Power Macintosh 8600 Power Macintosh 8600

Power Macintosh 8600 Explained

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Apple has consistently stood at the forefront of innovation, producing products that seamlessly blend style with cutting-edge functionality. One such gem from Apple’s historic lineup is the Power Macintosh 8600, a computer that not only redefined the standards of its time but also laid the foundation for the future of Apple’s iconic products.

Back in 1997, Apple unleashed the Power Macintosh 8600, a marvel in design and performance. This sleek powerhouse, part of the revered Power Macintosh series, boasted a price tag of $2,699 at launch, signaling its premium status in the computing world. Despite its hefty price, the 8600 garnered widespread acclaim from both consumers and tech enthusiasts alike.

The Power Macintosh 8600 was a technological marvel, featuring a robust 200 MHz PowerPC 604e processor that could be upgraded to 250 MHz or 300 MHz. Packed with 32 MB of RAM and a 2 GB or 4 GB hard drive, this computer offered a blend of power and storage that was unparalleled in its era. The inclusion of a 12x or 24x CD-ROM drive, along with a 1.44 MB floppy drive, showcased Apple’s commitment to versatility.

One standout feature of the Power Macintosh 8600 was its user-friendly design, allowing for easy upgrades. The PowerPC 604e processor was mounted on a daughter card, enabling users to enhance their computing power by swapping out components. With 3 PCI slots, 168-pin DIMM slots for RAM, and 50-pin SCSI hard drives, the 8600 was a playground for tech enthusiasts eager to customize their computing experience.

Introduced on February 17, 1997, the Power Macintosh 8600 received a significant update on August 5, 1997, with processor speeds reaching 250 and 300 MHz. However, its glory was short-lived, as it succumbed to discontinuation in 1998, giving way to the Power Macintosh G3.

Externally resembling the Power Macintosh 9600, the 8600 had its unique traits, such as a smaller case with three usable PCI slots. The tower version of the Power Macintosh G3 later adopted a downsized version of the 8600/9600 case, showcasing Apple’s penchant for reimagining and refining their designs.

Beyond its technological prowess, the Power Macintosh 8600 left an indelible mark on Apple’s legacy. A precursor to future innovations, this classic computer set the stage for the high-performance computing experience that Apple enthusiasts have come to expect.

Fast forward 27 years, and the Power Macintosh 8600 remains a cherished artifact among Apple enthusiasts and collectors. Its sleek design and powerful performance have stood the test of time, making it a testament to Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology.

The Power Macintosh 8600 stands as a symbol of Apple’s relentless pursuit of excellence. In an era when computers were transitioning into household essentials, the 8600 not only met but exceeded expectations. Today, as we celebrate its legacy, we recognize the Power Macintosh 8600 as a timeless classic that shaped the trajectory of Apple’s technological journey.

Power Mac 8600
Source: preterhuman.net – Power Mac 8600

Power Mac 8600 Details

IntroducedFebruary 17, 1997 (200 MHz)
August 5, 1997 (250 MHz & 300 MHz)
DiscontinuedAugust 5, 1997 (200 MHz)
December 13, 1997 (250 MHz)
February 17, 1998 (300 MHz)
Model Identifier69 (200 MHz)
103 (250 MHz & 300 MHz)
Model NumberUnknown
Order NumberM5453LL/A
Original Price$2,699
Weight35 Ibs.
15.875 KG
Dimensions17.3” H x 9.7” W x 17.3” D
43.94 cm H x 24.63 cm W x 43.94 cm D

Power Mac 8600 Tech Specs


ProcessorPowerPC 604e
PowerPC 604e Mach V
Processor Speed200 MHz
250 MHz
300 MHz
Number of Cores1
System Bus50 MHz
Cache64 KB L1
512 KB or 1 MB L2
CoprocessorBuilt-in FPU

Storage & Media

Storage2 GB 5400 RPM
4 GB 5400 RPM
Media1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
1 – 12x CD-ROM or 24x CD-ROM
1 – Zip 100


Built-in Memory32 MB
Maximum Memory512 MB (Apple)
1.0 GB (Actual)
Memory Slots8 – 168 pin EDO or FPM DIMM
Minimum Speed60 ns
70 ns (300 MHz)
Interleaving SupportYes


Built-in DisplayNone


Graphics CardNone
Graphics Memory2 MB
4 MB
Display Connection1 – DB-15
1 – Composite
1 – S-Video


Expansion Slots3 – PCI
Hard Drive InterfaceSCSI


Ethernet10BASE-T and AAUI
SCSI1 – DB-25
Floppy PortNone
Audio In1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack
2 – RCA input
Audio Out2 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
2 – RCA output
1 – Built-in speaker
Display1 – DB-15
1 – Composite
1 – S-Video


Original OSSystem Software 7.5.5
Later OSMac OS 7.6.1
Maximum OSMac OS 9.1
FirmwareMacintosh ROM


Backup Battery3.6 V Lithium
Maximum Continuous Power390 W
Line Voltage100-240 V

Further Reading and References

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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: November 22, 2023