Centris 610

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Creating a midpoint between the Mac II line and the Quadra series, the short-lived Centris models were introduced in February 1993. The Centris 610 introduced a new case style, one that would later be used for the Centris 660av and Power Mac 6100.

Centris 610

“Going along with the auto-marketing trend toward meaningless names that sound important, Apple’s new Centris line will serve as the company’s mainstream, midlevel computers.” MacUser, April 1993 (Apple names included Quadra, Performa, and Centris.)

Unlike either the Mac II or previously existing Quadra models, this Mac has a power switch on the front and cannot be turned on or off using the power key on the keyboard. (Many users more familiar with DOS hardware mistook the power switch for a floppy eject button – although it didn’t take long to discover what the button really did.)

As a cost saving measure, the Centris 610 uses the less expensive 68LC040 CPU (no FPU), and the least expensive version of the 610 left out ethernet circuitry as well. Still, it averaged twice the performance of the Mac IIci, Apple’s workhorse business computer. An easy way to increase calculation speed on this model is to replace the CPU with a full-fledged 68040.

Unlike the IIci or Quadra 700, the Centris 610 has a drive bay for a CD-ROM drive. It also introduced a new, high-speed SCSI bus to the Macintosh line.

This model was upgraded to Quadra status in October.

Apple earns a Road Apple for the Centris name, which was discontinued after 9 months.

See our NuBus Video Card Guide for information on adding a NuBus video card, which will also require a NuBus adapter.

Details

  • introduced 1993.02.10 at $2,520; replace by Quadra 610 1993.10.21
  • requires System 7.1 or later; highest version supported without a PPC upgrade is Mac OS 8.1.
  • CPU: 20 MHz 68LC040
  • FPU: none, 68LC040 can be replaced with 68040 CPU
  • Performance: 9.7 est., relative to SE; 0.80, Speedometer 4
  • ROM: 1 MB
  • RAM: 4 MB on motherboard, expandable to 68 MB using 80ns 72-pin SIMMs; motherboard has 2 SIMM slots, which can be filled independently; can use 4 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, and 32 MB SIMMs. If SIMMs are not the same speed, faster SIMM should be in bank 0 (frontmost slot).
  • video: 512 KB VRAM, expandable to 1 MB
    • 512 x 384 @ 16-bit
    • 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 832 x 624: 8-bit @ 512 KB, 16-bit @ 1 MB
    • 832 x 624, 1024 x 768, 1152 x 870: 4-bit @ 512 KB, 8-bit @ 1 MB
  • L2 cache: optional, PDS
  • ADB ports: 2
  • DIN-8 serial ports: 2
  • SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
  • Hard drive: 80 or 230 MB
  • one PDS slot (NuBus adapter available)
  • size (HxWxD): 3.4″ x 16.3″ x 15.6″
  • Weight: 14 lb.
  • PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
  • Gestalt ID: 52
  • addressing: 24-bit or 32-bit
  • upgrade path: Quadra 610, Power Mac PDS card, Power Mac 6100 (requires some case modification)

Accelerators & Upgrades

Accelerator Reviews

Online Resources

Cautions

  • Apple Computer considers this computer obsolete as of 2001.07.16 in the United States and 2001.07.23 in Canada. As of that date, service parts and documentation will no longer be available from Apple.
  • You must have a “fat” system installed to use a PowerPC upgrade.
  • Because the onboard ethernet port shares the same oscillator as the CPU, clock chipping the Centris 610 makes the internal ethernet port unusable. You can overcome this problem with a third party ethernet card.
  • If you have a non-Apple hard drive formatted with Silverlining, read this warning.
  • The fan filter for the 610 and other models that use the same case is inside the power supply. Sometimes a “bad” power supply can be repaired by clearing the dust out of the mesh screen near the fan.
  • This case has poor air circulation, which can cause replacement hard drives or accelerators to overheat. If this happens, the first thing to try is removing the small horizontal insert on the back. If this fails, look into replacing the fan in the power supply (contact Newark Electronics at 1-800-463-9275 for information on their 25cfm fan) or moving the hard drive to the CD-ROM bay (assuming you don’t have a CD-ROM player).
  • Serial port normally restricted to 57.6 kbps; throughput with a 56k modem may be limited. See 56k modem page. For more information on Mac serial ports, read Macintosh Serial Throughput.

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