Performa 5260

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.

Performa 5300To save money, Apple based the motherboard on the Quadra 605 with its 25 MHz system bus and 32-bit memory bus, even though the 603e 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.

In a step backward from the Performa 6300CD, which predated the 5260 despite what the model number would seem to indicate, the 5260’s 14″ monitor only supports 640 x 480 resolution, not the 832 x 624 of the earlier model with its 15″ display.

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 it the worst Mac hardware ever.


  • 5260/100 introduced 1996.04.15, discontinued; 5260/120 introduced 1996.10.01, discontinued
  • requires System 7.5.3 through 9.1
  • CPU: 100 or 120 MHz PPC 603e
  • 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
  • L2 cache: optional 256 KB
  • hard drive: 800 MB on 5260CD, 1.2 GB on 5260/120
  • optical drive: 4x CD-ROM on 5260CD, 8x on 5260/120
  • 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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