Performa 5200

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.

Performa 5200To save money, Apple based the motherboard on the Quadra 605 with its 25 MHz bus and 32-bit memory, even though the 603 is a 64-bit chip. Apple also used an 8-bit IDE controller for the hard drive. This is the kind of thinking that had crippled the LC with a 32-bit CPU on a 16-bit bus in 1990.

Because of unusual architecture, installing a 25-pin SCSI terminator to the SCSI port (if you have no SCSI devices attached) will improve network stability.

Open Transport 1.2, which ships with Mac OS 8, solves many network problems.

If you are using a serial printer and no modem, connect the printer to the modem port to avoid network problems.

A word of warning: the serial ports don’t support hardware handshaking, which is required for all modems 9600 bps and faster. You must use a comm slot modem for good throughput.

FWB HD Toolkit is a much better driver for the IDE hard drive than Apple’s.

Be sure to read Performa and Power Mac 5200, 5300, 6200, 6300 Issues. Then you’ll understand why it’s called a Road Apple – we consider it the worst Mac hardware ever.


  • introduced 1995.04.03, discontinued 1996.04.13
  • requires System 7.5.1 through 9.1
  • CPU: 75 MHz PPC 603
  • Bus: network and SCSI run at 10 MHz, RAM and IDE at 22.5 MHz, CPU at 37.5 MHz, graphics at 30 MHz
  • Performance: XXX (relative to SE)
  • ROM: 4 MB
  • RAM: 8 MB, expandable to 64 MB using 70ns 72-pin SIMMs (two slots, each supports a 4, 8, 16, or 32 MB SIMM), 32-bit memory bus, installing RAM in pairs of identical speed gives slightly more efficient performance
  • VRAM: 1 MB, not expandable
  • Video: thousands of colors at 640 x 480, 256 at 800 x 600 and 832 x 624
  • L2 cache: 256 KB
  • Sound: may have 8-bit or 16-bit (if capacitor C255 is present, motherboard has 8-bit sound)
  • Microphone: standard 3.5mm minijack, compatible with line-level input including Apple’s PlainTalk microphone
  • ADB: 1 port for keyboard and mouse
  • DIN-8 serial ports on back of computer (modem port disabled when comm slot modem present; printer port disabled when comm slot ethernet card present)
  • SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
  • one LC PDS slot, one comm slot, one TV slot, one video I/O slot

Accelerators & Upgrades

  • 5400, 5500, 6400 motherboard; backplate will have to be modified

Online Resources


  • Internal HD Format: Cannot See IDE Drives (Apple Knowledge Base 18360) notes that due to changes in the way modern IDE drives are formatted at the factory, early versions of Apple HD SC Setup (ones that come with System 7.5.1 and earlier) will not recognize them. You should boot System 7.5.2 or later and use Drive Setup 1.0.3 or higher with these drives.
  • This highest PIO mode this model supports is Mode 3 (11.1 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.
  • On most models, the serial ports do not support hardware handshaking necessary for high speed (9600 bps or higher) modems. However, Global Village Teleport Platinum modems implement handshaking on the modem, providing 28.8 kbps and faster telecommunications. (The final revision of the motherboard does support hardware handshaking.)

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2 thoughts on “Performa 5200

  1. I’m right with you on this one, this is easily the worst Mac ever. Apple even cheated on the monitor display, advertising it as a 15″ display. However, if you do measure it yourself, you’ll find out it is 36 cm in diagonal. 36 / 2,54 = 14,17. Oops, did we make a rounding mistake? We’ve got a 14″ monitor here … and to make things worse, these monitors were really cheap ones built by korean cheap-o-manufacturer Goldstar. (and not by Hitachi, as often mistakenly stated)

    • Actually, the rest of the criticism of the 5200 standing (I only ever saw them in school, never used one, but *so* wanted one in spite of it all the downsides as they still ran circles round my LCIII), the point about the monitor wasn’t exactly false advertising.

      Quoted dimensions with CRTs were never quite what you actually got – see iMac specs. They came with a 15″ monitor, but it was always listed as something along the lines of ’15” monitor (13.8″ viewable)’. By their nature, the edges of the glass tube had to be hidden so what you got was never the full dimension quoted. Admittedly, it is a little sneaky to advertise the screensize that way but from memory it seems to be how it was done.

      Just looked up eMac screensize – they shipped with a 17″ screen but the specs list it as ’16-inch diagonal viewable image size’.

      We’ve been spoilt by LCDs and they’re true-to-quote sizes it would seem ;-)

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