Share This Article
In the ever-evolving world of personal computing, it’s easy to forget the roots of the tech giants we admire today. Cast your mind back to 1996 when Apple was making waves with its Macintosh Performa series. In the spotlight was the Macintosh Performa 5260CD, a personal computer that boasted cutting-edge technology for its time.
Fast forward 27 years, and this machine serves as a poignant reminder of how far we’ve come since then. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane to explore the legacy of the Macintosh Performa 5260CD.
Picture this: April 22, 1996, Apple fans around the world eagerly awaited the grand entrance of the Macintosh Performa 5260CD. It wasn’t just another computer; it was a symbol of innovation and progress. However, this innovation came at a cost – a starting price tag of $1,900. In an era when technology wasn’t as accessible as it is today, this was a hefty investment.
Under the hood, the Macintosh Performa 5260CD was a beast of its time. Equipped with a 100 MHz or 120 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, it boasted a 14-inch color CRT display that brought visuals to life. With options for 8 MB or 16 MB of RAM, 800 MB or 1.2 GB hard drive, 4x CD-ROM or 8x CD-ROM drive, and a 1.44 MB floppy drive, it could handle demanding computing tasks with grace. It wasn’t just a computer; it was a statement of capability.
As with all great things, the Macintosh Performa 5260CD’s journey eventually came to an end on February 1, 1997. Yet, even though it’s now considered a relic in the tech world, it remains an important part of Apple’s history. It’s a testament to Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation and a stark reminder of how rapidly technology advances.
Let’s delve deeper into the technical specifications. The Performa 5260 was an all-in-one desktop Macintosh with a built-in 15″ shadow mask display. It had 1 MB of VRAM, supporting up to 8-bit color at a resolution of 832 x 624 pixels and 16-bit color at 640 x 480 pixels. Its logic board, codenamed “Cordyceps,” was rooted in the older LC architecture, which limited its performance compared to contemporary models. However, it did have two 72-pin SIMM slots for RAM, allowing upgrades up to 64 MB.
The machine also featured three different expansion slots: a 32-bit LC PDS slot, a Comm Slot for an internal modem or Ethernet card, and a video-in slot for an Apple TV Tuner Card. CD-ROM and external hard drives are connected through a SCSI bus, while the internal hard drive uses an IDE bus. The built-in floppy drive supported 1.44 MB high-density disks.
The Performa 5260 came pre-installed with Mac OS 7.5.3. The last operating system it supported was Mac OS 9.1, showing its longevity in the world of personal computing.
While the Macintosh Performa 5260CD was sold worldwide, its educational counterpart, the Power Macintosh 5260, was a niche product. It was exclusively available to the education market in North America, but it also found its way into the consumer market in Asia and Australia, showcasing Apple’s strategic approach to different markets.
The Macintosh Performa 5260CD may have faded into the annals of history, but its legacy lives on. It’s a testament to Apple’s relentless pursuit of innovation and a reminder of how swiftly technology evolves. So, the next time you fire up your sleek and powerful Apple device, take a moment to appreciate the journey that started with machines like the Macintosh Performa 5260CD. It’s a journey that’s shaped the tech landscape we know today.
Macintosh Performa 5260CD Details
|Introduced||April 22, 1996 (100 MHz)|
October 1, 1996 (120 MHz)
|Discontinued||February 1, 1997 (100 MHz & 120 MHz)|
|Dimensions||17.5” H x 15.1” W x 16” D|
44.45 cm H x 38.35 cm W x 40.64 cm D
Mac Performa 5260CD Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||100 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||40 MHz|
|Cache||32 KB L1|
256 KB L2
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 4x CD-ROM (100 MHz) |
1 – 8x CD-ROM (120 MHz)
1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
|Built-in Memory||8 MB|
|Maximum Memory||64 MB|
|Memory Slots||2 – 72 pin SIMM|
|Minimum Speed||80 ns|
|Built-in Display||14″ Shadow Mask RGB CRT Display|
|Resolution||640 x 480 at 16-bit|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15 (Optional)|
|Expansion Slots||1 – LC PDS (Cache Bus)|
1 – Comm. Slot
1 – Video I/O
1 – TV Tuner
|Hard Drive Interface||IDE|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
1 – Built-in microphone
|Audio Out||2 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
2 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – DB-15 (Optional)|
|Original OS||System Software 7.5.3|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||4.5 V Alkaline|
|Maximum Continuous Power||125 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh Performa 5260CD: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh Performa 5260/120: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh Performa 5260CD – IT History Society
- Performa 5260 – Low End Mac
- Power Macintosh/Performa 5260, 5280 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 4, 2023