The 80 MHz Power Mac 8100 was the fastest Power Mac when Apple introduced the line in March 1994, and it was the only model to ship from the factory with a 256 KB level 2 cache installed.
Built into a Quadra 800 case, the 8100 (a.k.a. 8115 in Japan as well as Apple Workgroup Server 8150) contains three NuBus slots and a PDS (processor direct slot). Like the other first-generation Power Macs, the 8100 uses system memory for video (up to 615 KB, depending on resolution and bit-depth). It also has a separate PDS video card with its own memory, making it very easy to work with two monitors. For best performance, use the video card, not motherboard video, when using just one display.
The 8100 was upgraded to 100 MHz January 1995, and a 110 MHz version was added in January 1995. It was replaced by the 8500 in August 1995.
See our NuBus Video Card Guide for information on adding a video card.
Note that these so-called NuBus CPU upgrades do not go into a NuBus slot; they derive their name from the fact that they work in NuBus Power Macs. The processor upgrades fit into the PDS (Processor Direct Slot) which is normally occupied by a video card on the 8100. These cards may also include a pass through connector (which may be an extra cost option) allowing you to plug the PDS video card into the upgrade card.
8100av. Includes video-in and video-out. Supports 19″ and 21″ monitors. Has 2 MB VRAM. (AV card can be added to any 8100 with a free PDS slot.)
- Got a NuBus Power Mac? Join our 1st PowerMacs Group.
- Our Mac OS 9 Group is for anyone using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
- 8100/80 introduced 1994.03.14 at $4,200; discontinued 1995.01.03
8100/80av introduced 1994.03.14; discontinued 1995.01.03
8100/100 introduced 1995.01.03, discontinued 1995.10.14
8100/100av introduced 1995.01.03, discontinued 1995.08.05
8100/110 introduced 1994.11.03, discontinued 1995.08.05
- requires System 7.1.2 through 9.1 (80 MHz), System 7.5 through 9.1 (100 MHz)
- CPU: 80-110 MHz PPC 601
- Bus: 33-40 MHz
- Performance: 2.6/3.3 (80 MHz/110 MHz, relative to Centris 650); 35.77 (80 MHz), MacBench 2.0; 4.18, 80 MHz, Speedometer 4; 38,462 (100 MHz) Whetstones
- ROM: 4 MB
- RAM: 8 MB on motherboard, expandable to 264 MB using pairs of 80ns 72-pin SIMMs in 8 SIMM sockets. Supports 4, 8, 16, and 32 MB SIMMs. Will not recognize more than 32 MB per SIMM even if you install 64 MB SIMMs.
- VRAM: none on motherboard, 2 MB on PDS video card (expandable to 4 MB), 2 MB on AV card (not expandable)
- internal supports thousands of colors at 640 x 480 and 256 colors at 832 x 642
- 2 MB PDS card and AV card support millions of colors at 640 x 480 and 832 x 624, thousands of colors at 1024 x 768 and 1152 x 870
- 4 MB PDS card supports millions of colors at 640 x 480, 832 x 624, 1024 x 768, and 1152 x 870
- L2 cache: 256 KB standard, supports 256 KB to 1 MB cache
- Hard drive: 250 MB to 2 GB
- CD-ROM: 2x standard
- Microphone: standard 3.5mm minijack, compatible with line-level input including Apple’s PlainTalk microphone
- ADB: 1 port for keyboard and mouse
- serial: 2 DIN-8 GeoPorts on back of computer
- SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
- Ethernet: AAUI connector on back of computer, requires AAUI adapter
- NuBus slots: 3
- one PDS slot
- Power supply: 200W
- PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
- Height: 14.0 in
- Width: 7.7 in
- Depth: 15.75 in
- Weight: 25.3 lb
- PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
- Gestalt ID: 65 (80 MHz), 55 (100 MHz), 40 (110 MHz)
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Guide to G3 Accelerators for NuBus Macs
- Chipping the Power Mac x100
- Because the 8100 uses up to 640 KB of system memory for video (unless you’re using an AV card or NuBus video card), you can really boost video and system performance with a 1MB L2 cache.
- Power Macintosh 8500 motherboard plus CPU card
- MicroMac Speedy variable speed oscillator
- MC Price Breakers, 90 MHz clock chipper for 8100/80, 120 MHz for 8100/100, and 135 MHz for 8100/110.
- Output Enablers 123 MHz clock accelerator for 8100/100
- 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.
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to Mac OS 9, 2008 Edition, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.05.12. Declared dead by Steve Jobs 6 years ago, Mac OS 9 remains fast and stable, but Classic software hasn’t kept up with Web changes. What Macs support OS 9, where to buy it, and how to update to version 9.2.2.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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 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.
- Macintosh peace of mind, PA Semi and the iPhone, $40 802.11g PCI card, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.01. Also Power Mac vs. Mac mini, more on DVD User Op Patch, 12″ vs. 14″ iBook, and VGA for a Power Mac 6100.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
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- Setting up a NuBus Power Mac as a digital recording studio, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.05.08. Take a Power Mac 7100 or 8100, add a Digidesign AudioMedia II card and a fast hard drive, and you’ve got the core of a powerful, low-cost digital recording studio.
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- MpegDec: Play MP3s and streaming audio on 680×0 and old PowerPC Macs, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.03.14. 680×0 Macs can play anything short of 128kbps stereo MP3s, and even the oldest PowerPC Macs have no trouble at all with those recordings.
- 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.
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- The best browsers for PowerPC Macs and the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2005.12.16. Two browsers stand out from the pack: iCab 3 is modern and remains under development, and WaMCom brings Mozilla to older Macs.
- 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.
- Getting to the Power Mac 8500 motherboard, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2003.05.28. “It’s been a few years since I’ve been inside one of these, but I can pretty much walk you through it from memory.”
- Upgrading a Power Mac 7100, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2003.05.07. “The 7100 is nine years old, and it really shows. Fortunately upgrading an older Mac can be pretty economical.”
- NuBus Video Cards. We’ve added profiles for the Apple 4-8, 8-24, 8-24GC, 24AC, and Radius Precision Color Pro 24X.
- What’s the best NuBus video card?, Chris Lawson, 2000.10.10
- Follow Up on the 6100, 7100, and 8100, Adam Robert Guha, Mac Daniel, 2000.04.27. A look at upgrade options.
- Power Macintosh 7100, 8100: Expanding VRAM on PDS Video Card, Apple TIL 14757.
- Apple Specs: 8100/80, 8100/80av, 8100/100, 8100/100av, 8100/110, 8115/110 (Japanese version)
- You cannot upgrade from Mac OS 9.0 to 9.1 using updaters on NuBus models. You must use a full installation CD for OS 9.1.
- Never run a 7100, 8100, 8150, or 9150 without a PDS video card or a PDS terminator. This can damage the motherboard. If the video card goes bad, you can replace it with another video card or use motherboard video after installing a PDS accelerator or “Apple Terminator, PDS, WGS 81XX.” Workgroup Server 8150 and 9150: PDS Needs Terminator, feedback from Mac Managers list, and personal experience.
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