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Macintosh Centris is a line of Macintosh computers, introduced in 1993, that were built around the Motorola 68LC040 and 68040 CPUs. The name was chosen to indicate that the consumer was selecting a Macintosh in the center of Apple's product line: lower performance (and price) than the Quadra computers, but higher performance (and price) than the Performa computers of the time. The name echoes other "neoclassical" prestige branding trends introduced at the time such as Lexus and Acura.
The Centris 610 uses a 20 MHz 68LC040 CPU, which has no math coprocessor functions. It used a new "pizza box" case that was intended to be placed under the user's computer monitor. This case was later used again in the Quadra 610 and Power Macintosh 6100 lines of computers, and when these later computers were introduced, Apple offered consumers a product upgrade path by letting them buy a new motherboard. Apple's motherboard upgrades of this type were considered expensive, however, and were not a popular option. The Centris 610 also provided the base for the Workgroup Server 60.
The base Centris 650 initially used a 25 MHz 68LC040 CPU; later models and all models with Ethernet built-in use a 68040. It uses the same case as the older Macintosh IIvx and Macintosh IIvi computers. The newer Macintosh Quadra 650 and the Power Macintosh 7100 line of computers also use the same case.
The name "Centris" was soon considered to be confusing to customers, and was abandoned. The Centris 610 and 650 were replaced about six months later by the Quadra 610 and 650 models, which kept the same basic case and design but raised the CPU speeds from 20 MHz and 25 MHz to 25 MHz and 33 MHz respectively; while the Centris 660AV was renamed to Quadra 660AV without any actual design change. These Macs also existed during Apple's transition from auto-eject floppy drives to manual-eject drives. This is why there are two different styles of floppy drive opening on these models. Some later Centris 660AV Macs have manual-eject floppy drives, so this change was not exactly concurrent with the name change.
Timeline of Macintosh Quadra and Centris models
- Apple's New "AV" Macs Tune In, Speak Out. Popular Science. October 1993. Retrieved February 17, 2012.