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Power Macintosh 6100

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6100 with mon.jpg
AV PDS card

Also available under the "Performa" and "Workgroup Server" model lines. The Power Macintosh 6100 also offered the "DOS Compatible" model which featured a 486DX2/66 on an expansion card.

This model, along with the Power Macintosh 7100 and Power Macintosh 8100, should be capable of running the Apple Copland system software betas.

The 6100/60 model can run Apple's System 7.1.2 software which is the first release of the system software capable of running on PowerPC. The minimum for the 6100/66 model is said to be System 7.5.

General Information

Available with either a 60MHz or 66MHz PowerPC 601 processor. A 256KB L2 cache upgrade is standard on the 66MHz version and was optional on the original 60MHz model.

Introduced in March 1994, the PowerMac 6100 was the first Mac to be powered by a PowerPC processor. An optional AV configuration was available. The 6100 came in a Centris 610-style low-profile case, cost $1,700, and was "speed bumped" to 66 Mhz in January 1995. The 6100/66 was discontinued at the end of 1995. The 6100/66 DOS was also available, with a 66 Mhz 486DX/2 processor card, and was discontinued in early 1996. The 6100 was also offered bundled with a monitor and various hard drives, as the Performa 6110CD, 6112CD, 6115CD, 6116CD, 6117CD, and 6118CD.

Codename: Piltdown Man. Originally shipped with a PowerPC specific version of system software 7.1.2.


The CPU bus is the standard 64-bit nonpipelined bus used by the PowerPC 601 processor. Integrated math coprocessor and 32K on-chip cache; 256K level 2 memory cache. Shipped in speeds of 60 and 66MHz.


Allows for a single expansion card, either NuBus or PDS depending which adapter is installed. Common expansion cards found in these systems:

  • 486DX2/66 PC compatibility card (PDS)
  • Power Macintosh AV Card 820-0510-A (PDS) - DB15 video output, S-video input/output
  • Power Macintosh HPV Card (PDS) - DB15 video output, expandable VRAM

The Power Macintosh 6100 NuBus adapter card gives the Power Macintosh 6100/60 a NuBus expansion capability. The adapter card contains the BART NuBus controller chip that is included on the main logic board of the other Power Macintosh models. It plugs into the PDS slot of the Power Macintosh 6100/60 and accepts one short (7-inch) NuBus card, which lies parallel to the main logic board.


The board includes 8MB RAM and two slots for 72-pin memory, 80ns or faster. The originally documented maximum memory is 72MB via two 32MB memory sticks, though larger sizes may also work. SIMMs must be installed in pairs of the same size and speed. Install noncomposite SIMMS only.


Power Macintosh computers contain 4 MB of ROM with 100-ns access time. Some of the system software that was on disk in previous Macintosh computers is in ROM in Power Macintosh models.


All Power Macintosh models accept an external second-level cache on a SIMM. The second-level cache size may range from 128 KB to 256 KB. The Power Macintosh 8100/80 is shipped with all 256 KB already installed; users of other models in the Power Macintosh family can install a second-level cache by plugging a SIMM into a 160-pin connector on the main logic board. The high-speed memory controller (HMC) interrogates two pins of this connector during system startup, to determine the size of the memory on the SIMM. If no SIMM is installed, pull-up resistors on these pins cause the HMC to disable all external cache operations.

DOS Compatible

Apple's DOS and Windows drivers support an Apple-compatible CD-ROM, folder sharing and clipboard sharing. Early versions of PC support software for the DOS card also included video drivers for MS-DOS applications such as AutoCAD or WordPerfect. MS-DOS and Windows are installed from the standard installation disks or CD-ROMs provided by Microsoft.

PC Setup 1.0.2: This is the last downloadable release that supports the Houdini I card. The downloadable software from Apple only includes the PC Setup control panel, so you may need to hunt around for DOS drivers or experiment with those provided with PC Setup 1.5 or 1.6.4.

PC Setup 1.5: This version supports the Houdini II and LC 630/640 cards. It runs on System 7.5.3 on the LC 630/640, or 7.1.2 and 7.5.3 on the 6100, so it is handy if you don't have much RAM for the Mac OS. DOS clipboard sharing is not supported and RAM must be installed on a Houdini 630/640 card. Open Transport is not officially supported but many people found that Open Transport 1.1.1 works. The downloadable software from Apple includes separate Mac and PC disk images.

PC Setup 1.6.4: This is the last version released by Apple and it supports all but the Houdini I card. It requires 7.5.3 and Open Transport 1.1.1, and was officially supported by Apple up to Mac OS 8.1. In spite of these restrictions, many users have used PC Setup 1.6.4 in limited fashion with Mac OS 8.5, 8.6 and 9.x (see Networking Problems below for solutions). The downloadable software from Apple includes separate Mac and PC disk images. Apple's PC drivers are still 16 bit but you may wish to try using them with earlier versions of PC Setup.

PC Setup 2.x: Apple provided technical information about DOS cards to a third party developer, Discovery Software, so that they could write 32 bit Windows drivers to improve Windows 95 and 98 performance. PC Setup 2.x includes 32 bit hard disk and CD-ROM drivers, and enhances network support. It also supports Mac OS 8.5, 8.6 and 9.x and tries to correct earlier networking problems. PC Setup 2.x is not a full installation and it is necessary to install PC Setup 1.6.4 first.

PC Setup 2.x, was sold commercially for several years. When the third party developer discontinued it, PC Setup 2.1.7, the final version, was made available as a free download. You will need three files (Mac and PC installation sets and the PDF manual). Install using the license code below:

  • Authorization Code: UEV-EVZ-7TU
  • License Name: FREE
  • License Site: 469

See PcSetup 2.x for downloads and information.



  • If the PRAM battery is dead or missing, the computer will likely not display any video upon being powered on. Without using a new battery, you can try the "double-tap" method which is pushing the power button twice quickly and it may restore video signal.
  • The PowerPC 601 CPU is extremely fragile on this board and simply installing the heatsink can crack the processor.
  • Heat inside the case can be an issue, especially with the model including the 486 card. You may want to outfit a case fan somewhere inside to help move air.
  • If the heatsink compound on the CPU has not been replaced since the original manufacturing, the CPU may overheat and destroy itself. It is recommended that it be cleaned and replaced.



Powermac 6100 series.png


See Also

External Resources

The Power Macintosh Series from Apple Computer
Power Macintosh 4400 -- Power Macintosh 5200 -- Power Macintosh 5260 -- Power Macintosh 5300 -- Power Macintosh 5400 -- Power Macintosh 5500 -- Power Macintosh 6100 -- Power Macintosh 6200 -- Power Macintosh 6300 -- Power Macintosh 6360 -- Power Macintosh 6400 -- Power Macintosh 6500 -- Power Macintosh 7100 -- Power Macintosh 7200 -- Power Macintosh 7300 -- Power Macintosh 7500 -- Power Macintosh 7600 -- Power Macintosh 8100 -- Power Macintosh 8500 -- Power Macintosh 8600 -- Power Macintosh 9500 -- Power Macintosh 9600 -- Power Macintosh G3