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In the ever-evolving world of technology, where today’s cutting-edge device becomes tomorrow’s relic, it’s always intriguing to take a step back in time and explore the innovations of the past. In 1996, Apple unveiled the Power Macintosh 4400, a computer that not only marked a significant moment in Apple’s history but also showcased the company’s willingness to experiment and adapt.
On November 15, 1996, Apple introduced the Power Macintosh 4400 to the world. With a starting price of $1,500, it was positioned as an affordable entry point into the Power Macintosh series, making Apple’s technology accessible to a broader audience.
At the heart of the Power Macintosh 4400 lay cutting-edge technology for its time. It was powered by a 160 MHz or 200 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, came with either 16 MB or 32 MB of RAM, offered a 1.2 GB or 2 GB hard drive, and featured either an 8x CD-ROM or 12x CD-ROM drive, along with a 1.44 MB floppy drive. These specs, though modest by today’s standards, were quite impressive in the mid-’90s.
One of the standout features of the Power Macintosh 4400 was its use of the “Tanzania” architecture, originally designed for Macintosh clone manufacturers. This architecture featured a unique riser card with three slots, allowing users to customize their desktops. They could accommodate a 7″ PCI card, a 12″ PCI card, and a Comm Slot II card, offering versatility that was ahead of its time.
Apple had a trick up its sleeve for those seeking even more power. The Power Macintosh 4400 could be upgraded to a PowerPC G3 processor using an L2 cache slot, turning it into a performance beast. This flexibility appealed to tech enthusiasts looking for a machine that could evolve with their needs.
In a bold move, Apple also offered a PC-compatible version of the Power Macintosh 4400. This variant featured a 166 MHz Cyrix P166x86 processor, designed specifically for MS-DOS or Windows. It came equipped with a 166 MHz Cyrix 6×86 PCI card, allowing for up to 80 MB of RAM to be dedicated to the DOS/Windows operating system. Apple’s foray into the PC market at that time was a testament to its commitment to innovation and adaptability.
What set the Power Macintosh 4400 apart from its predecessors was its reliance on industry-standard parts, a move aimed at keeping costs low. This decision not only made it more affordable but also signaled Apple’s willingness to embrace change and adapt to the needs of its users.
Regrettably, the Power Macintosh 4400 was discontinued on October 11, 1997, marking the end of an era. However, its legacy lives on, serving as a significant piece of computer history and a testament to Apple’s innovative spirit.
The Power Macintosh 4400 was more than just a computer; it was a statement of Apple’s adaptability and innovation. While it may be 27 years old, its impact on the tech world is still felt today. In an industry where change is constant, taking a moment to appreciate the pioneers like the Power Macintosh 4400 reminds us of the roots from which modern technology has grown.
Power Macintosh 4400 Details
|Introduced||November 15, 1996 (160 MHz)|
February 17, 1997 (200 MHz)
|Discontinued||October 11, 1997|
|Model Identifier||514 (160 MHz)|
515 (200 MHz)
|Dimensions||5.43” H x 15.12” W x 17.37” D|
13.79 cm H x 38.4 cm W x 44.11 cm D
Power Mac 4400 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||160 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 – 8x CD-ROM or 12x CD-ROM
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||160 MB|
|Memory Slots||3 – 168 pin DIMM|
|Minimum Speed||60 ns|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||3 – 12″ PCI (160 MHz)|
2 – 12″ PCI (200 MHz)
1 – Comm II (200 MHz)
|Hard Drive Interface||IDE / ATA|
|Modem||10BASE-T (Optional only in 200 MHz)|
|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 7.5.2|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||4.5 V Alkaline|
|Maximum Continuous Power||150 W|
|Line Voltage||100-130 V or 200-230 V|
Further Reading and References
- Power Macintosh 4400/160: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 4400/200: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 4400/200 PC Compatible: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 4400 – Wikipedia
- Power Mac 4400 and 7220 – Low End Mac
- Power Mac 4400! – MacGurus
- Power Macintosh 4400 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 24, 2023