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In 1992, Apple made waves in the personal computer market with the introduction of the Macintosh Quadra 950. This high-end machine quickly garnered attention from both professionals and technology enthusiasts alike. Though it has long been discontinued, the Quadra 950 remains a cherished relic of Apple’s early days, and its impact on the industry cannot be understated.
At the heart of the Macintosh Quadra 950 lay the impressive 33 MHz Motorola 68040 processor. This powerhouse chip provided users with a significant performance boost over previous Macintosh models. Coupled with 8 MB or 16 MB of RAM, a choice of 230 MB/400 MB or 1 GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, and a 1.44 MB floppy drive, the Quadra 950 pushed the boundaries of what was possible in a personal computer at that time.
One notable feature that set the Macintosh Quadra 950 apart was its internal video capabilities. Apple’s removal of “wait states” from the video section resulted in the 950’s internal video being approximately 20% faster than its predecessor, the Quadra 900. The faster CPU complemented this improvement, allowing the Quadra 950 to effortlessly display a 16-bit video on a 19″ monitor without the need for a third-party video card.
The Macintosh Quadra 950 was built to last, with a robust and durable design that gave it the appearance of a tank. Its form factor suggested it was meant to reside on the floor, and with 16 SIMM slots, the Quadra 950 allowed for substantial memory expansion, making it an ideal choice for server applications. Furthermore, its impressive power supply could accommodate multiple NuBus cards, making it a flexible choice for a range of tasks.
Apple made some unique design choices when it came to the Quadra 950’s internal SCSI bus. Unlike other Macs, including its predecessor, the Quadra 900, the internal SCSI bus was terminated on the motherboard. As a result, internal SCSI devices should not be terminated. However, the external SCSI bus functioned in the same way as other Mac models.
For those seeking even more power and versatility, Apple offered a special version of the Quadra 950 called the Apple Workgroup Server 95. This variant was designed to run A/UX, Apple’s Unix-based operating system. The only difference between the Quadra 950 and the Workgroup Server 95 was the inclusion of the Apple Workgroup Server PDS Card. If used as a standard Mac, the card needed to be removed.
Today, 31 years later, the Macintosh Quadra 950 is a cherished artifact of Apple’s early computer lineup. Though it has long been surpassed in terms of performance and features, its significance in Apple’s history remains undeniable. For collectors and enthusiasts, the Quadra 950 serves as a reminder of the groundbreaking advancements that paved the way for the technology we enjoy today.
While the Macintosh Quadra 950 may be considered a relic of the past, its impact on the personal computer industry cannot be overlooked. It stands as a testament to Apple’s commitment to innovation and showcases the company’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what personal computers could achieve. Though it has faded into history, the Macintosh Quadra 950 remains an icon for Apple fans and collectors, preserving a chapter of computing history that will forever be remembered.
Macintosh Quadra 950 Details
|Introduced||May 18, 1992|
|Discontinued||October 14, 1995|
|Order Number||M6710LL/A (no hard drive)|
M6720LL/A (230 MB hard drive)
M6730LL/A (400 MB hard drive)
|Original Price||$7,200 (no hard drive)|
$8,499 (230 MB hard drive)
$9,199 (400 MB hard drive)
|Dimensions||18.6” H x 8.9” W x 20.6” D|
47.24 cm H x 22.6 cm W x 52.32 cm D
Mac Quadra 950 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||33 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||33 MHz|
|Cache||8 KB L1|
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – CD-ROM|
1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
1 – DDS-DC drive (Optional)
|Maximum Memory||256 MB|
|Memory Slots||16 – 30 pin SIMMs|
|Minimum Speed||80 ns|
|Graphics Memory||1 – 2 MB (via four sockets)|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||5 – NuBus|
1 – PDS (Cache Bus)
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm mono input jack|
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm stereo output jack|
|Display||1 – DB-15|
|Original OS||System Software 7.0.1|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 8.1|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||303 W|
Further Reading and References
- Macintosh Quadra 950: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Quadra 950 – Low End Mac
- Macintosh Quadra 950 – Wikipedia
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: June 4, 2023