Power Macintosh


Why Power Macintosh?

Glad you asked. Basically, it's because no other computer can compare in overall performance, creative capabilities, and ease of communication. The tight integration between hardware and software is complemented by high-speed RISC processing, network connectivity, PC compatibility, and PCI slots for easy expansion. Plus, the feature set, fully loaded for multimedia, allows you to express your ideas more creatively. But you can see all this for yourself by checking out our Benchmark ratings and hearing What People Are Saying! Once you've studied the nuts and bolts, you'll wonder: "Why anything but Power Macintosh?"

Product Line

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The look, the feel, the power are new, but the technology is richly familiar. Apple continues its leadership in design and performance by breaking the mold of the personal computer. The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. With its innovative casing, built-in TV and FM tuners, Bose stereo sound, and 3D-hardware acceleration, it's a showcase of what personal computing should be.

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For performance of processor-intensive applications, such as color publishing, video-editing, and 3-D modeling, it doesn't get any better than the Power Macintosh 9600/233, Power Macintosh 9600/200 and Power Macintosh 9600/200MP. Inside the new easy-access tower, each of these top-of-the-line machines packs a high-speed processor, 32 MB of RAM, and a 4 GB hard drive, plus 6 PCI expansion slots, allowing for maximum customization. See Power Macintosh 9600.

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With so many powerful, eye-popping media capabilities, the Power Macintosh 8600/200 is sure to make headlines. Built-in video input/output capabilities, a 64-bit VRAM graphics subsystem, a built-in Iomega Zip drive, and an AV-capable hard disk drive elevate technical renderings and multimedia projects to a new dimension. At the same time, this series' redesigned, easy-access tower takes the complication out of changing hard drive components. See Power Macintosh 8600.

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Change is a constant in the business world. Fortunately, the Power Macintosh 7300/180 and the Power Macintosh 7300/200 are built to handle it. The removable processor card makes upgrades a simple matter of swapping components, and the PCI slots for more flexibility. The Power Macintosh 7300/180 PC Compatible comes already installed with PC Compatibility Card which lets you switch environments to DOS or Windows. See Power Macintosh 7300.

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With only the essentials and a much lower pricetag, the Power Macintosh 4400/200 is the perfect fit for small businesses, educators, and individuals. The feature set--including a 200-megahertz RISC processor, built-in network connectivity, Internet access software, and room for expansion--sacrifices nothing in performance. Plus, the Power Macintosh 4400/200 PC Compatible has an additional processor for DOS and Windows, making this practical model even more versatile. See Power Macintosh 4400.

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For speed, flexibility, and expandability, this model is top of the line. That's why high-end users, such as publishers, engineers, and multimedia professionals, rely on the Power Macintosh 9500/200 to get the job done. See Power Macintosh 9500.

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You may have heard about the benefits of multiprocessing. Now you can see them in action with the Power Macintosh 9500/180MP. Apple's first sample of multiprocessing architecture, this model adeptly handles video editing, 3-D modeling, and other computation-intensive tasks. See Power Macintosh 9500.

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Wired for multimedia, the Power Macintosh 8500/150 and the Power Macintosh 8500/180 provide near-broadcast quality, video-input/output, high-resolution graphics, plus a whole host of other media-handling features. See Power Macintosh 8500.

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To achieve high performance and expandability, start with the Power Macintosh 7600/132. It has all the advantages of PowerPC technology, plus built-in video input, yet its three PCI expansion slots accommodate your needs in the future, too. See Power Macintosh 7600.

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You want performance, but you're watching your bottom line. Network connectivity's a must, and so is software for Internet access. You could also use some help with number crunching and other productivity tasks. For home offices and small- and medium-size businesses, the Power Macintosh 7200/120 is the workhorse of choice. See Power Macintosh 7200.

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Now there's hardware that can speak more than one language. This model has two microprocessors (a PowerPC chip and a Pentium, or 586), so you can run Mac OS, Windows, or MS-DOS applications. You can even switch back and forth between two different environments. The Power Macintosh 7200/120 PC Compatible is the best of both worlds. See Power Macintosh 7200.

Related Technologies



In this era of electronic collaboration, portable computers, and telecommuting, compatibility across platforms has never been more important. That's why Apple has engineered compatibility right into its Power Macintosh computers. By drawing from the variety of solutions already available in software, hardware, and networking, users can work with Windows and MS-DOS applications and documents, without giving up the outstanding ease of use Apple is known for.

Apple SuperDrive

Every Power Macintosh is equipped with an Apple SuperDrive floppy disk drive which can read MS-DOS and Windows formatted disks. To access files on the disk, the user simply double clicks on the disk icon.

Apple PC Compatibility Card

This card contains a separate processor, and can be added to any Power Macintosh with PCI slots. The resulting machine, with 2 independent processors, can run Macintosh applications concurrently with MS-DOS or Windows applications. The PCI cards feature a Pentium or Performance Rated 166-MHz processor. Additional types of cards are available through third party vendors.

PC compatible Power Macintosh models

Two current models--the Power Macintosh 7300/180 PC Compatible and the Power Macintosh 4400/200 PC Compatible--offer out-of-the-box hardware compatibility. Containing a PowerPC RISC processor along with a Pentium or Performance Rated processor, these systems can switch between Mac OS, Windows, or MS-DOS environments with a single keystroke. Folders and disks can be shared between platforms, and users can even cut and paste elements between documents.


PowerPC processors have become the largest volume RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) processor computers in the world, offering outstanding performance while preserving compatibility with existing software and peripherals.

Faster than the Pentium

Although the Pentium processor originally was touted as the fastest mainstream microprocessor for personal computers, the PowerPC is challenging that position with equal or superior performance ratings among identical applications. In fact, BYTE Magazine's 32-bit multiplatform CPU/FPU benchmark tests indicate that the 200-MHz PowerPC 603e and 604e consistently outperform the 200-MHz Pentium and Pentium Pro, respectively (see Benchmarks for additional benchmark information).

The PowerPC Alliance believes that RISC technology is currently the most important technology in personal computing. One key reason is that the performance improvements of successive CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing) processors such as the Pentium are leveling off, while RISC performance continues to grow. Benefits of RISC processor technology include:

  • Higher performance. Because RISC instructions are short and can be executed in a single clock cycle, RISC-based processors can run at very high frequencies.
  • Smaller, simpler, and less expensive. A RISC processor's design is simpler and more streamlined than the CISC design. This reduction in complexity allows for the creation and manufacture of smaller--and therefore less expensive--processors.
  • More scalable. PowerPC processor technology was designed to be scalable, so the benefits of RISC could be easily extended from notebook computers to high-end servers and workstations.

From games to supercomputers

In the past, RISC processors have been used primarily in high-end workstations and servers. The PowerPC has taken a giant technological leap by bringing the advantage of RISC to all segments of the personal computer market. For high-performance applications, some members of the PowerPC family contain multiple execution units for symmetrical superscalar operation, cache memory for data and instructions, and efficient multiprocessing interface capability. Other versions of the PowerPC microprocessor, designed for applications running on notebook computers and requiring both performance and low power, support automatic energy conservation. Still other highly integrated PowerPC microprocessors are designed for hand-held computer applications.

See Also