In 1992, Apple decided that the education and design markets weren’t enough – it wanted to target mass market consumers. Rather than develop new computers for this market, Apple created a new brand and renamed three existing Macs as Performas.
Apple’s Performa line of computers attempted to bring the Mac experience to the consumer market. The line was launched with three rebadged Macs in 1992 and phased out in 1997 when the last two models were renamed Power Macs with their last upgrade.
As a longtime Apple user – I cut my computing teeth on an Apple II+ circa 1979 – I get a kick out of reading articles about the 10 best or 10 worst Apple products of all time. The latest of these, Top 10 Worst Apple Products of All Time, appeared on the Australian PC […]
The 6400 replaced the Performa 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.
The Performa 6360 replaced the 6320‘s 120 MHz 603e with a 160 MHz 603e CPU. Fortunately, it also had an improved motherboard design that overcame the most egregious failings of the Road Apple x200 series.
The 120 MHz Power Mac 6300 and Performa 6320 replaced the 100 MHz Performa 6300‘s 100 MHz 603e CPU with a 120 MHz 603e.
The 5400 was the first PCI-bus Power Mac with an integrated monitor. It was available in black in the UK, the first black desktop Mac since Mac TV.
The Performa 5260 was the third PowerPC (PPC) Mac with an integrated monitor, sharing the design of its predecessors, the 5200 and 5300. Although the PPC 603e CPU was superior to the older 601, the computer architecture kept performance of this 100-120 MHz model comparable to an 80 MHz Power Mac 7100.
The Performa 6300 (a.k.a. 6260, 6290, 6310) replaced the 6200‘s 75 MHz 603 with a faster 100 MHz 603e CPU. The 6300 was replaced with a 120 MHz model in April 1996.
The Performa 5300 was the second PowerPC (PPC) Mac with an integrated multiscan 15″ monitor, sharing the design of its predecessor, the 5200. Although the PPC 603 CPU was superior to the older 601, the computer architecture kept performance of this 100-120 MHz model comparable to an 80 MHz Power Mac 7100.
The 75 MHz Power Macintosh 6200 (a.k.a. Performa 6200, 6205, 6210, 6214, 6216, 6218, 6220, and 6230!) was one of the first Macs to use the PowerPC 603 processor. Although the CPU was superior to the older 601, the computer architecture kept performance of the 6200 – and it’s built-in monitor twin, the 5200 – comparable to […]
The LC 580 (a.k.a. Performa 580 and 588) is essentially an LC 575 with a new logic board that supports an IDE hard drive (instead of the more expensive SCSI hard drive used in earlier 500 series Macs) and uses a less expensive monitor.
The 75 MHz Performa 5200 was the first PowerPC Mac with an integrated monitor. Although the PPC 603 CPU was superior to the older 601, this computer’s architecture kept performance of the 5200 – and it’s monitor-less twin, the 6200 – comparable to a 66 MHz Power Mac 6100.
This was the last Mac designed around the 68040 processor. The Quadra 630 was designed to replace the Quadra 610.
The 60 MHz Power Mac 6100 was the entry-level Power Mac when Apple introduced its first PowerPC models in March 1994. Built into the Quadra 610 case, the 6100 contains a PDS (processor direct slot) that can be converted to a NuBus slot with an adapter.
The LC 575 (a.k.a. Performa 575, 577, and 578) is essentially a Quadra 605 motherboard in an LC 520/550 case.
First available in Canada (1993), and then Asia and Europe (and never sold in the home US market), the Colour Classic II (also known as the Performa 275) shares the motherboard design of the LC III. Running at a relatively fast 33 MHz, memory can be expanded as far as 36 MB.
At 33 MHz, the LC III+ (also known as the Performa 460) was the fastest 68030-based computer in the LC series.
The LC 550 replaced the LC 520, increasing CPU speed from 25 MHz to 33 MHz. It was released at the same time as the 68LC040-based LC 575.
Take an LC III and graft on a 14″ Trinitron monitor along with stereo speakers. That’s what Apple did to create the 520.
This relatively rare variant of the LC 630 includes a DOS card with an Intel 486DX2/66 CPU, although some shipped with a Cyrix 486/70. The DOS Compatibility card can share Mac motherboard memory or use its own dedicated RAM.
“With double its predecessor’s speed and more than triple the RAM capacity, the LC III is a significant entry into the low end of Apple’s line.” MacUser, April 1993
The end of the Classic line in the North American market, the Color Classic (a.k.a. Performa 250) shared the motherboard design of the LC II – equally limited in RAM expansion, constricted by a 16-bit data bus, and able to use 16-bit PDS cards designed for the LC. The only significant difference is the presence […]
The Performa 600 was an okay computer, but a big “Huh?” for Mac IIci users. Where the LC and LC II had been compromised by using a 32-bit processor on a 16-bit data bus, the Performa 600 ran a 32 MHz CPU on a 16 MHz bus. This gave it slower performance than the 25 […]
Introduced in October 1991, the Classic II (a.k.a. Performa 200) was both an upgraded Classic and a replacement for the venerable SE/30. Based on a modified LC motherboard, the Classic II shares a 16-bit data path and a RAM ceiling of 10 MB (the Classic II is slower than the SE/30, even though both use […]