Share This Article
In the ever-evolving world of technology, it’s crucial to pause and remember the trailblazers that paved the way for today’s innovations. In 1996, Apple took a bold step into the server market with the introduction of the Workgroup Server 8550, a computer that left an indelible mark on the industry. Though it may seem like ancient history in the fast-paced tech world, the Workgroup Server 8550 was a powerhouse in its day. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane to explore the legacy of this iconic machine.
The Workgroup Server 8550 was a formidable machine, designed to cater to the needs of businesses requiring a powerful server for their operations. Released on February 26, 1996, with a starting price tag of $5,000, it was a significant investment. However, for those who could afford it, the 8550 delivered outstanding performance.
Under its sleek exterior, the 8550 housed a 132 MHz PowerPC 604 or, in its later iterations, a 200 MHz PowerPC 604e processor. This was coupled with a substantial 24 MB or 32 MB of RAM, a 2 GB hard drive, and the choice of a 4x or 8x CD-ROM drive, along with a 1.44 MB floppy drive. These specs may pale in comparison to today’s machines, but back then, it was cutting-edge technology that could handle the demands of workgroups with ease.
The Workgroup Server 8550 was more than just a powerful computer; it was Apple’s first foray into the server market. Its introduction marked a pivotal moment in Apple’s history, setting the stage for future advancements and models. Today, Apple servers are ubiquitous in businesses and organizations worldwide, and it all started with the Workgroup Server 8550.
This machine wasn’t just a pretty face; it was built to serve. It catered to the diverse needs of growing workgroups in education, business, and publishing. Whether you needed file and print services, robust database capabilities, internet connectivity, or seamless communication tools, the 8550 had you covered.
The Workgroup Server 8550 came encased in a familiar expandable tower case design, similar to the Quadra 800. This design not only made it look sleek but also allowed for expandability, a crucial feature in a server.
One of its standout features was the pre-installed server software, which simplified setup and configuration for businesses. This user-friendly approach was a testament to Apple’s commitment to making advanced technology accessible.
Fast forward 27 years, and the Workgroup Server 8550 may appear ancient in comparison to today’s tech marvels, but it remains a vital part of Apple’s history. Its legacy lives on in the DNA of modern Apple servers. The lessons learned from the 8550’s journey into the server market continue to influence Apple’s approach to serving the needs of businesses and organizations globally.
In the ever-evolving world of technology, it’s essential to remember the pioneers who paved the way for today’s innovations. The Workgroup Server 8550, with its impressive specs and capabilities, was a pivotal moment in Apple’s history and the server market. While it may no longer be in production, its legacy endures, reminding us of the strides Apple has made in serving the tech needs of businesses worldwide. The Workgroup Server 8550 will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Apple fans who remember its glory days.
Workgroup Server 8550 Details
|Introduced||February 26, 1996 (132 MHz)|
September 16, 1996 (200 MHz)
|Discontinued||January 1, 1997 (132 MHz)|
March 2, 1998 (200 MHz)
|Dimensions||14” H x 7.7” W x 15.75” D|
35.56 cm H x 19.55 cm W x 40 cm D
Mac WGS 8550 Tech Specs
|Processor||PowerPC 604 (132 MHz)|
PowerPC 604e (200 MHz)
|Processor Speed||132 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||44 MHz|
|Cache||16 KB or 32 KB L1|
512 KB L2
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB Floppy|
1 – 4x or 8x CD-ROM
|Built-in Memory||24 MB|
|Maximum Memory||512 MB (Apple)|
1.0 GB (Actual)
|Memory Slots||8 – 168 pin DIMMs|
|Minimum Speed||70 ns|
|Graphics Memory||2 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||3 – PCI|
1 – DAV
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|Ethernet||AAUI and 10BASE-T|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
2 – RCA input
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
2 – RCA output
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – DB-15|
|Original OS||System Software 7.5.3|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||225 W|
|Line Voltage||100 V – 240 V AC|
Further Reading and References
- Workgroup Server 8550/132: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Workgroup Server 8550/200: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Mac 8500 (Workgroup Server 8550) – Low End Mac
- Apple Workgroup Server – Wikipedia
- Workgroup Server 8550/132 – IT History Society
- Power Macintosh 8200 and 8500 Series/WS 8550 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 3, 2023