Power Macintosh 6400

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Power Macintosh 6400 / Performa 6400
Performa 6400.jpg
A Macintosh Performa 6400/200.
Also known as"InstaTower"[1]
DeveloperApple Computer, Inc.
Product familyPower Macintosh, Performa
Release dateAugust 7, 1996
Introductory priceUS$2,400 (equivalent to $3,912 in 2019)
DiscontinuedAugust 1, 1997
Operating systemSystem 7.5.3 - Mac OS 9
CPUPowerPC 603e @ 180 or 200 MHz
Memory16 MB, expandable to 136 MB (70 ns 168-pin DIMM)
DimensionsHeight: 16 inches (41 cm)
Width: 7.8 inches (20 cm)
Depth: 16.9 inches (43 cm)
Mass44.5 pounds (20.2 kg)
SuccessorPower Macintosh 6500

The Power Macintosh 6400 (also sold under variations of the name Performa 6400) is a personal computer designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer from August 1996 to August 1997. It is the only Macintosh mini-tower system to be branded as a Performa, and alongside the Performa 6360 was the last new Performa-branded model introduced by Apple.

The 6400 and its Performa variants were discontinued in favor of the uniformly-named Power Macintosh 6500 in August 1997.


Logic board: The logic board, code-named "Alchemy", is shared with the Power Macintosh 5400 all-in-one and Performa 6360 desktop models. Alchemy is generally believed to be superior to its 5200/6200 predecessors since it had a 64-bit data path to main memory.[2]

CPU: All 6400 models use a PowerPC 603e processor that is soldered to the computer's logic board and cooled by a fanless heat-sink. Though initially considered non-upgradable, CPU upgrades did come to market that overrode the fixed CPU by use of the Level 2 cache slot.[3]

Sound: The new "InstaTower" case features an integrated subwoofer speaker and supports SRS surround-sound. A knob on the back of the case controls the bass level of the subwoofer; this knob only works if external speakers are connected, otherwise the internal speaker provides full sound range. There are two audio output jacks, one on the front and one on the back. Headphones plugged into the front jack will disable the internal speaker and rear jack.[4]

Expansion: There are two PCI expansion slots as well as a dedicated communications slot that supports AAUI, Ethernet and fast modem cards. The communication slot is not compatible with similar slots on other Macintosh computers. NuBus cards are not supported.

Operating system: The Performa 6400/180 and 6400/200 were shipped with System 7.5.3 Revision 2.1; this particular release was specific to these machines as there were stability problems with System 7.5.3 Release 2 on the new hardware, especially with the video card and transferring files over LocalTalk.[5]


All Performa models shipped with SurfWatch, a product from Spyglass, Inc. that provides adult content filtering capability;[6] content-control software was a significant issue at the time due to the recent passage of the Communications Decency Act in the United States.

Introduced August 5, 1996:

  • Performa 6400/180: North American consumer model, 180 MHz CPU.[7]
  • Performa 6400/200: North American consumer model, 200 MHz CPU.[8]
  • Performa 6400/200 Video Editing Edition: The Performa 6400/200 with an Avid Cinema video I/O card and video editing software, and 32 MB RAM[1]

Introduced October 1, 1996:

  • Power Macintosh 6400/200: Sold in the North American and British education markets.[9] $2,200 USD.[10]

Introduced November 12, 1996:

  • Performa 6410: Identical to the Performa 6400/180,[11] sold in Europe and Asia.[12]
  • Performa 6420: Identical to the Performa 6400/200,[13] sold in Europe and Asia.[14]

Timeline of Power Macintosh models

Power Macintosh G5Power Macintosh G5Power Macintosh G5Power Macintosh G4Power Macintosh G4Power Macintosh G4 CubePower Macintosh G4Power Macintosh G3#Blue and WhitePower Macintosh G3Power Macintosh G3Power Macintosh 8600Power Macintosh 7300Power Macintosh 9600Power Macintosh 8500Power Macintosh 7600Power Macintosh 7200Power Macintosh 9500Power Macintosh 8100Power Macintosh 7500Power Macintosh 7100Power Macintosh 6400Power Macintosh G3Power Macintosh 5500Power Macintosh 5400Power Macintosh 6500Power Macintosh 6200Power Macintosh 6100Power Macintosh 5260Power Macintosh 5200Power Macintosh 4400


  1. ^ a b Pogue, David; Schorr, Joseph (1999). "Chapter 13: The PowerPC Macs, Model by Model". MacWorld Mac Secrets, 5th Edition. IDG Books. pp. 515–516. ISBN 0-7645-4040-8.
  2. ^ https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/computing/apple_hardware_devnotes/PowerMac%205400.pdf
  3. ^ The 6400 Zone - L2 G3 Specs Comparison
  4. ^ "Performa/Power Macintosh 6400 and 6500 Series - Apple Service Source" (PDF). Apple.
  5. ^ Pogue, David (January 1997). MacWorld Macintosh Secrets 4th edition - Chapter 6: The System Software Museum (PDF). p. 235.
  6. ^ "Pipe-line: Announced". InfoWorld Magazine. August 12, 1996. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  7. ^ "Macintosh Performa 6400/180:Technical Specifications". Apple.
  8. ^ "Macintosh Performa 6400/200:Technical Specifications". Apple.
  9. ^ "Power Macintosh 6400/200: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  10. ^ "Apple Power Macintosh 6400/200 Specs". EveryMac.
  11. ^ "Macintosh Performa 6410:Technical Specifications". Apple.
  12. ^ "Apple Macintosh Performa 6410/180 Specs". Apple.
  13. ^ "Macintosh Performa 6420:Technical Specifications". Apple.
  14. ^ "Apple Macintosh Performa 6420/200 Specs". Apple.

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