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In the ever-evolving landscape of personal computing, one name stands out as a true game-changer: the Power Macintosh 6400. Introduced by Apple on October 23, 1996, this formidable machine marked a pivotal moment in computing technology and design. Priced starting at $2,200, the Power Macintosh 6400 was aimed squarely at power users who demanded nothing less than top-tier performance and versatility from their computing devices.
The Power Macintosh 6400 belonged to the esteemed Power Macintosh series and was built upon the PCI-based “Alchemy” architecture, which it shared with its predecessors, the Power Macintosh 5400 and 6300/160.
However, what truly set it apart was its unique tower configuration, providing ample space for a dual riser card capable of accommodating two PCI cards. Furthermore, it featured an L2 cache slot that could be used as a processor direct slot, allowing users to upgrade it to a PowerPC G3 processor—a testament to Apple’s commitment to forward compatibility.
Under the hood, the Power Macintosh 6400 packed a powerful punch. Equipped with a blazing-fast 180 MHz or 200 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, it was, without a doubt, one of the fastest personal computers available during its heyday.
Complementing this impressive processing power was 16 MB of RAM, a 1.6 GB or 2.4 GB hard drive, an 8x CD-ROM drive, a 1.44 MB floppy drive, and an SRS 3D surround sound system with a subwoofer. All of this was elegantly housed within a sleek, rounded tower case, making the Power Macintosh 6400 an all-in-one solution for even the most demanding computing needs.
Regrettably, the Power Macintosh 6400 had a relatively short lifespan and was discontinued on May 1, 1997. However, this move was not a sign of stagnation but rather a testament to Apple’s unwavering commitment to innovation and product improvement. The technology industry is relentless in its pursuit of progress, and Apple, as always, was at the forefront of this relentless march forward.
While the Power Macintosh 6400 was primarily marketed to the North American education market, its consumer counterpart, the Performa 6400, found its way into homes worldwide. This ensured that the brilliance of this machine touched the lives of users far and wide, cementing its place in computing history.
Today, the Power Macintosh 6400 has reached the ripe age of 27 years, yet its legacy endures undiminished. It serves as a testament to Apple’s commitment to innovation and design excellence, a beacon in the annals of computing history. Whether you were one of the fortunate users back in the day or simply appreciate the profound impact it had on the industry, the Power Macintosh 6400 remains an indelible and integral part of the tapestry of technology.
Power Macintosh 6400 Details
|Introduced||October 23, 1996|
|Discontinued||May 1, 1997|
|Dimensions||16” H x 7.8” W x 16.9” D|
40.64 cm H x 19.81 cm W x 42.92 cm D
Power Mac 6400 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||180 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||40 MHz|
|Cache||32 KB L1|
256 KB L2
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB Floppy|
1 – 8x CD-ROM
1 – Zip 100 (Optional)
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||136 MB|
|Memory Slots||2 – 168 pin DIMM|
|Minimum Speed||70 ns|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||2 – 7″ PCI|
1 – Comm II
1 – Video I/O
1 – TV
|Hard Drive Interface||IDE|
|SCSI||1 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
|Audio Out||2 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
1 – Built-in subwoofer
1 – Built-in speaker
|Display||1 – DB-15|
|Original OS||System Software 7.5.3|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||4.5 V Alkaline|
|Maximum Continuous Power||220 W|
|Line Voltage||100-125 V / 200-240 V|
Further Reading and References
- Power Macintosh 6400/200: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 6400 – Wikipedia
- Apple Macintosh Performa 6400/200 – The Centre for Computing History
- Power Mac 6400 (Performa 6400) – Low End Mac
- Performa/Power Macintosh 6400 and 6500 Series 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 23, 2023