The Power Mac 7200 was the entry level second-generation Power Mac, part of the first group of Macs to use the PCI bus instead of older, slower NuBus. Originally produced in 75 MHz and 90 MHz versions (a.k.a. Power Mac 7215/90), the slower model was phased out when the 120 MHz model was introduced in March 1996.
Apple introduced a brand new case design with the 7200 and 7500, one with a slide-off cover, an extra internal drive bay (compared to its predecessor, the Power Mac 7100), and a flip-up drive/power supply assembly, providing easy access to the motherboard.
Performance can be significantly improved by adding a level 2 cache and upgrading VRAM to 2 or 4 MB. Unlike the simultaneously introduced 7500, 8500, and 9500, the 7200 uses a 64-bit memory and cache bus, one reason for its slower performance.
Overall, the 7200 is a pretty good computer, but we call it a Compromised Mac due to poor implementation of the promised upgrade path. It wasn’t until late 2000 that Sonnet managed to create an accelerator for this computer.
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- Our Mac OS 9 Group is for anyone using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
- 7200/75 introduced 1995.08.08 at $1,600; discontinued 1996.03.16
- 7200/90 introduced 1995.08.08 at $2,100; discontinued 1996.05.18
- 7200/120 introduced 1996.04.22; discontinued
- 7200/120 PC Compatible with Pentium card
- Code name: Catalyst
- Gestalt ID: 108
- requires System 7.5.2 (with System Enabler 701 v1.1) through 9.1
- CPU: 75/90/120 MHz PPC 601
- L2 cache: optional
- Bus: 37.5/45/40 MHz respectively (one-half or one-third of CPU speed)
- Performance: 28,195 (75 MHz), 33,879 (90 MHz) Whetstones
- ROM: 4 MB
- RAM: 8 MB, expandable to 512 MB using four 128 MB 70ns 168-pin DIMMs
- VRAM: 1 MB, expandable to 4 MB
- Graphics: supports resolutions to 1152 x 870 (1280 x 1024 with 2 MB or more VRAM)
- Hard drive: 500 MB, 1.2 GB
- Optical drive: 4x or 8x CD-ROM
- PCI slots: 3
- 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 and 10Base-T connectors on back of computer
- upgrade path: 7300/7500/7600 motherboard + CPU daughter card, possibly to G3
- Power supply: 150W
- PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
- Height: 6.15 in
- Width: 14.4 in
- Depth: 16.9 in
- Weight: 22.0 lb
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Sonnet Crescendo G3 7200, 400 MHz G3 & G4 upgrades
- 7500/7600/7300 or G3 motherboard (7300 motherboard requires 7300 power supply)
- having 2 MB or 4 MB of VRAM improves performance
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to Mac OS 9, Charles W 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.
- Low End Mac’s GeoPort Guide, Tommy Yune, 2018.03.21
- PC Card FAQ. Includes data, tips, and compatibility information on Apple’s PCI DOS/PC cards plus links to software. Last updated 2008.11.20.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- SATA and PCI Power Macs: No OS X joy, but you can boot OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.17. Weeks of experimention find that while you can’t seem to boot a pre-G3 Power Mac into OS X from a SATA hard drive, you can at least boot OS 9 from it.
- Musings on low-end SATA cards in PCI Power Macs, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.06. Thoughts on why the inexpensive SATA card might almost work in a pre-G3 PCI Power Mac.
- Old Power Macs and SATA not a marriage made in heaven, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.03. The PCI SATA card said blue & white G3 or newer and Mac OS 8.6 or later, but maybe it would work in an older pre-G3 Power Mac….
- 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.
- Installing Linux on a PCI Power Mac, Part 1, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.09.05. Preparing your PCI Power Mac (or clone) for Linux and getting openSUSE Linux installed.
- Preparing your Mac’s hard drive for Linux, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.08.09. Before you install Linux, you have to partition your hard drive. A look at three different hard drive strategies for Mac Linux.
- Customizing Mac OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.08.01. Fiddling with themes, picking a browser, and making the Classic Mac OS work just the way you want it to.
- The ins and outs of booting Linux on the Mac, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.07.31. “Old World” Macs can’t boot directly into Linux. They need to boot the Classic Mac OS first, then pass control over to Linux.
- Preparing your PCI Power Mac for Linux, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.07.26. How powerful a CPU do you need? How much memory? Do you need a faster drive controller? Are some video cards better than others?
- Floppy drive observations: A compleat guide to Mac floppy drives and disk formats, Scott Baret, Online Tech Journal, 2006.06.29. A history of the Mac floppy from the 400K drive in the Mac 128K through the manual-inject 1.4M SuperDrives used in the late 1990s.
- ATI Radeon 7000 Driver for Mac OS 7.6.1, System 7 Today, 2006.05.29. ATI’s installers don’t support System 7.6.1, but System 7 Today’s does, making this the fastest video card to work with Mac OS 7.6.1
- 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 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.
- Sonata SD, Sonnet Tech, 2004.06.01. First new PCI video card for the Mac in ages sells for just US$99, supports OS 7.5.3 and later plus OS X 10.1.5 and later, works with VGA or old Mac monitors, 16 MB VRAM.
- Making the Crescendo/7200 more attractive, James Kachel, My Turn, 09.24. Dear How Sonnet could make the Crescendo/7200 a more attractive upgrade.
- Illustated Power Mac 7500 tear down, Steve Wood, Busman’s Holiday, 2001.07.23. The ins and outs of the 7200, 7300, 7500, and 7600 case.
- What about that new 7200 upgrade?, Michel Munger, Mac Daniel, 9/20. Sonnet has a G3 upgrade for the 7200, but is it a good value?
- Review: Sonnet Tempo Ultra ATA66 Macintosh PCI Host Adapter, Dan Knight, 7/28/00. The most economical way to put IDE support in a PCI Power Mac.
- Burned by 7200 Upgrade Options, Mac Daniel, 1998.12.21
- Upgrading a Power Mac 7200 and 7500, Mac Daniel
- Bare Feats, Goosing a 7200/90
- Accelerate Your Mac describes installing a PCI SCSI card and two-drive RAID array
- Apple Specs for Power Mac 7200/75, 7200/90, 7200/120, 7200/120 PC Compatible, 7215/90 (Japanese)
- Apple considers this computer vintage as of July 16, 2001 in the United States and July 23, 2001 in Canada. As of that date, service parts will only be available for units purchased in California and being serviced within California.
- don’t use EDO RAM in the 7200
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