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In the ever-evolving world of technology, certain devices stand as markers of innovation and progress. One such remarkable creation was Apple’s Performa 6300CD, introduced on January 27, 1996. This powerful addition to the Macintosh line not only defied its era with cutting-edge features but also left an indelible mark on the history of personal computing.
Priced at a formidable $2,800, the Performa 6300CD was not for the faint of heart. Yet, the price tag was justified by the technological marvels it offered. Armed with a 100 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, a sizable 16 MB of RAM, a 1.2 GB hard drive, a 4x CD-ROM drive, and a 1.44 MB floppy drive, the 6300CD surged ahead of its contemporaries. Apple’s emphasis on performance was underscored by the presence of a 4x CD-ROM drive – a feature that transformed the way users consumed multimedia content.
While its reign was brief, the Performa 6300CD’s influence endured. Designed as part of the Performa series, it embraced the aesthetics of its predecessor, the Performa 6200, in its external case design. Its logic board, intriguingly codenamed “Cordyceps,” might have been based on the older LC architecture, yet this did not deter its capabilities. The device’s modular sibling, the 120 MHz Power Macintosh 6300, shared some performance limitations due to its lineage.
Disappointingly, the 6300CD was discontinued on October 1, 1996, just months after its grand debut. However, its legacy managed to transcend time, captivating the hearts of Apple enthusiasts and collectors alike, even after 27 years.
Beneath its sleek exterior, the Performa 6300CD concealed an array of expansion options. The device’s two 72-pin SIMM slots facilitated RAM upgrades, elevating its baseline 16 MB to an impressive 64 MB. Boasting 1 MB of VRAM, it supported vivid 8-bit color at 832 x 624 pixels and 16-bit color at 640 x 480 pixels, truly a visual feast for its era.
The expansion slots offered further versatility. With a 32-bit LC PDS slot, a Comm Slot catering to internal modems or Ethernet cards, and a video-in slot compatible with an Apple TV Tuner Card, the 6300CD was a hub of possibilities. Notably, the 4x internal CD-ROM and external hard drives were linked via a SCSI bus, while the internal hard drive was integrated through an IDE bus. The device also featured a built-in floppy drive capable of handling 1.44 MB high-density disks.
“The experienced high-end home computer user’s dream” – that’s how Apple aptly introduced the Performa 6300CD. Sporting a robust 100 MHz processing prowess and a generous 16 MB RAM, it was tailor-made for power-hungry applications. The integrated Apple 600i quad-speed CD-ROM drive, a substantial 1.2-gigabyte hard drive, and a 28.8 internal modem with built-in speakerphone and digital answering machine elevated its allure. Accompanied by an Apple Superdrive floppy disk drive, built-in speakers, an Apple Plain Talk microphone, and 16-bit stereo sound, the 6300CD offered a comprehensive multimedia experience.
The Performa 6300CD wasn’t just a hardware powerhouse. It came pre-loaded with a suite of software that catered to every facet of user needs. From At Ease and eWorld with internet access to Claris Works 4.0, Quicken5, Mac Gallery Clip art, and even the 1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia on CD-ROM, it was a holistic package that anticipated users’ requirements.
Despite utilizing a PowerPC 603e processor instead of the regular 603, the Performa 6300CD was an emblem of the future. It served as a beacon, illuminating the path for forthcoming Performa models. Its speed might have been compromised due to the smaller design of the 603e, yet the device’s potential was undeniable. In fact, it outperformed even the fastest Performa of its time – the Performa 6115CD.
Apple’s Performa 6300CD was a testament to the company’s dedication to innovation and pushing technological boundaries. Its short-lived presence left an indelible mark, not only in terms of hardware capabilities but also in setting a standard for future devices. Despite its discontinuation, this icon of the 90s continues to be cherished by Apple aficionados and collectors, a true testament to its enduring legacy.
Macintosh Performa 6300CD Details
|Introduced||January 27, 1996|
|Discontinued||October 1, 1996|
|Dimensions||4.3” H x 12.6” W x 16.5” D|
10.92 cm H x 32 cm W x 41.91 cm D
Mac Performa 6300CD 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 – 1.44 MB Floppy|
1 – 4x CD-ROM
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||64 MB|
|Memory Slots||2 – 72 pin SIMM|
|Minimum Speed||80 ns|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||1 – LC PDS|
1 – Comm
1 – Video I/O
1 – TV
|Hard Drive Interface||IDE|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – DB-15|
|Original OS||System Software 7.5.3|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||4.5 V Alkaline|
|Maximum Continuous Power||55 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh Performa 6300CD: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Performa 6260 and 6300 – Low End Mac
- Macintosh Performa – Wikipedia
- Performa 6300CD Review – MyMac
- Performa 6200/6300 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: August 31, 2023