Apple launched the Macintosh in 1984 with an 8 MHz 68000 CPU. When this list was published in April 1998, the fastest Mac was the 300 MHz Beige Power Mac G3. Here are Scott Barber’s picks as the best Macs from each CPU family Apple has used to date.
Motorola 68k CPUs
- 68000, Mac SE
- 68020, Mac II (what a wide variety of choices)
- 68030, IIsi (this will probably be controversial, but it could be upgraded to a PowerPC 601) or IIfx (if you can deal with the hardware issues)
- 68040, Q610 DOS/660AV – I might lean toward an 840AV though, after discussions on the list (naw…)
- 68LC040, P575/LC575
- 601, 7500/100
- 601+, None, all crap
- 603, This is hard. There are only three models I really like at all: 6360, 6500, 5500. Clone manufacturers were better than a lot of Apple hardware, but we’re only talking about Apple
- 604, 9500/200 from Apple, but the 7500/100 is still upgradable for far less, so I pick the 7500/100. Apple never made a fast motherboard, so I pick Power Computing’s PowerCenter Pro series because of its 60 MHz bus.
- G3, my favorite G3 is a 7500/100 or a PowerCenter 150 or 180 with a G3 upgrade. When Apple makes something better, I’ll be sure to include it on the list.
- Scott L. Barber <email@example.com>
- Pres/CEO, SERKER Worldwide, Inc.
- Providing Hardware/Networking/Telecomm for 13 years
Other Opinions on the Best Macs
- The Best Macs Ever, Dan Knight, January 2000
- The Very Best Macs: Sometimes Apple Just Nails It, Andrew Fishkin, December 2008
- Golden Apples: The 25 Best Macs to Date, Michelle (Ms Geek) Klein-Häss, January 2009
- Was the Macintosh IIci the Best Mac Ever?, Dan Knight, January 2009
- The 25 Most Important Macs, Dan Knight, February 2009
Scott L. Barber first posted this to Quadlist, the listserv for users of 68040-based Macs. It is reprinted with his permission.
Short link: https://goo.gl/0vgYD2