Share This Article
April 22, 1996, marked a pivotal moment in tech history with the debut of the Macintosh Performa 5400CD. A beacon of innovation, this personal computer from Apple’s heralded Macintosh Performa series swiftly became a darling among tech fans. Designed to seamlessly blend the power of a desktop with the portability of a laptop, it carved a niche of its own.
Sporting a robust PowerPC 603e processor, available at 120 MHz, 160 MHz, or 180 MHz, the Performa 5400CD was a force to be reckoned with. Backed by a 15-inch color CRT display, 16 MB or 24 MB of RAM, and a 1.6 GB or 2.4 GB hard drive, it was engineered for uncompromised productivity. The inclusion of a 4x or 8x CD-ROM drive and a 1.44 MB floppy drive further solidified its prowess for day-to-day tasks.
Regrettably, the Performa 5400CD’s journey was fleeting. On December 1st, 1997, Apple bid adieu to this icon, leaving behind a legacy etched in the memories of its users. Today, 27 years later, the Macintosh Performa 5400CD stands as a poignant reminder of Apple’s formative years in the realm of personal computing.
Much like its counterparts in the Performa 5400 and Power Macintosh 5400 series, the 5400CD boasted an all-in-one desktop design, complete with a 15″ shadow mask display. With 1 MB of VRAM, it dazzled with support for up to 8-bit color at 832 x 624 pixels and 16-bit color at 640 x 480 pixels. At its core lay the “Alchemy” logic board, housing a 120 MHz PowerPC 603e processor.
Upgradeability was a key feature, with two 168-pin DIMM slots allowing RAM expansion up to a capacious 136 MB from the base 8 MB. Expansion options abounded, with a PCI slot, Comm Slot II for internal modems or Ethernet cards, and a video-in slot for an Apple TV Tuner Card. Storage interfaced through a SCSI bus, with a 1.6 GB internal hard disk drive linked via an IDE bus. A built-in floppy drive catered to 1.44 MB high-density disks.
Out of the box, the Performa 5400CD ran on Mac OS 7.5.3, complemented by System Enabler 410 and a suite of home software. Its journey culminated with support for Mac OS 9.1, underscoring Apple’s commitment to enduring performance.
While the Performa 5400CD found a global audience, its educational alter ego, the Power Macintosh 5400, was an exclusive treat for North American users.
In retrospect, the Macintosh Performa 5400CD remains a testament to Apple’s early foray into personal computing. Its blend of power, versatility, and iconic design still evokes a sense of nostalgia among enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the roots of a tech giant.
Macintosh Performa 5400CD Details
|Introduced||April 22, 1996 (120 MHz)|
August 1, 1996 (160 MHz & 180 MHz)
|Discontinued||February 1, 1997 (120 MHz)|
June 1, 1997 (180 MHz)
December 1, 1997 (160 MHz)
|Colors||Platinum (120 MHz & 160 MHz)|
Black (180 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 5400 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||120 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||40 MHz|
|Cache||32 KB L1|
256 KB L2 (Optional)
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB Floppy|
1 – 4x CD-ROM or 8x CD-ROM
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||136 MB|
|Memory Slots||2 – 168 pin DIMM|
|Minimum Speed||70 ns|
|Built-in Display||15″ Shadow Mask RGB CRT Display|
|Resolution||640×480 at 16-bit|
800×600 at 8-bit
832×624 at 8-bit
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Expansion Slots||1 – LC PDS (Cache Bus)|
1 – Comm. II Slot
1 – Video I/O
1 – TV Tuner
|Hard Drive Interface||IDE|
|Ethernet||1 – 10BASE-T|
|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
|Original OS||System Software 7.5.5|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||4.5 V Alkaline|
|Maximum Continuous Power||220 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh Performa 5400CD: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh Performa 5400/160: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh Performa 5400/180: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Macintosh Performa – Wikipedia
- Apple Macintosh Performa 5400/180 – The Centre for Computing History
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 15, 2023