Power Mac 6300/120 (Performa 6320)

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.

Performa 6300To save money, Apple based the x200 motherboard on the Quadra 605 with its 25 MHz system 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 instead of the more expensive SCSI used in earlier Macs. (This is the kind of thinking that had crippled the LC with a 32-bit CPU on a 16-bit bus five years earlier.)

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

Open Transport 1.2, which ships with Mac OS 8, solves many 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 aware that there are two different Power Mac 6300 models. The earlier 120 MHz 6300 is part of the flawed x200 series. The 160 MHz 6300 is its vastly improved replacement.

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


  • Power Mac 6300/120 introduced 1996.06.27; discontinued
  • Performa 6320 introduced 1996.04.22; discontinued
  • requires System 7.5.1 through 9.1
  • CPU: 120 MHz PPC 603e
  • Bus: 40 MHz
  • Performance: 48,860 Whetstones
  • ROM: 4 MB
  • RAM: 16 MB, expandable to 64 MB using two 72-pin 80ns SIMMs, installing RAM in pairs of identical speed gives slightly more efficient performance
  • VRAM: 1 MB, supports up to 800 x 600 resolution
  • Video:
  • L2 cache: 256 KB
  • Hard drive: 1.2 GB IDE
  • CD-ROM: 8x
  • 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
  • video input slot
  • comm slot, occupied by 28.8 kbps modem
  • one LC PDS slot
  • Gestalt ID: 42
  • Size (HxWxD): 4.3″ x 12.6″ x 16.5″
  • Weight: 19 pounds

Accelerators & Upgrades

  • Power Mac 6360 motherboard and power supply
  • third-party video card will improve performance

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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