Power Macintosh 7200, 8200
Dan Knight - 1998.03.18
Second Class Macs are Apple's somewhat compromised hardware designs. For the most part, they're not really bad - simply designs that didn't meet their full potential. (On our rating scale, the more brown apples, the worse the hardware.)
The 7200 runs faster with 2 MB or 4 MB VRAM, but Apple shipped it with 1 MB to keep costs down. Likewise, it runs significantly faster with a level 2 cache, which Apple also left out to keep the price down.
Apple promised an inexpensive motherboard upgrade, which would turn the fixed-CPU 7200 into a CPU-replaceable 7500. It didn't ship when it was supposed to, due to demand for the 7500. When it finally shipped, it was a 7600 upgrade - and it cost $1,600 with a slow CPU daughter card.
Outrageous, and definitely not inexpensive.
Despite comparable performance between the 7200/90, 7200/120, and 7500/100, the 7200s are less desirable because they cannot be upgraded for a reasonable price. This is reflected on the used market, where a used 7500 sells for roughly 50% more than a comparably equipped 7200. (A used 7500 also sells for less than the cost of Apple's upgrade.)
The Power Mac 7200 was not a bad computer - more a promise poorly fulfilled.
It wasn't until late 2000 that Sonnet managed to create an accelerator for these computers, a $500 PCI card with a 400 MHz G3 processor.
- 7200/75 introduced 1995.08, discontinued 1996.03
- 7200/90 introduced 1995.08, discontinued
- 7200/120 introduced 1996.03, discontinued
- requires System 7.5.2 or later
- CPU: 75/90/120 MHz PPC 601
- bus: 37.5/45/40 MHz
- ROM: 4 MB
- RAM: 8 MB, expandable to 512 KB using DIMMs (4 sockets available)
- VRAM: 1 MB, expandable to 4 MB
- Video: supports resolutions to 1152 x 870
- L2 cache: optional
- 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 or 7500/7600 motherboard + CPU daughtercard for 7200; 8500 motherboard for 8200; possibly to G3
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