Initially introduced as the Centris 660av (the two models are identical except for the nameplate), the Quadra 660av shares the same case design as the Centris 610.
In addition to a faster 25 MHz 68040 CPU, the 660av includes a 55 MHz AT&T digital signal processor, introduces the GeoPort high speed serial port, has a new audio-video connector on rear, and can digitize video using built-in ports. (For even more AV horsepower, look into the 40 MHz Quadra 840av.)
One popular use for the AV Quadras was adding text and graphics to videos.
A dead or low-voltage PRAM battery can temporarily kill off built-in video – see Macintosh Computers: Low Battery Can Cause No Video for more information.
Tidbit: Hold down Cmd-Opt-T-V during startup to force this Mac to use a TV as a monitor.
- Got a 68040-based Mac? Join our Vintage Macs Group.
- Centris 610 introduced 1993.07.29 at $2,300; renamed Quadra 660av 1993.10.01; discontinued 1994.09.12
- requires System 7.1 or later; highest version supported is Mac OS 8.1.
- CPU: 25 MHz 68040 CPU
- DSP: 55 MHz 3210
- Performance: 12.4, relative to SE; 0.89, Speedometer 4
see Benchmarks: 660av for more details
- ROM: 2 MB
- RAM: 8 MB, expandable to 68 MB using 70ns 72-pin SIMMs; motherboard has 2 SIMM slots which can be filled independently. Cannot use 64 MB SIMMs
- VRAM: 1 MB
- L2 cache: optional
- ADB: 2 ports for keyboard and mouse
- serial: 2 DIN-8 RS-422 ports on back of computer
- SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
- Hard drive: 230 or 500 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: 53
- addressing: 24-bit or 32-bit
- upgrade path: Power Mac 6100
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Output Enablers 32-34 MHz clock accelerator
- MicroMac slot-free 128KB L2 cache
- MicroMac Speedy variable speed oscillator (to 29 MHz)
- Sonnet QuadDoubler (50 MHz 68040)
- Power Macintosh 6100
- Low End Mac’s Best Classic Mac OS Deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Overclocking the Quadra AV Models
- Know Your Mac’s Upgrade Options, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.08.26. Any Mac can be upgraded, but it’s a question of what can be upgraded – RAM, hard drive, video, CPU – and how far it can be upgraded.
- The Compressed Air Keyboard Repair, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn’t working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- Tales of old Mac data retrieval, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2008.06.13. Getting apps and documents off 400K floppies, old disk images, and a Mac running System 5.
- A Vintage Mac Network Can Be as Useful as a Modern One, Carl Nygren, My Turn, 2008.04.08. Old Macs can exchange data and share an Internet connection very nicely using Apple’s old LocalTalk networking.
- Vintage Mac Networking and File Exchange, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.19. How to network vintage Macs with modern Macs and tips on exchanging files using floppies, Zip disks, and other media.
- Vintage Mac Video and Monitor Mania, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.17. Vintage Macs and monitors didn’t use VGA connectors. Tips on making modern monitors work with old Macs.
- Getting Inside Vintage Macs and Swapping Out Bad Parts, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.14. When an old Mac dies, the best source of parts is usually another dead Mac with different failed parts.
- Solving Mac Startup Problems, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.12. When your old Mac won’t boot, the most likely culprits are a dead PRAM battery or a failed (or failing) hard drive.
- The 25 most important Macs (part 2), Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.02.17. The 25 most significant Macs in the first 25 years of the platform, continued.
- Golden Apples: The 25 best Macs to date, Michelle Klein-Häss, Geek Speak, 2009.01.27. The best Macs from 1984 through 2009, including a couple that aren’t technically Macs.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Better and Safer Surfing with Internet Explorer and the Classic Mac OS, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.11.06. Tips on which browsers work best with different Mac OS versions plus extra software to clean cookies and caches, detect viruses, handle downloads, etc.
- Hacking Mac OS 7.6.1 so many Mac OS 8 apps will run, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.10.30. With a little ResEdit work and a second copy of your System Folder, you can run a lot of OS 8 apps with Mac OS 7.6.1.
- Simple Macs for Simple Tasks, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2007.10.19. Long live 680×0 Macs and the classic Mac OS. For simple tasks such as writing, they can provide a great, low distraction environment.
- Interchangeabilty and Compatibility of Apple 1.4 MB Floppy SuperDrives, Sonic Purity, Mac Daniel, 2007.09.26. Apple used two kinds of high-density floppy drives on Macs, auto-inject and manual inject. Can they be swapped?
- Apple’s AAUI ethernet connector, Dan Knight, Online Tech Journal, 2007.09.04. From 1991 through 1995, Apple used a proprietary ethernet connection. Why they created AAUI and where to find adapters.
- Connecting a LaserWriter to ethernet and the TiBook that wouldn’t boot, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.08.23. The importance of an AAUI ethernet adapter, the cost of PowerBook PRAM batteries, and booting old Macs from SCSI drives.
- Apple’s first phone a fake, build your own Macintel, Internet options for G3 Macs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.07.23. Also a Cube that won’t boot, moving data from an old Mac, useful resource for PowerBook 1400 owners, reformatting a Quadra’s hard drive, finding an AirPort power supply, and more.
- Mac System 7.5.5 Can Do Anything Mac OS 7.6.1 Can, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.06.04. Yes, it is possible to run Internet Explorer 5.1.7 and SoundJam with System 7.5.5. You just need to have all the updates – and make one modification for SoundJam.
- Appearance Manager Allows Internet Explorer 5.1.7 to Work with Mac OS 7.6.1, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.05.23. Want a fairly modern browser with an old, fast operating system? Mac OS 7.6.1 plus the Appearance Manager and Internet Explorer may be just what you want.
- Importance of G3 support in 10.5, clever USB/FireWire solution, upgrade options, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.05.01. Also the loss of the PowerBook brand, upgrading to an Intel iMac, Korg and the Mac, Quadra boot problems, and the value of a Mac Classic.
- Format Any Drive for Older Macs with Patched Apple Tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Apple branded hard drives – until you apply the patches linked to this article.
- Making floppies and CDs for older Macs using modern Macs, Windows, and Linux PCs, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.03.15. Older Macs use HFS floppies and CDs. Here are the free resources you’ll need to write floppies or CDs for vintage Macs using your modern computer.
- System 7 Today, advocates of Apple’s ‘orphan’ Mac OS 7.6.1, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2006.10.26. Why Mac OS 7.6.1 is far better for 68040 and PowerPC Macs than System 7.5.x.
- Mac OS 8 and 8.1: Maximum Size, Maximum Convenience, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.09.11. Mac OS 8 and 8.1 add some useful new features and tools, and it can even be practical on 68030-based Macs.
- Moving files from your new Mac to your vintage Mac, Paul Brierley, The ‘Book Beat, 2006.06.13. Old Macs use floppies; new ones don’t. Old Macs use AppleTalk; Tiger doesn’t support it. New Macs can burn CDs, but old CD drives can’t always read CD-R. So how do you move the files?
- Setting up a 68040-based Mac media center, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.05.12. Yes, that old ‘040-based Quadra or Performa just might make a decent media center for listening to MP3s and watching videos.
- Damaged Goods: A Quadra 840av brought back from the brink, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.04.05. The Quadra 840av motherboard somehow survived a tragic shipping fiasco, but where would it live and what would it be used for?
- System 7.6.1 is perfect for many older Macs, John Martorana, That Old Mac Magic, 2006.03.24. Want the best speed from your old Mac? System 7.6.1 can give you that with a fairly small memory footprint – also helpful on older Macs.
- System 7.5 and Mac OS 7.6: The beginning and end of an era, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.02.15. System 7.5 and Mac OS 7.6 introduced many new features and greater modernity while staying within reach of most early Macintosh models.
- Web browser tips for the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.01.03. Tips on getting the most out of WaMCom, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, iCab, Opera, and WannaBe using the classic Mac OS.
- The video revolution, Mark Benson, 68kMac.com, 2005.10.05. Apple’s revolutionary Centris 660av and Quadra 840av – and how to use them today.
- Quadra AVs and some cool things you can do with them, Adam Robert Guha, Apple Archive, 2001.08.10. Thanks to digital signal processors, the Quadra AVs remain useful video machines.
- 660av/840av Video Input Specifics, James Wang.
- Quadra AV FAQ, James Wang
- Options for ‘040 Macs, Adam Robert Guha, Apple Archive, 2000.06.05. Advice about operating systems, upgrades, what Quadra to choose, and more.
- Games for ‘040 Macs, Low End Mac Gaming, Brian Rumsey, 2000.02.25. This week Brian looks at games to play on 68040-based Macs.
- Gaming on ‘040 Macs, Brian Rumsey, Low End Mac Gaming, 2000.02.16. Those old 68040-class Macs still have game.
- Six Year Old Mac to the Rescue, Scott Atkinson, Mac Musings, 1999.11.12. The Quadra 660av has what it takes to capture stills from video for a television Web site.
- Vintage Macs, the email list for 680×0-based Macs
- Mac AV list, an email list for 660av and 840av users
- Centris 610, 650, 660av: Differences, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- Macintosh AV Series: Video Features and Subsystems, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- Memory Upgrade Guide
- For more information on Mac serial ports, read Macintosh Serial Throughput
- Macintosh Centris 660av Technical Specifications, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- Macintosh Quadra 660av Technical Specifications, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- The Startup Disk control panel in System 7.5-7.5.3 is incompatible with Quadra AVs. System 7.5.5 fixes this.
- Quadra AVs do not support 24-bit addressing.
- You must have a “fat” system installed to use a PowerPC upgrade.
- Note that the 660av and 840av don’t do video mirroring, so if you’re doing output to TV or VCR, your computer monitor will be blank.
- The fan filter for the 660 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.
Keywords: #centris660av #quadra660av
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