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In the ever-evolving world of technology, we often find ourselves enamored with the latest and greatest innovations. Yet, sometimes it’s essential to take a step back and appreciate the foundations upon which our digital landscape is built. One such cornerstone is the Network Server 700, a piece of hardware that made waves back in 1996 and holds a unique place in the annals of computing history.
In February 1996, Apple unveiled the Network Server 700 with a starting price tag that would raise eyebrows even today – a whopping $15,000. This formidable machine was part of Apple’s Network Server series and was specifically designed to meet the burgeoning demands of the business world. It wasn’t just another server; it was a game-changer.
Underneath its sleek exterior, the Network Server 700 was powered by either a 150 MHz PowerPC 604 or a zippy 200 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, setting a new standard for server processing power at the time. Its memory configurations ranged from a respectable 32 MB to an impressive 48 MB, ensuring it could handle the most demanding tasks.
Storage options were equally impressive, with a choice of 1.2 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, or 9 GB hard drives. Users could also opt for either a 4x CD-ROM or an 8x CD-ROM drive, making data access swift and efficient. To top it off, the Network Server 700 even featured a 1.44 MB Floppy drive, and for those needing additional storage, an optional DDS-2 Digital Audiotape drive was available.
Beyond its performance, the Network Server 700 also stood out for its design. Encased in a rugged yet easy-to-expand tower, this machine was engineered for efficiency. Every major component could be replaced in under a minute, a testament to its thoughtful design. A lockable translucent front bay door concealed seven front-mounted, hot-swappable drive bays, alongside external fans that were also hot-swappable. An ingenious rear “drawer” provided convenient access to internal components.
Notably, the Network Server 700 didn’t dance to the familiar Mac OS tune. Instead, it embraced AIX, an IBM version of UNIX. This choice signaled Apple’s ambition to expand into the world of enterprise servers and added an interesting twist to the Network Server’s story.
Despite its remarkable specs and capabilities, the Network Server 700’s run was short-lived. Apple discontinued it on April 1, 1997. Nevertheless, this server remains etched in the collective memory of tech enthusiasts, a reminder of the rapid strides in technology we’ve witnessed over the past 27 years.
Today’s server market is light years ahead of what it was in 1996, with cutting-edge technologies and ever-more efficient machines. However, the Network Server 700 still captures our imagination as we look back at a pivotal moment in computing history. Its legacy endures as a testament to the relentless pursuit of innovation that drives the tech industry forward. So, as we marvel at the latest tech wonders, let’s not forget to tip our hats to this forgotten marvel from Apple’s past.
Network Server 700 Details
|Introduced||February 15, 1996 (150 MHz)|
October 16, 1996 (200 MHz)
|Discontinued||April 1, 1997|
|Dimensions||24.5” H x 16.5” W x 18” D|
62.23 cm H x 41.91 cm W x 45.72 cm D
Network Server 700 Tech Specs
|Processor||PowerPC 604 (150 MHz)|
PowerPC 604e (200 MHz)
|Processor Speed||150 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||50 MHz|
|Cache||32 KB L1|
1 MB L2
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB Floppy|
1 – 4x CD-ROM or 8x CD-ROM
1 – DDS-2 Digital Audiotape (DAT) drive (Optional)
|Built-in Memory||32 MB|
|Maximum Memory||512 MB (Apple)|
1.0 GB (Actual)
|Memory Slots||8 – 168 pin DIMMs (Group of 2)|
|Minimum Speed||60 ns|
|Built-in Display||LCD status display for system monitoring|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||6 – PCI|
1 – DAV
|Bays||5 – 5.25″ tray-mounted SCSI devices|
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI-2|
|Ethernet||1 – AAUI-15|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
|Display||1 – DB-15|
|Original OS||AIX 4.1.4 for Apple Network Servers|
|Maximum OS||AIX 4.1.5 for Apple Network Servers|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||425 W|
|Line Voltage||100 V – 240 V AC|
Further Reading and References
- Network Server 700/150: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Network Server 700/200: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Apple Network Server – Wikipedia
- About Apple Network Servers (Apple Archive) – Web Archive
- Apple Network Server 700/150 – Floodgap
- Network Server 500 and 700 Series Service Source (PDF) – Apple Repair Manuals
Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.
Last updated: September 2, 2023