Macintosh Quadra 630

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The Quadra 630 used a full Motorola 68040 processor as opposed to the Macintosh LC 630 model which lacked the FPU. This form factor was also used in the Power Macintosh 6200 and Power Macintosh 6300 series.


Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 08:09:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: Andrew Sinclair-Day <[email protected]>
Subject: Quadra 630 Review

           A review of the Macintosh Quadra 630

  In August of 1994 Apple Computer Inc. released a new line of their 
popular Macintosh computer. The models introduced are the Quadra 630, 
LC630, Performa 630, Performa 630CD, Performa 635, Performa 636, and 
the Performa 636CD. All the models are similar, such as case design, 
hard drive capacity, and ports, but there are some differences. The 
Quadra 630 is the only model to have a full MC68040 with the floating 
Point Unit(FPU) for math intensive tasks and is geared towards 
businesses. The LC is for the educational market and the Performa 
models are for the consumer channels and come in many different 
configurations. This review will focus on the Quadra 630, but should 
also apply in part to the LC and Performa models.

What you get for $1189 (street)
     1 Quadra 630 with 4megs Ram, 250meg IDE Hard Drive, 1.44mb floppy
     1 Apple Desktop Mouse II
     2 Power Cables (why 2?)
     System 7.12P or System 7.5 (depending on when purchased)
     2 Manuals (Getting Started, Macintosh Reference)
     1 Apple Resource Guide
     1 Warranty registration card
     System Disks
     EWorld software installed on the hard drive
The Specs
  The Quadra 630 is powered by a Motorola MC68040 with FPU running at 
33MHz (a tad slower than the Quadra 950), according to Apple it is a 
33/66MHz chip. What this 33/66 marketing gimmick means is that the 
internal sync clock is running at 66MHz and the system bus is running 
at 33MHz. This new terminology has caused allot of confusion, one 
salesman at a local computer superstore swore that it was a 66MHz 
machine and you could switch between the 2 speeds (really!!) . Not so.

  4MB DRAM on the motherboard.
  1 72-pin DRAM SIMM socket (80ns or faster, up to 32MB).
  1MB ROM.
  1MB video memory (not expandable).
  1 LC compatible  PDS slot.
  1 Communication slot for modem or Ethernet card.
  1 Video slot with DVA for a video input card.
  1 internal port for a TV tuner card.
  1 internal 250MB IDE Hard Drive.
  Energy Star compliant
  The ports on the rear of the unit include an ADB port, two serial 
ports, monitor port, SCSI port, 8bit mono sound input and 8bit stereo 
output ports. The motherboard slides out the rear of the unit, making 
upgrades very easy. The front of the unit has the SuperDrive, space 
for an internal CD-ROM, and three new features. These features are 
Up/Down volume buttons, a Headphone jack and an infrared sensor (for 
Sony remotes). An internal Power Supply will take line voltages from 
100-240 volts AC. Power consumption of the Quadra 630 is 45 watts. The
case design is unique in that it is made up of 5 stylish plastic 
panels that snap on a solid metal frame, the Q630 weighs in at 17 lbs.
 (7.7 kg) and measures 12.6S x 16.5S x 4.3S.  

   Setting up the Quadra 630 was straightforward, take the computer 
out of the box, attach the power cable, keyboard, mouse and monitor 
and turn it on. The system software as well as E-world comes 
pre-installed on the hard drive, though the system software also comes
on floppy disks. The Quadra 630 came with System 7.12P and a coupon 
for a TfreeU ($10 shipping) copy of System 7.5. Quadra 630Us shipping 
now should have System 7.5 installed. I did encounter one problem 
setting the Mac up, and that was when I installed Ram Doubler 1.5 
(more on that later). 
   I have just installed System 7.5 and it runs much faster than 
System 7.12P, though in itUs basic configuration it uses 2.5MB of ram.

    IDE stands for Intelligent Drive Electronics, and the Quadra 630 
is the first desktop Macintosh to use this technology though it has 
been used for years on DOS computers. The internal IDE drive is 250MB 
in size and has an access time of around 15ms (my old Quadra 660avUs 
internal drive had an 18ms access time). There are two hard drive 
formatters included on the Disk Tools floppy, Apple HD SC Setup for 
SCSI drives, and Internal HD Format for IDE drives. The IDE formatting
software works much like itUs SCSI counterparts, though partitioning 
is not available. I have only run across two programs that do not work
with the IDE drive, one being SCSI evaluator (still works with SCSI 
drives that are hooked up), and Mac Bench 1.1 (when it preforms tests 
on the internal HD it freezes).  I have heard of some programs that 
format or test SCSI drives which will not work with the IDE HD, but 
this seems obvious. Those worried about seeing an IDE drive on a 
Macintosh need not worry, it works fine and youUll not even notice 
that itUs IDE. 
   I have an APS 105MB Syquest hooked up to the external SCSI 
connector and it works flawlessly, and IUd swear itUs now quicker than
when on the Quadra 660av. 

   Sound input through the sound-in jack is limited to 8bit 22KHz 
mono. Sound output is 8bit 22KHz stereo. If you have an internal 
CD-ROM or TV/Video System, then the sound is passed through and up to 
16bit 44KHz stereo sound output is available. Also with the TV/Video 
system you can record Quicktime movies with stereo sound. A nice 
feature if you have the Apple TV/Video System and the internal CD300i+
is that you can have 3 different volumes levels, one for the CD, 
another for the TV, and one for system sounds. 

   The 1MB of internal video DRAM is capable of supporting monitors up
to 16inches (832x624) at a depth of 8bits (256 colors). At 640x480 it
can display up to a 16bit depth (thousands of colors). The Video DRAM
is not expandable, so if you require a larger monitor or a 24bit 
(millions of colors) display, a PDS video card is required. The speed 
of the display is slightly faster than  the Quadra 605. According to 
SpeedOMeter though, the Quadra 630Us display is  faster than the 
Quadra 660av, though I have my doubts about this. Ram Doubler will 
degrade the video performance by up to 34% depending on what bit depth
is selected.

   Energy Star compliance is a feature that I have longed for. Using 
the CPU Energy Saver control panel, the idle time before the machine 
shuts itself off can be set, anywhere from 15 minutes to twelve hours.
Also specific times and dates can be set as well for the shut off. 
The control panel can also be set so that it will not shut down if the
modem is going,the busy cursor is on or a sound is playing . Another 
control panel, Auto Power On/Off can be used to turn the computer on 
at specific times and dates, or if there has been a power failure it 
can turn the mac on again. 
   An infrared remote can be used to turn the mac on/off and adjust 
the volume. Any Sony TV remote should work. If you have the TV/Video 
system the remote can be used to control the CD, change channels, 
adjust the volume, mute, run and quit the video software.  
    The Video slot has a provision for a DVA connector if you are 
using the Apple Video System. DVA (Digital Video Analog Audio) is 
similar to the DAV slot on AV Macs, the difference being with the 
sound. Nothing at the moment is  available for the DVA connector, but 
IUm sure cards will come out offering features such as MPEG playback, 
and full screen full motion video recording and output at or near 
broadcast levels. 

   Apple Express modem card $199
This fax/modem card is based on AppleUs Express modem and supports 
speeds up to 14.4bps and fits in the communication slot.

   Apple Video System $149
The Video System card plugs into the video slot and provides composite
video-in, S-VHS video-in, and stereo sound-in. It can be used to 
capture still images or QuickTime movies. Also included is AvidUs 
Videoshop 2.03 software on CD-ROM. 

   Apple TV/Video System $249
This is a two card package and includes the Video System card as well 
as a cable/TV tuner card and an infrared remote control. The tuner 
card plugs into a special ribbon connector near the top of the Quadra 
630Us case. Also included is AvidUs Videoshop 2.03 software on CD-ROM.

   Apple Presentation System $299
The presentation system is a small box that plugs into the monitor 
port, allowing output to a TV or VCR. Other features include video 
mirroring, PAL & NTSC output, composite and S-VHS output connectors.

   Apple Ethernet card $99
There are two types of Ethernet cards available. 10BASE T (twisted 
pair) and 10BASE 2 (thin coaxial). Either of these two cards go into 
the communications slot.

   Apple PPC upgrade daughter board $n/a
This card will supposedly offer a 66Mhz PPC 601 processor in a 
daughter card which plugs into the 68040 socket. The 68040 plugs into 
the PPC card, and you can switch between the two processors (not on 
the fly).  It will require System 7.5 . No price has been set ($599 is
what I hear), or release date (October?).

   MPEG Card $n/a
This fall an MPEG playback card is slated to come out for the Quadra 
630. It will supposedly offer 24bit video, CD-i compatibility, as well
as MPEG support. It will plug into the PDS slot and Video/DVA slot( 
if you have the Video System, there is a DVA pass through connector on
the card). Price, probably in the $300 range. 

   I like to Quadra 630 but there are a few shortcomings and I had a 
problem with Ram Doubler. It seems that when I installed the Ram 
Doubler 1.5 software, it trashed my finder, causing the Quadra 630 not
to boot up. The solution was to boot up with the Disk Tools floppy 
and drag the Finder and System suitcase to the trash, and then 
re-install the system software. I re-installed Ram Doubler 1.51( the 
latest update) and it works fine (sort of) with no noticeable slowdown
of the CPU, FPU or disk, though it does degrade video performance by 
as much as 34%!!!  This could be due to the video DRAM being similar 
to the conventional memory. 
   I would have liked to see two DRAM SIMM sockets on the 
motherboard, there is defiantly room for two, hopefully a SIMM doubler
or stacker will come out to solve this. (Apparently some Quadra 630Us
have started to appear with an extra SIMM socket, this extra socket 
is for the video DRAM, as there is none on the motherboard on these 
models. The beta units did have this extra video  SIMM socket, but the
unit I have does not. )
   The limitations of the 1MB of internal video memory, while the itUs
adequate for a 14S display in thousands of colors, any larger display
is only 256 colors and only up to 832x624. A larger display will 
require a video card in the PDS slot. 
   The 8bit mono sound input really bothers me, granted I can get 8bit
stereo sound-in but only with the addition of the TV/Video card. I 
would have paid an extra $50-$100 for 16bit sound. 
   Overall I am quite pleased with the Quadra 630 despite the few 
shortcomings. All the software I had on my old system works fine and I
have not had any real compatibility issues besides Ram Doubler. 
Compared with the  Quadra 660av which I owned before this, the Quadra 
630 out preforms it and is very STABLE.

   If you are interested in a review of the Apple TV/Video System for 
the Quadra 630, it can be found at:  

Andrew Sinclair-Day  |  The Rock Garden      |  Between the brain that plans
[email protected]OM   |  982 State Street     |  and the hand that builds,
[email protected]  |  New Haven, CT. 06511 |  there must be a mediator.

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