Power Mac 5400 Power Mac 5400

Power Macintosh 5400 Datasheet

In the fast-paced world of technology, where innovations become obsolete at the speed of light, it’s easy to forget the groundbreaking devices that once ruled the roost. One such relic of a bygone era is the Power Macintosh 5400, a computer that hit the market on April 13th, 1996, and etched its name into Apple’s storied history.

Back in 1996, when the internet was in its infancy and dial-up connections ruled the day, Apple unveiled the Power Macintosh 5400. Part of the illustrious Power Macintosh series, this personal computer was a technological marvel for its time.

With a robust 120 MHz / 180 MHz or 200 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, a vivid 15″ Color CRT display, and an array of storage options ranging from 1.2 GB to 1.6 GB, the 5400 was a powerhouse. It boasted a 4x CD-ROM or 8x CD-ROM drive, a 1.44 MB floppy drive, and 16 MB or 24 MB of RAM – specifications that made it a titan in the 90s computing landscape.

But, as they say, innovation comes at a price. The starting cost of $1,500 was substantial, yet for Apple aficionados, it was a price worth paying. The 5400 garnered significant attention and praise for its remarkable processing speed, capacious hard drive, and display that was the envy of its competitors.

As with all tech revolutions, the Power Macintosh 5400’s reign was destined to be brief. On March 31, 1998, Apple officially discontinued this iconic computer. However, its legacy endures, serving as a nostalgic reminder of Apple’s pioneering role in personal computing technology.

Digging deeper into the 5400, we find that the Performa 5400 models were all-in-one desktop Macintosh systems featuring a built-in 15″ shadow mask display. The 1 MB of VRAM supported up to 8-bit color at a resolution of 832 x 624 pixels and 16-bit color at 640 x 480 pixels, a technological feat at the time.

The “Alchemy” logic board, the heart of this machine, supported faster PowerPC 603e processors. It allowed RAM upgrades from the base 8 MB, soldered onto the motherboard, to a maximum of 136 MB. With expansion slots including a PCI slot, a Comm Slot II for an internal modem or Ethernet card, and a video-in slot for an Apple TV Tuner Card, the 5400 was surprisingly versatile.

The Performa 5400 came with Mac OS 7.5.3 pre-installed, complemented by System Enabler 410, and a bundle of home software. It eventually bid adieu with Mac OS 9.1, marking the end of an era in Apple’s software evolution.

Interestingly, the Performa 5400 was predominantly sold in North America’s education market. Its consumer cousin, the Performa 5400CD, saw a more widespread release across the globe. Some configurations even included pre-installed TV/FM radio and/or video input/output cards, showcasing Apple’s innovative spirit even in the 90s.

The Power Macintosh 5400 may have faded into the annals of history, but its impact on the computer industry and its place in Apple’s heritage are undeniable. It was a machine that pushed the boundaries of technology during its time, captivating users with its raw power and cutting-edge features.

As we look back on this 28-year-old relic, we are reminded of the incredible journey Apple has undertaken, from the Power Macintosh 5400 to the sleek marvels of today. While the 5400 may have been discontinued, its memory lives on, and for those who experienced its heyday, it remains an indelible part of the Apple story.

Power Macintosh 5400
Source: tutsplus.com – Power Macintosh 5400

Power Macintosh 5400 Details

IntroducedApril 13, 1996 (120 MHz)
February 17, 1997 (180 MHz & 200 MHz)
DiscontinuedFebruary 17, 1997 (120 MHz)
March 31, 1998 (180 MHz & 200 MHz)
Model Identifier74
Model NumberM3046
Order NumberM5161LL/A
Original Price$1,500
Weight47 Ibs.
21.318 KG
Dimensions17.5” H x 15.1” W x 16” D
44.45 cm H x 38.35 cm W x 40.64 cm D

Power Mac 5400 Tech Specs


ProcessorPowerPC 603e
Processor Speed120 MHz
180 MHz
200 MHz
Number of Cores1
System Bus40 MHz
Cache32 KB L1
256 KB L2
CoprocessorBuilt-in FPU

Storage & Media

Storage1.2 GB
1.6 GB
Media1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
1 – 4x CD-ROM or 8x CD-ROM


Built-in Memory16 MB
24 MB
Maximum Memory64 MB
Memory Slots2 – 72 pin SIMM
Minimum Speed80 ns
Interleaving SupportNo


Built-in Display15″ Shadow Mask RGB CRT display
Resolution640×480 at 16-bit
800×600 at 8-bit
832×624 at 8-bit


Graphics CardNone
Graphics Memory1 MB
Display Connection1 – DB-15 (Optional)


Expansion Slots1 – LC PDS (Cache Bus)
1 – Comm. Slot
1 – Video I/O
1 – TV Tuner
Hard Drive InterfaceIDE


SCSI1 – DB-25
Floppy PortNone
Audio In1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack
1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out2 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
2 – Built-in speaker
Display1 – DB-15 (Optional)


Original OSSystem Software 7.5.3
Maximum OSMac OS 9.1
FirmwareMacintosh ROM


Backup Battery4.5 V Alkaline
Maximum Continuous Power125 W
Line Voltage100-240 V

Further Reading and References

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