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In the annals of Apple’s storied history, one pivotal moment stands out: the release of the Power Macintosh 8200 in 1996. A jewel in the crown of the Power Macintosh series, the 8200 was engineered to deliver an unparalleled computing experience. When it graced the market on April 22, 1996, it swiftly became the darling of Mac enthusiasts worldwide.
The Power Macintosh 8200, a tower iteration of the Power Macintosh 7200 desktop, shares its roots in the PCI-based “Catalyst” architecture. Its tower case design, reminiscent of the NuBus-based Power Macintosh 8100, set it apart in both form and function.
At its heart lay a robust 100 MHz or 120 MHz PowerPC 601 processor, a testament to Apple’s commitment to speed and power. With memory options ranging from 8 MB to 16 MB and hard drive capacities spanning from 700 MB to 1.2 GB, users could effortlessly manage hefty files. The inclusion of a 4x or 8x CD-ROM drive facilitated seamless software installations and CD playback, while the timeless 1.44 MB floppy drive stood ready for critical data storage.
Encased in the same expandable tower design that debuted with the Quadra 800, the Power Macintosh 8200 embodied Apple’s signature fusion of form and function.
While this model found its way into the hands of eager users across Europe and Asia, North America remained uncharted territory for the Power Macintosh 8200.
A close sibling to the Power Mac 7200, the 8200 graced the scene in 100 and 120 MHz incarnations. Unlike its counterparts, the CPU’s placement precluded the usual daughter card upgrades, leaving users with the option to swap the motherboard with that of a Power Mac 8500, supplemented by a daughter card.
Sonnet Technologies emerged as the lone pioneer in crafting PowerPC G3 or G4 upgrades for the 7200 and 8200. Their PCI card, replete with dedicated RAM slots for the upgrade processor, mirrored the ethos of the Radius Rocket. It’s worth noting, however, that the L2 cache slot in the 8200 held certain limitations for upgrades.
Though an impressive machine, the 8200 earned the moniker “Compromised Mac” due to hiccups in the promised upgrade path. It wasn’t until the twilight of 2000 that Sonnet succeeded in birthing an accelerator for this formidable machine.
Sadly, the Power Macintosh 8200’s radiant star dimmed all too soon, as it bid adieu on September 19, 1996, merely six months after its debut. Yet, its memory endures as a cherished relic for those who had the privilege of using it. Today, at 27 years old, the Power Macintosh 8200’s indelible imprint continues to resonate throughout the technology landscape.
Power Macintosh 8200 Details
|Introduced||April 22, 1996|
|Discontinued||September 19, 1996|
|Dimensions||14” H x 7.7” W x 15.75” D|
35.56 cm H x 19.55 cm W x 40 cm D
Power Mac 8200 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||100 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 – 4x CD-ROM or 8x CD-ROM
|Built-in Memory||8 MB|
|Maximum Memory||256 MB|
|Memory Slots||4 – 168 pin DIMMs|
|Minimum Speed||70 ns|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||3 – PCI|
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|Ethernet||1 – AAUI and 10BASE-T|
|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 7.5.3|
|Maximum OS||Mac OS 9.1|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||150 W|
|Line Voltage||100 V – 240 V AC|
Further Reading and References
- Power Macintosh 8200/100: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Macintosh 8200/120: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Power Mac 8200 – Low End Mac
- Power Macintosh 8200 and 8500 Series/WS 8550 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 16, 2023