Power Macintosh 8500

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Power Macintosh 8500
The Power Macintosh 8500/180
DeveloperApple Computer
Product familyPower Macintosh
Release dateAugust 8, 1995 (1995-08-08)
Introductory priceUS$3,999 (equivalent to $7,680 in 2022)
DiscontinuedFebruary 17, 1997 (1997-02-17)
Operating system7.5.2 - Mac OS 9.1
CPUPowerPC 604, 120–150 MHz
PowerPC 604e, 180 or 200 MHz
Memory16 MB, expandable to 512 MB (Apple), 1024 MB (actual), (70 ns 168-pin FPM or EDO DIMM)
PredecessorPower Macintosh 8100
SuccessorPower Macintosh 8600

The Power Macintosh 8500 (sold as the Power Macintosh 8515 in Europe and Japan) is a personal computer designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer from August 1995 to February 1997. Billed as a high-end graphics computer, the Power Macintosh 8500 was initially released with a 120 MHz PowerPC 604, and unlike earlier Power Macintosh machines, the CPU was mounted on an upgradeable daughtercard. Though slower than the 132 MHz Power Macintosh 9500, the first-generation 8500 featured several audio and video (S-Video and composite video) in/out ports not found in the 9500. In fact, the 8500 incorporated near-broadcast quality (640×480) A/V input and output and was the first personal computer to do so, but no hard drive manufactured in 1997 could sustain the 18 MB/s data rate required to capture video at that resolution. Later, special "AV" hard drives were made available that could delay thermal recalibration until after a write operation had completed. With special care to minimize fragmentation, these drives were able to keep up with the 8500's video circuitry.

The 8500 was introduced alongside the Power Macintosh 7200 and 7500 at the 1995 MacWorld Expo in Boston.[1] Apple referred to these machines collectively as the "Power Surge" line, communicating that these machines offered a significant speed improvement over its predecessors. Infoworld Magazine's review of the 8500 showed a performance improvement in their "business applications suite" from 10 minutes with the 8100/100, to 7:37 for the 8500/120.[1] They also noted that the 8500 run an average of 24 to 44 percent faster than a similarly-clocked Intel Pentium chip, with the performance nearly double on graphics and publishing tasks.

The 8500's CPU was updated twice during its production run. It originally shipped with a 120 MHz PowerPC 604, later with the same chip running at 150 MHz, and finally with a PowerPC 604e running at 180 MHz. It was succeeded by the Power Macintosh 8600 in February 1997.


Rear view of the Power Macintosh 8500/180
The Power Macintosh 8500/180's logic board

Introduced August 8, 1995:

  • Power Macintosh 8500/120[2]

Introduced January 11, 1996:

  • Power Macintosh 8515/120[3]

Introduced February 26, 1996:

  • Workgroup Server 8550/132[4]

Introduced April 22, 1996:

  • Power Macintosh 8500/132[5]
  • Power Macintosh 8500/150[6]

Introduced August 5, 1996:

  • Power Macintosh 8500/180[7]

Introduced September 9, 1996:

  • Workgroup Server 8550/200[8][9] 200 MHz PowerPC 604e CPU, 32 MB RAM. US$5,799. Sold with one of three software bundles, titled "Application Server Solution", "Apple Internet Server Solution 2.1", and "AppleShare Server Solution".


Timeline of Power Macintosh, Pro, and Studio models
Mac ProMac StudioMac ProMac StudioMac ProMac ProMac ProPower Mac G5Power Mac G5Power Mac G4Power Mac G5Power Mac G4Power Mac G4 CubePower Mac G4Power Macintosh G3#Blue and WhitePower Macintosh 9600Power Macintosh G3Power Macintosh 8600Power Macintosh 9500Power Macintosh 8500Power Macintosh 8100Power Macintosh G3Power Macintosh 7600Power Macintosh 7300Power Macintosh 4400Power Macintosh 7500Power Macintosh 7200Power Macintosh 7100Power Macintosh 6500Power Macintosh 6400Power Macintosh 6200Power Macintosh 6100Power Macintosh G3Twentieth Anniversary MacintoshPower Macintosh 5500Power Macintosh 5400Power Macintosh 5260Power Macintosh 5200 LC


  1. ^ a b Epler, Anita (August 7, 1995). "Apple's PCI risk". InfoWorld Magazine. pp. 1, 80. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  2. ^ "Power Macintosh 8500/120: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  3. ^ "Power Macintosh 8515/120: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  4. ^ "Workgroup Server 8550/132: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  5. ^ "Power Macintosh 8500/132: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  6. ^ "Power Macintosh 8500/150: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  7. ^ "Power Macintosh 8500/180: Technical Specifications". Apple.
  8. ^ "Apple Energizes Workgroup Servers and Network Servers with 200MHz PowerPC 604e Systems". Apple. September 9, 1996.
  9. ^ "Workgroup Server 8550/200: Technical Specifications". Apple.

External links[edit]