Power Macintosh 6100

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Power Macintosh 6100
Power Mac 6100 60.jpg
Developer Apple Computer, Inc.
Type Desktop
Release date March 14, 1994
Discontinued May 18, 1996
Operating system System 7, Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9
CPU PowerPC 601, 60 MHz – 66 MHz

The Power Macintosh 6100 was Apple Computer's first computer to use the new PowerPC RISC type processor created by IBM and Motorola. It came in the same low-profile ("pizza box") case that Apple had previously used for the Quadra 610 and 660AV models,[1] and superseded the Quadra series that used Motorola's 68040 processor, Apple's previous high end workstation line. It was the earliest Macintosh model able to run Mac OS 9.


Power Macintosh 6100 was first introduced in 1994, and featured a 60 MHz (later 66 MHz)[2] PowerPC 601 processor. The base model was complemented by an AV version, which included an add-on card fitted in its Processor Direct Slot (PDS) that added audio and visual enhancements such as composite and S-video input/output and full 48 kHz 16-bit DAT-resolution sound processing. The Power Macintosh 6100 was also re-branded as the Performa 6100[3] and the Workgroup Server 6150.

Apple also released a PC-compatible model of the 6100 called the Power Macintosh 6100 DOS Compatible. This version came with a PDS card that featured an Intel 80486 DX2/66 processor (without L2 cache) and a single SIMM RAM slot that used the same type of RAM to that in the Power Mac itself, and could hold up to 32 MiB of RAM, a Creative Technology Vibra 16 sound chipset, and also sported standard PC VGA and joystick ports. One could easily run the Macintosh interface and DOS/Windows 3.1 side by side, even on different monitors if one so desired. The card could also use the main system RAM if there was no SIMM installed on the card.[4]

Notable was the new startup and "sad mac" chimes: instead of the electronic "bong" that was the previous norm, it played a guitar chord strummed by jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan,[5] and instead of the "Chimes of Doom" arpeggio that played when there was a hardware error at startup, there was the sound of a car crashing and glass breaking, both of which can be heard here.

This model and the other early NuBus-based Power Macs (7100, 8100 and Workgroup Server 9150) were replaced by the Power Macintosh PCI series released in 1995, although the 6100 DOS compatible continued in production until 1996, even though by this time Apple had already released the anticipated "PC Personality Card" that plugged into one of the PCI slots of the newer Power Macs. This card featured a 100 MHz Pentium processor, which was considered very fast at that time.

The 6100 was the slowest Power Macintosh in terms of processor speed upon introduction. Eventually, the 6100 series was able to be upgraded through third-party solutions such as Sonnet Technologies Crescendo G3 NuBus (up to 500 MHz) and G4 NuBus (up to 360 MHz; discontinued) and Newer Technology's MaxPower G3 processor upgrades.

Early models had a CD eject button that would stick in. This was rectified on later models with a subtly re-profiled button moulding.


AKA: Performa 6110CD, Performa 6112CD, Performa 6115CD, Performa 6116CD, Performa 6117CD, Performa 6118CD, WG Server 6150 series

  • Codename: Piltdown Man
  • CPU: PowerPC 601
  • CPU Speed: 60/66 MHz
  • FPU: integrated
  • Bus Architecture: NuBus
  • Bus Speed: 30/33 MHz
  • Data Path: 64 bit
  • ROM: 4 MiB Old World ROM
  • RAM Type: 72 pin EDO or FPM SIMMs (install in pairs of equal MiB amounts and equal types)
  • Maximum (fastest) RAM Speed: 60 ns
  • Minimum (slowest) RAM Speed: 80 ns
  • Onboard RAM: 8 MiB soldered to logic board
  • RAM Slots: 2
  • Maximum RAM: 72 MiB (Apple's old official amount) (higher RAM amounts are possible but only with increased risk of heat and stability issues)
  • Level 1 Cache: 16 KiB data, 16 KiB instruction (32 KiB total)
  • Level 2 Cache: optional
  • VRAM: 640 KiB DRAM "borrowed" from system RAM (2 MiB w/ Power Macintosh AV card)
  • Maximum Resolution: 1152×870 at thousands of colors (w/ AV card)
  • Slots: PDS or 7" NuBus (AV card fills both)
  • Floppy Drive: 1.44 MB SuperDrive
  • Optical Drive: optional 2× CD-ROM Apple 300i (internal 50-pin SCSI)
  • Hard Disk: 250 MB - 700 MB (internal 50-pin SCSI)
  • Ethernet: AAUI-15
  • ADB: 1
  • Serial: 2 (printer & fax/modem)
  • SCSI: DB-25
  • Video Out: HDI-45
  • Audio Out: stereo 16 bit mini
  • Audio In: stereo 16 bit mini
  • Speaker(s): mono
  • Gestalt ID: 75
  • Power: 210 watts
  • Weight: 14.5 lb (7 kg)
  • Dimensions: 3.4" H × 16.3" W × 15.6" D (86 mm × 414 mm × 396 mm)
  • Minimum OS: 7.1.2 (60 MHz version), 7.5 (66 MHz version), MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 (66 MHz PC Compatible model on DOS Compatibility card)
  • Maximum OS: 9.1 (Mac OS 9.2.x can be installed with a third party application called "OS9 Helper")
  • Introduced: March 1994 (60 MHz version), January 1995 (66 MHz version)
  • Discontinued: January 1995 (60 MHz version), May 1996 (66 MHz version)


  1. ^ "Power Macintosh 6100." Apple-history.com /. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov 23, 2012. <http://apple-history.com/6100>.
  2. ^ "Power Macintosh 6100/60 (PC) Specs @ EveryMac.com." EveryMac. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov 23, 2012. <http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac/specs/powermac_6100_60.html>.
  3. ^ "Power Macintosh 6100." Low End Mac. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov 23, 2012. <http://lowendmac.com/ppc/power-macintosh-6100.html>.
  4. ^ "Archived - Power Macintosh 6100/66 DOS Compatible: Technical Specifications." Power Macintosh 6100/66 DOS Compatible: Technical Specifications. Apple, n.d. Web. Nov 23, 2012. <http://support.apple.com/kb/SP320>.
  5. ^ "History of Apple Inc.:Â What Is the Macintosh Startup Chime's Story?" Quora. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov 23, 2012. <http://www.quora.com/History-of-Apple-Inc/What-is-the-Macintosh-startup-chimes-story>.

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