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I have several LC PDS network cards for my older LC's and they all have a socket which I assume is for an FPU... Given that I might be able to obtain said FPU for a few bucks, does anyone know what kind of FPU these things take?

The card in question is an Asante Tech MCLC Rev. A

It's similar to the one listed here: http://www.recycledgoods.com/asante-mclc-nubus-ethernet-card-rev-6-with-fpu-socket-for-apple-computer.html

Also what advantage would putting an FPU on a network card serve?

  • Please ask multiple questions in several submissions. I've answered the "FPU socket on a network card" question, the "which FPU for my Mac" question should be a separate one. – dirkt Aug 21 '16 at 8:08
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The Asante Ethernet Card Installation guide states that the FPU could be only used on LC and LCII computers, and not on computers which already had a math co-processor or FPU (p. 2-9).

There is only one PDS slot on the LC, so as wikipedia confirms, the reason for the FPU socket on the network card was to allow both FPU and network upgrades at the same time.

In other words, you should get an FPU that fits your Mac, if your Mac doesn't have one already. The FPU doesn't help the network card itself to operate.

  • I don't get it, if you're supposed to use the same FPU that fits the mac, AND you're not supposed to use the one on the card if your mac has an FPU, then why would they have a slot for an FPU? I mean if you have the FPU wouldn't you just put it in your mac? in what scenario would you put it in the card instead of your mac? Edit: I just looked at my LC, you can't put an FPU in an LC, and I assume this is true of the LCII as well. If this is the case, then could getting a network card with an FPU potentially speed up an LC/LCII? – denodster Aug 21 '16 at 14:20
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    @denodster: Yes, it's only for the LC and LC II, and because you can't put an FPU in those directly, you have to put them on a card. You can get a card with an FPU socket. But if you also want a network card, you need two cards, but there's just one card slot. Hence the combined network/FPU card, so you can have both. – dirkt Aug 21 '16 at 17:23
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    As a side note due the single PDS slot the LC cannot have a IIe card and ethernet at the same time. The IIe card does allow for extra floppy drives though. – Michael Shopsin Aug 22 '16 at 14:36
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The reason is simple: so you don't have to choose between an FPU and a network card.

The Mac LC series (LC stands for "low cost") have no NuBus slots, but only a single PDS ("Processor Direct Slot"), and a 68020 or 68030 CPU which does not have an FPU. The PDS slot can be used to add one single extension card, usually an FPU or a network card. The Asante MCLC network card has a socket for an FPU so you can have both.

The puzzling comment in the documentation relates to other models such as the Mac IIci which already has a socket for the FPU on the mainboard. If you have an FPU on the mainboard and you add a second FPU on your ethernet card, neither of them will work properly and most likely the machine will not even boot at all.

Any 68882 in PLCC form factor should work (both the LC and LC II are 16MHz, I don't think you'll be able to find a 68882 rated less than 16MHz. Since the 68882 is a static design faster versions will work just fine at 16MHz).

  • edit: the 68030 has an integrated MMU, but still no FPU. So the addition of an FPU applies to the LC I, LC II, and LC III. – Rico Pajarola Aug 22 '16 at 11:50

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