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In the fast-paced world of technology, it’s easy to forget the milestones that paved the way for the sleek and powerful devices we use today. One such milestone occurred on February 17, 1997, when Apple unleashed the Power Macintosh 7300 upon the world. Designed as part of the iconic Power Macintosh series, this computer has left an indelible mark on the industry, even 26 years after its introduction.
At its debut, the Power Macintosh 7300 boasted cutting-edge features, showcasing Apple’s commitment to innovation. Sporting a PowerPC 604e processor clocking in at 166 MHz, 180 MHz, or a formidable 200 MHz, it delivered a performance jump that left its predecessors in the dust. With a starting price of $2,100, this desktop computer catered to users seeking a robust machine for their everyday needs.
One standout feature of the Power Macintosh 7300 was its versatility. Apple went above and beyond by offering a PC version of the 7300, equipped with a 166 MHz Intel Pentium processor. This innovative move allowed users to seamlessly transition from Windows-based systems to the Mac environment, enhancing the computer’s appeal to a broader audience.
Under the hood, the Power Macintosh 7300 embraced the “Outrigger” case, a design first introduced with the Power Macintosh 7500. The enhanced PowerPC 604e CPU delivered unparalleled processing power, while the absence of video-in capability streamlined its functionality. Notably, the 7300/180 model came with a “PC compatible” configuration, featuring a 166 MHz Pentium processor on a PCI card for dual-booting with Microsoft Windows.
The 7300 series utilized 168-pin DRAM DIMMs, supporting up to 1024 MiB of RAM. Graphics capabilities were impressive, with output resolutions reaching up to 1152×870 at 24-bit and 1280×1024 at 16-bit. Three PCI slots allowed users to expand their system with third-party cards, including graphics enhancements.
The internal 2 GB SCSI hard drive, operating at 10 MB/s, combined with an external 5 MB/s SCSI port, ensured ample storage and connectivity options. The inclusion of a 12x CD-ROM drive and a 1.44 MB floppy drive further solidified the Power Macintosh 7300 as a comprehensive computing solution.
Regrettably, the Power Macintosh 7300’s journey was short-lived, as it was discontinued on November 11, 1997. However, its significance echoes through the corridors of Apple’s history. The 7300 laid the groundwork for future Macintosh computers, showcasing Apple’s commitment to innovation and adaptability.
As we celebrate the Power Macintosh 7300’s 26-year anniversary, it’s essential to recognize its role in shaping the trajectory of desktop computing. This innovative machine not only pushed the boundaries of technology in its time but also demonstrated Apple’s forward-thinking approach. The Power Macintosh 7300 may be a relic of the past, but its legacy lives on in the DNA of every Macintosh that followed, marking a pivotal chapter in Apple’s storied history.
Power Mac 7300 Details
|Introduced||February 17, 1997|
|Discontinued||November 10, 1997|
|Dimensions||6.15” H x 14.37” W x 16.93” D|
15.62 cm H x 36.5 cm W x 43 cm D
Power Mac 7300 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||166 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||45 MHz|
|Cache||64 KB L1|
256 KB L2
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – 1.44 MB Floppy|
1 – 12x CD-ROM
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||512 MB (Apple)|
1 GB (Actual)
|Memory Slots||8 – 168 pin DIMM|
|Minimum Speed||70 ns|
|Graphics Memory||2 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||3 – PCI|
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|Modem||10BASE-T and AAUI-15|
|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 7.5.5|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V Lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||150 W|
|Line Voltage||100-130 V or 200-270 V|
Further Reading and References
- Power Macintosh 7300/166: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 7300/180: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 7300/180 PC Compatible: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 7300/200: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 7300 – Wikipedia
- Power Macintosh 7300/ 7500/7600 & WS 7350 Service Source (PDF) – Apple Repair Manuals
- The Power Macintosh 7300 proves good design is about function as much as form – MacWorld
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Last updated: November 19, 2023