a.k.a. Power Mac 6400
code name: Alchemy
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The 6400 replaced the 6360 and used a new tower configuration. It was available in 180 MHz and 200 MHz configurations. The neatest feature: a built-in subwoofer for very rich sound.
- introduced 1996.10.23, discontinued 1997.05.01
- requires System 7.5.3 through 9.1
- CPU: 180 MHz or 200 MHz PPC 603e
- bus: 40 MHz
- performance: XXX (relative to SE)
- ROM: 4 MB
- RAM: 16 MB, expandable to 136 MB using two DIMMs
- VRAM: 1 MB, supports thousands of colors up to 800 x 600, 256 colors up to 1024x764
- L2 cache: optional on 180 MHz, 256 KB on 200 MHz
- hard drive: IDE, 1.6 GB on 180 MHz, 2.4 GB on 200 MHz
- CD-ROM: 8x
- 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
- Comm II slot, occupied by 28.8 kbps modem (may be a GeoPort modem or a real modem)
- video input slot (accepts TV/FM card)
- video out port
- two PCI slots: top slot may accept a 12" card, but bottom slot will only handle a 7" card
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Review: Vimage 54xx/64xx G3 accelerator, Mac-Upgrade
- Review: Vimage G3 upgrade for 5400/6400
- Review: Vimage G3/320 upgrade for 6400/6500
- Vimage Vpower PF G3 240 MHz upgrade card
- third-party video card will improve performance
- Farallon 10/100 Comm Slot II ethernet card
- 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.
- Vectronic's Macintosh Performa 6400/180, Vectronic's Apple World, 2010.09.27. A good, in-depth, lavishly illustrated overview of the Performa/Power Mac 6400.
- 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 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.
- More G4 upgrade advice, secure disk wipes, 500 MHz iMacs with Tiger in action, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.09. The importance of securely clearing your hard drive before you pass on your Mac, Pismo and closed lid mode, G3 iMacs in the classroom, and more thoughts on upgrading G4 Power Macs.
- I needed to find an older Mac, Nick Sava, My Turn, 2008.02.13. Getting nostalgic for old Mac games that don't work under Mac OS 9.2.2, the author decides to find an old Mac to play them on.
- 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 SuperDrive floppy drives, 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.
- 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
- Getting the Mac digital jukebox up and running, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.05.08. Connecting your PowerPC Mac to your rstereo and remote control options for running a headless digital audio jukebox.
- 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.
- The Infamous, Evil GeoPort Modem, Daria's 6400/6500 GeoPort Modem Page. Explains that the GeoPort modem is a software modem, degrades system performance, and should be replaced by a hardware modem.
- OS X on a SuperMac C600, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2003.04.29. How to put OS X on a SuperMac C500, C600, or Performa 6400.
- Is a 5400 worth buying or upgrading?, Evan Kleiman, Mac Daniel, 2003.05.12. Does the Power Mac or Performa 5400 have enough power to justify its current price? Once I have one, how can I upgrade it?
- OS X on the 6500 a reality!, 6400 Zone, 2003.02.13. You can install and run Mac OS X 10.1 on a Power Mac 6500 - but do you really want to?
- Performa 6400/Power Mac 6500 case, AppleCrap, 2002.12.02. "Some cases are better than others, but the 6400/6500 cases were some of the most convoluted piles of crap I have ever come across."
- The 6400 Zone, covers the Performa 6400 and Power Mac 6500.
- Guide to G3 Accelerators for Level 2 Cache Slot
- Review: Vimage G3/225 MHz upgrade for Power Macintosh 6500, My Mac
- What About a Vimage G3 for My 6400 or 6500?, MacDaniel
- Apple Specs for Performa 6400/180, Performa 6400/200, Performa 6410, Performa 6420, and Power Mac 6400/200
- Internal modem may have problems under Mac OS 8.5, will have problems with OS 8.6 and later, as Apple Telecom is no longer supported. Best solution: replace the internal modem. (Mac OS 8.5: Is Apple Telecom Supported?)
- This highest PIO mode this model supports is Mode 4 (16.7 MB/s), Macintosh: Using Third Party IDE Hard Disks
- Macs with IDE hard drive do not provide SCSI termination power, depending on external SCSI devices to provide it. For more details, see SCSI Termination Power.
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