Power Macintosh (Old World)

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The original Power Macintosh series was based on the 601, 603, and 604 series PowerPC processors from Motorola and IBM. They are listed here sorted by model number, which is not chronological.

See also Macintosh Performa. Many late-model Performas (those with four-digit model numbers) were based on the same processors as the early Power Macintoshes.


Power Macintosh 4400

The Power Macintosh 4400 was somewhat of an oddity because the 160 MHz model was only sold in Europe. The 200 MHz model, however, was sold world-wide.

  • Introduced: November 1996
  • Terminated: February 1998
  • CPU Type: PowerPC 603e
  • CPU Speed: 160/200 MHz
  • Bus Speed: 40 MHz
  • RAM Slots: 3
  • Maximum RAM: 160 MB
  • Video RAM: 1-4 MB
  • Hard Drive: 1.2 GB (160 MHz model) / 2 GB (200 MHz model)
  • Floppy Drive: 1.4 MB "SuperDrive"
  • Optical Drive: 8x CD-ROM (160 MHz model) / 12x CD-ROM (200 MHz model)

Power Macintosh 5200/ 75 LC

  • Introduced: April 1995
  • PPC 603 at 75 MHz

Power Macintosh 5260

  • Introduced: April 1996
  • PPC 603e at 100 MHz or 120 MHz

Power Macintosh 5300/ 100 LC

  • Introduced: August 1995
  • PPC 603e at 100 MHz

Power Macintosh 5400

  • Introduced: April 1996
  • PPC 603e at 120, 180 or 200 MHz

Power Macintosh 5500

  • Introduced: February 1997
  • PPC 603e at 225, 250 or 275 MHz

Power Macintosh 6100

The Power Macintosh 6100 was one of the first PowerPC-based Macs released by Apple in 1994, and was the lowest priced member of the new lineup. The machine was essentially a Quadra 610 chassis with a new power supply and PowerPC-based logic board. Using a 60 or 66MHz PowerPC 601 CPU, the Power Macintosh 6100 series offered a large potential performance increase over the Quadra series of 68k-based Macs.

Apple released three main variants: the standard model, the "AV" model and finally the DOS compatible. The "AV" model was a standard 6100 with a special video card installed in its single PDS expansion slot. This card contained 2MB of VRAM (increasing maximum resolution and color depth) as well as analog video in/out ports. The DOS compatible model had what was basically a 486DX2 66MHz PC motherboard squeezed onto a PDS expansion card that allowed the 6100 to function as a PC. This card had its own display output as well as RAM slots, although the card could also share the Mac's main RAM with a performance penalty. The standard and "AV" models were available in either 60 or 66MHz forms but the DOS compatible variant was only available as a 66MHz PowerPC/66MHz 486 configuration. Both the "AV" card and DOS card can be added to any standard 6100/60 or 6100/66 with a free PDS slot.


  • 60 or 66MHz PowerPC 601
  • 8MB RAM on logic board expandable to 264MB (officially, see below) with two 72-pin SIMMs in matching pairs
  • Up to 600k VRAM shared from main RAM except on 6100/60/66av which has 2MB VRAM
  • L2 cache: none on 6100/60, 256k on 6100/66; both will accept up to 1MB L2 cache
  • SCSI Hard disk: 160 or 250 MB (60MHz), 350 or 500MB (66MHz)
  • Ports: 2x ADB, 2x Serial, 1x DB-25 SCSI
  • 10Base-T Ethernet built in, uses Apple AUI (AAUI) port.
  • 1x PDS expansion slot (filled in 6100/60/66av and 6100/66 DOS compatible models)
  • Shipped with OS 7.1.2, maximum OS supported is 9.1

Upgrades and Tips

  • Apple failed to port their OS entirely into PowerPC native code for some time, so much of System 7.x remained 68k native after the introduction of the PowerPC, forcing the early PowerMacs to use inefficient emulation and robbing them of much of their performance advantage. For this reason the Power macintosh 6100 series benefits from using later versions of the "classic" (pre-OSX) OS like 8.1-9.1 that feature more native PowerPC code.
  • The cheapest way to enhance performance on the 6100 series is to install a 1MB L2 cache module. They are somewhat scarce but not very expensive and have a big impact on performance.
  • The 6100 series has two 72-pin RAM slots that MUST be filled with matching pairs. Apple only officially supports the use of two 128MB SIMMS, since larger SIMMS didn't exist in 1994.
  • As mentioned above, any Power Macintosh 6100 can accept the "av" or DOS compatible card used in the two variants of that name.
  • A number of processor upgrades have been released for the 6100 series Macs, but currently only Sonnet's Crescendo G3 is still being sold. This upgrades the CPU to a MHz G3. However, OS X is not supported so users are still limited to the "classic" OS
  • Like any Mac not capable of running OSX, the 6100 series is reliant on the use of obsolete software that is no longer being developed. Still, with OS 8.1-9.1 installed it could run a web browser reasonably well, though without a video card or "av" card the video performance will be poor.

Power Macintosh 6200

  • Introduced: May 1995
  • PPC 603 at 75 MHz

Power Macintosh 6300

  • Introduced: July 1996
  • PPC 603e at 120 or 160 MHz

Power Macintosh 6400

  • Introduced: October 1996
  • PPC 603ev at 180 or 200 MHz

Power Macintosh 6500

  • Introduced: February 1997
  • PPC 603ev at 225, 250, 275 or 300 MHz

Power Macintosh 7100

  • Introduced: March 1994
  • PPC 601 at 66 MHz or 80 MHz


  • Noted astronomer Carl Sagan unsuccessfully sued Apple because the 7100 had an internal codename of "Carl Sagan". Other codenames of Apple products often were references to pseudo-scientific names ("Cold Fusion", "Piltdown Man"), of which Sagan is publicly and explicitly against. Though the lawsuit failed, Apple did change the internal codename of the 7100 to "BHA", which stood for "Butt Head Astronomer". Sagan, again, found this to be displeasing and again, unsuccessfully sued Apple. Still, Apple agreed to change the internal codename to "LAW", however years later it was found to have stood for "Lawyers are Wimps". Sagan has an asteroid named after him, as well as a spot on Mars, but no Apple computer honors his name.

Power Macintosh 7200

  • Introduced: August 1995
  • PPC 601 at 75, 90 or 120 MHz

Power Macintosh 7215

  • Introduced: January 1996
  • PPC 601 at 90 MHz

Power Macintosh 7220

  • Introduced: February 1997
  • PPC 603e at 200 MHz

Power Macintosh 7300

  • Introduced: February 1997
  • PPC 604e at 168, 180 or 200 MHz

Power Macintosh 7500

  • Introduced: August 1995
  • PPC 601 at 100 MHz

Power Macintosh 7600

  • Introduced: April 1996
  • PPC 604/ 604e at 120, 132 or 200 MHz

Power Macintosh 8100

  • Introduced: March 1994
  • PPC 601/ 601+ at 80, 100 or 110 MHz

Power Macintosh 8200

  • Introduced: April 1996
  • PPC 601 at 100 or 120 MHz

Power Macintosh 8500

  • Introduced: August 1995
  • PPC 604 at 120, 132, 150 or 180 MHz

Power Macintosh 8600

  • Introduced: February 1997
  • PPC 604e/ 604ev at 200, 250 or 300 MHz

Power Macintosh 9500

  • Introduced: May 1995
  • PPC 604 at 120, 132, 150, dual 180 or 200 MHz

Power Macintosh 9600

  • Introduced: February 1997
  • PPC 604e/ 604ev at 200, dual 200, 233, 300 or 350 MHz

External Links

Apple History - reference page for specifications of many Macs, new and old

Models with PowerPC processors

PowerMac (Pre-G3) | Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh | Power Mac G3 (Beige) | Power Mac G3 (Blue and White) | Power Mac G4 | Cube | Power Mac G5 | Power Mac G5 Dual Core | eMac | iMac G3 | iMac G4 | iMac G5 | Mac mini (PPC) | PowerBook 603 | PowerBook G3 | PowerBook G4 (Titanium) | PowerBook G4 (Aluminum) | iBook G3 | iBook G4