.
Manufacturer: Apple Computer, Inc.
Release date: September 15, 1986
Introductory price: US$999 (equivalent to $2,330 in 2019), excluding monitor
Discontinued: December 1992
- Apple ProDOS
- Apple GS/OS
CPU: 65C816 @ 2.8 MHz
Memory: 256 kB or 1 MB (expandable up to 8 MB)
Graphics: VGC 12-bpp palette, 320×200, 640×200
Sound: Ensoniq ES5503 DOC 8-bit wavetable synthesis sound chip, 32 channels of mono or 16 of stereo