Power Macintosh 5500 Power Macintosh 5500

Power Macintosh 5500 Explained

In 1997, the tech world witnessed a groundbreaking moment that would shape the future of personal computing. Apple, the company known for its innovative approach to technology, introduced the Power Macintosh 5500, a computer that would quickly become iconic in its own right.

With its blend of power, style, and advanced features, the Power Macintosh 5500 set a new standard for personal computers in its era. As we celebrate its 27-year anniversary, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the impact of this classic machine.

On February 17, 1997, Apple unveiled the Power Macintosh 5500 to the world, with a starting price tag of $2,000. This sleek and powerful computer was equipped with a range of impressive features that made it stand out from the competition. Under the hood, it boasted a robust 225 MHz, 250 MHz, or 275 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, ensuring that it could handle the demands of both casual users and professionals alike.

One of the most striking elements of the Power Macintosh 5500 was its 15-inch color CRT display, a marvel of its time. This display brought vibrant colors and sharp visuals to users, making it a delight for multimedia enthusiasts. Complementing the display, the computer featured 32 MB of RAM, a 1 GB or 4 GB hard drive, a 12x or 24x CD-ROM drive, a 1.44 MB floppy drive, and a 2 MB ATI Rage IIc graphics card. It was a powerhouse packed into a sleek, all-in-one design.

The Power Macintosh 5500 wasn’t just another computer; it was a game-changer. This machine offered users 2D/3D graphics acceleration and pre-installed video input/output expansion cards, making it an attractive choice for those in creative fields. The 15″ multiscan color monitor added a touch of elegance to the setup, making it a statement piece on any desk.

Originally targeted at the North American education and international consumer markets, the Power Macintosh 5500 quickly garnered attention. Apple recognized the demand among North American consumers and expanded its availability, bringing this technological marvel to a wider audience.

While the Power Macintosh 5500 shone brightly in its own right, it also had some unique variants. Notably, there was no LC-branded version, but Apple introduced the Power Macintosh One in the UK market. These variants added an extra layer of diversity to Apple’s product lineup, catering to different regions and customer preferences.

Regrettably, the Power Macintosh 5500’s production run was short-lived, as it was discontinued on August 31, 1998. However, its legacy endures. This computer served as a pioneer in its time, offering users an unmatched blend of power and style. It exemplifies the innovative spirit that has become synonymous with Apple and the lasting impact it had on the personal computing industry.

As we celebrate 27 years since the Power Macintosh 5500’s introduction, let’s take a moment to appreciate the legacy it left behind. Its influence on the world of technology cannot be overstated, and it serves as a testament to the constant pursuit of excellence that defines Apple’s ethos.

The Power Macintosh 5500 was more than just a computer; it was a symbol of innovation and a beacon of progress in the tech world. Its sleek design, powerful features, and lasting impact make it a classic piece of technology worth celebrating, even 27 years later. Here’s to the Power Macintosh 5500, a true icon in the world of personal computing.

Power Mac 5500
Source: pinterest.com – Power Mac 5500

Power Macintosh 5500 Details

IntroducedFebruary 17, 1997 (225 MHz & 250 MHz)
March 1, 1997 (275 MHz)
DiscontinuedMarch 31, 1998 (225 MHz & 250 MHz)
August 31, 1998 (275 MHz)
Model Identifier512
Model NumberUnknown
Order NumberM6149LL/A
Original Price$2,000
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 5500 Tech Specs


ProcessorPowerPC 603e
Processor Speed225 MHz
250 MHz
275 MHz
Number of Cores1
System Bus50 MHz
Cache32 KB L1
256 KB or 512 KB L2
CoprocessorBuilt-in FPU

Storage & Media

Storage2 GB
4 GB
Media1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
1 – 12x CD-ROM or 24x CD-ROM


Built-in Memory32 MB
Maximum Memory128 MB
Memory Slots2 – 168 pin EDO DIMM
Minimum Speed60 ns
Interleaving SupportNo


Built-in Display15″ Multiscan RGB CRT Display
Resolution512×384 at 24-bit
640×480 at 24-bit
800×600 at 24-bit
832×624 at 24-bit
1024×768 at 16-bit
1152×870 at 16-bit
1280×1024 at 8-bit


Graphics CardATI Rage IIc
Graphics Memory2 MB SGRAM
Display Connection1 – DB-15


Expansion Slots1 – PCI
1 – Comm. II Slot
1 – Video In
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


Original OSSystem Software 7.5.5
Maximum OSMac OS 9.1
FirmwareMacintosh ROM


Backup Battery4.5 V Alkaline
Maximum Continuous Power220 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 2, 2023