The Performa/LC 550 uses the same motherboard as the relatively rare Colour Classic II. For those with original Color Classics, dropping in a 550 motherboard is the quickest, easiest performance upgrade known.
- Got a 500 Series or other vintage Mac? Join our Vintage Macs Group.
- LC 550 introduced 1994.02.02 at $1,200; discontinued 1995.03.23
Performa 550 introduced 1993.10.18 at $1,200; discontinued
Performa 560 introduced 1994.01.01; discontinued.
- requires System 7.1 (with Enabler 065) to 7.6.1
- CPU: 33 MHz 68030
- FPU: 68882 (optional)
- Performance: 4.6 (relative to SE); 2.86, MacBench 2.0 CPU; 8.3 MIPS
- ROM: 1 MB
- RAM: 4 MB on motherboard, expandable to 36 MB using a single 80ns 72-pin SIMM; can use 1 MB, 2 MB, 4 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, or 32 MB SIMM
- video: 512 KB VRAM, supports 640 x 480 at 8-bits
- L2 cache: none
- 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: 160 MB
- enhanced LC PDS slot
- size (HxWxD): 17.9″ x 13.5″ x 16.5″
- Weight: 40.5 lbs.
- PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
- Gestalt ID: 80
- addressing: 24-bit or 32-bit
- upgrade path: LC 575 or LC 475/Quadra 605 motherboard, Power Mac PDS card
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Sonnet Presto Plus (33 MHz 68LC040 or 68040, Ethernet, and 32 MB additional RAM)
- 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.
- Environmentally Responsible Retirement for Old Macs, Rick Lawson, Pioneers in Mac Development, 2008.06.13. After you’ve scavenged what useful parts you can from your old Mac, what’s the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of the rest?
- 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.
- Creating Classic Mac Boot Floppies in OS X, Paul Brierley, The ‘Book Beat, 2008.08.07. Yes, it is possible to create a boot floppy for the Classic Mac OS using an OS X Mac that doesn’t have Classic. Here’s how.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘Snow Leopard’ vs. LocalTalk, new vs. close-out MacBook value, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.09.02. Also LC III usability in the 21st Century, Pismo upgrades, and more on Pismo FireWire Disk Mode problems.
- 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 Consumer Performa Line, 1992 to 1997, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.09.14. Apple decided to pursue the average consumer by renaming existing Macs, bundling them with software, and putting their colorful boxes in regular retail outlets.
- iBook ‘Road Apple’ debate, new iMac looks horrible, Apple’s new keyboards, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.08.08. Also how one user rescued a SCSI drive his Mac could no longer mount, troubleshooting an LC 575, and USB issues with the Beige G3.
- 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.
- The Truth About CRTs and Shock Danger, Tom Lee, Online Tech Journal, 2007.05.22. You’ve been warned that CRT voltage can injure and even kill. The truth is that this danger is overstated – and takes attention away from a greater danger.
- 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.
- 30 days of old school computing: No real hardships, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.10.11. These old black-and-white Macs are just fine for messaging, word processing, spreadsheets, scheduling, contact management, and browsing the Web.
- Jag’s House, where older Macs still rock, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2006.09.25. Over a decade old, Jag’s House is the oldest Mac website supporting classic Macs and remains a great resource for vintage Mac users.
- 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?
- 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.
- Turning an LC or other ancient Mac into a webcam with a QuickCam, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.01.25. As long as it has 4 MB of RAM and a hard drive, any 16 MHz or faster Mac that supports color can be configured as a webcam.
- 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.
- Which system software is best for my vintage Mac?, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2005.11.22. Which system software works best depends to a great extent on just which Mac you have and how much RAM is installed.
- Why you should use Mac OS 7.6 to get the most out of vintage Macs, Thomas Ahart, The Productive Mac, 2005.12.12. Although you may be able to run OS 8 or 9 on your old Mac, you’ll generally find better performance using Mac OS 7.6.
- Guide to LC PDS Video Cards. Includes Focus, Radius, and RasterOps cards for the LC processor direct slot.
- Run Mac OS 8.1 on your ‘030 Mac, Charles W Moore, Applelinks, 8/8/00. “Born Again enables certain 68030 Macs to support Mac OS 8.1.”
- Hands on: Sonnet Presto Plus, Mark Looper, 3/2/2000
- How Do I Set Up a 550 for the Net?
- How Do I Speed Up a 575?, Mac Daniel
- Memory Upgrade Guide
- Unix? You can run NetBSD (aka MacBSD), a version of Unix, on the LC 550.
- Macintosh LC 550 Technical Specifications, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- Macintosh Performa 550 Technical Specifications, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- 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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