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In the summer of 1993, Apple unveiled the Macintosh Performa 520, a personal computer that would soon become a significant milestone in the company’s history. Boasting impressive specifications for its time, the Performa 520 offered users a powerful and versatile machine that could handle various tasks. Although it had a short lifespan, the Macintosh Performa 520 remains a beloved piece of technology history, representing the advancements made in personal computing during the 1990s.
The Macintosh Performa 520 featured a mighty 25 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor, which enhanced its processing capabilities. With 4 MB of RAM, an 80 MB or 160 MB hard drive, a 2x CD-ROM drive, and a 1.44 MB floppy drive, the Performa 520 was well-equipped to handle a wide range of computing tasks. Its compact all-in-one case housed a 14-inch color CRT display, marking the first time a Performa had an internal CD-ROM drive.
The educational version of the Performa 520, known as the LC 520, further showcased Apple’s commitment to the educational sector. Interestingly, the Macintosh Performa 520 was not available for sale in the United States, making it somewhat of a rarity for American consumers. However, its absence in the US market did not impede its success elsewhere. The Performa 520 found popularity in international markets, including Europe and Asia, where it gained recognition as a reliable and efficient personal computer.
Despite its initial popularity, the Macintosh Performa 520’s run came to an end on February 2, 1994, when Apple discontinued the model. Its brief tenure was replaced by the slightly faster Performa 550, which took over as Apple’s flagship Performa computer. While the Performa 520’s discontinuation marked the end of an era, it also symbolized Apple’s dedication to continuously improving and evolving its product lineup.
Today, the Macintosh Performa 520 serves as a nostalgic time capsule, taking us back to the early days of personal computing. With its 30-year anniversary upon us, the computer stands as a testament to the technological advancements that have shaped the modern world. While its specifications may seem modest compared to today’s devices, the Performa 520’s impact on the trajectory of personal computing cannot be understated.
The Macintosh Performa 520 holds a special place in the hearts of those who experienced its power and versatility during the 1990s. Although it had a relatively short lifespan, this all-in-one computer left an indelible mark on Apple’s product history. Its unique design, impressive specifications, and popularity in educational settings contribute to its enduring legacy. As we look back on the Macintosh Performa 520, we appreciate the role it played in shaping the future of personal computing and celebrate its status as an iconic relic of the past.
Macintosh Performa 520 Release Date
|Introduced||June 28, 1993|
|Discontinued||February 2, 1994|
|Dimensions||17.9” H x 13.5” W x 16.5” D|
45.46 cm H x 34.29 cm W x 41.91 cm D
Mac Performa 520 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||25 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||25 MHz|
|Cache||0.5 KB L1|
|Coprocessor||Motorola 68882 FPU (Optional)|
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 2x CD-ROM|
1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
|Built-in Memory||4 MB|
|Maximum Memory||36 MB|
|Memory Slots||2 – 72 pin SIMM|
|Minimum Speed||80 ns|
|Built-in Display||14″ RGB CRT display|
|Resolution||640 x 480|
|Graphics Memory||512 KB (Upgradeable to 768 KB via one socket)|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||1 – LC PDS (Cache Bus)|
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
1 – Built-in microphone
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – DB-15|
|Original OS||System Software 7.1P|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 7.6.1|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||40 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh Performa 520: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh LC 500 series – Wikipedia
- Mac LC 520 (Performa 520) – Low End Mac
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: July 2, 2023