Performa 5300CD

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.

Performa 5300To save money, Apple based the motherboard on the Quadra 605 with its 25 MHz system bus and 32-bit memory path, even though the 603 is a 64-bit chip. Apple also used an 8-bit IDE controller for the hard drive. This was the kind of thinking that had crippled the Mac LC with a 32-bit CPU on a 16-bit bus in 1990.

Because of its 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 the x200 Series the worst Mac hardware ever.


  • 5300/100 introduced 1995.08.28, discontinued
  • code names: Trailblazer, Bongo, Rebound, Transformer
  • requires System 7.5.1 through 9.1
  • CPU: 100 or 120 MHz PPC 603e
  • L2 cache: 256 KB
  • Bus: 40 MHz
  • Performance: 49,020 Whetstones
  • ROM: 4 MB
  • RAM: 16 MB, expandable to 64 MB using one or two 4, 8, 16, or 32 MB 80ns 72-pin SIMMs
  • VRAM: not expandable
  • Video: thousands of colors at 640 x 480, 256 colors at 800 x 600 and 832 x 624
  • hard drive: 1.2 GB
  • optical drive: 4x CD-ROM
  • 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
  • Ethernet: AAUI connector on back of computer, requires AAUI adapter
  • one PDS slot (NuBus adapter available)

Accelerators & Upgrades

  • 5400, 5500, 6360, 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.
  • Apple discontinued support and parts orders for this model on 15 October 2001 (22 October in Canada), except in California. You may be able to find dealers with parts inventory either locally or on our parts and service list.
  • 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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