The Performa 6300, one of the many models of the 6200 family
The Power Macintosh 6200 (Codename: "Crusader" / "Elixir", also sold under variations of the name Performa 6200, Performa 6300 and Power Macintosh 6300) is a series of mid-range personal computers that are a part of Apple Computer's Power Macintosh and Macintosh Performa series of Macintosh computers. It was introduced in May 1995 with a PowerPC 603 CPU at 75 MHz as a PowerPC-based replacement of the Quadra 630, and continued using the 630's case. In June 1996 new models using a PowerPC 603e CPU at 100 MHz followed, and in April 1996 the series culminated in models using a 603e at 120 MHz. In early 1997, the rather different Power Macintosh 6300/160 / Performa 6360 based on the Power Macintosh 6400 were introduced. In July 1997 the whole 6x00 line was discontinued in favor of the desktop model of the Power Macintosh G3.
The 6200's naming conventions confused many; in addition to the many Performa variants, it also includes model numbers above 6300 (which would normally indicate a different model). The model numbers above 6260 use a PowerPC 603e processor, but are otherwise virtually identical. Finally, some computers with model numbers that indicate they belong to the 6200/6300 family (the above-mentioned Power Macintosh 6300/160 and its Performa version 6360) are rather different on the inside. Generally, the 6200 series is closely related to the 5200 series. For nearly every 6000-series (desktop) model, there is a 5000-series (all-in-one) model with an integrated CRT screen.
Because of unusual technical limitations in their design, certain models of the 6200 family carry a notoriously bad reputation.
The 6200 shares the logic board with the Power Macintosh 5200. Because they use a logic board design directly adapted from the 32-bit Quadra with a 64-bit data path CPU, these models are sometimes described as being among the worst Macintoshes ever produced. Other hardware issues include problems with the IDE controller, the SCSI controller and the serial ports. Some of these problems were eventually mitigated in software with the release of Mac OS 8.1.
In May 1996, the 6200 series was upgraded to use the new PowerPC 603e CPU. The rest of the logic board remained unchanged, retaining the same problems and inconsistencies as the earlier models. Two 120 MHz models were introduced in April 1996, again without any change to the underlying architecture.
The Power Macintosh 6300/160 (sold in North America as the Performa 6360) was introduced in October 1996. It still used the same case as the 6200, but featured a new and different "Alchemy" motherboard with a full 64-bit data path and 64-bit DIMM RAM, PCI slot, and Comm Slot II (incompatible with the earlier Comm Slot), and was therefore greatly improved over its predecessors. The "Alchemy" board design was first used in the Power Macintosh 5400/120 and would continue to be used throughout the Power Macintosh 5400 and 6400 series.