Apple Powermac 8600/200mHz Computer

The Apple Power Macintosh 8600/200  uses the same cleverly designed case as the 9600, featuring an easily removable side panel and fold out internal case. However, the 8600 was a less costly and less expandable machine. The Power Mac 8600/250mHz and 300 MHz versions sometimes had an extra powerful 560W power supply (vs. 390W on the regular Powermac 9600) to drive the power hungry 250 and 300 MHz 604e processor.


These models also have a 1 MB L2 cache, 64 MB of RAM, and 8 MB of video memory. Based on the Kansas architecture, it features a 200 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 32 MB of RAM, a 4.0 GB hard drive, an internal Zip drive, graphics acceleration, and built-in 24-bit composite and S-video for near-broadcast-quality video input and output in a well-designed, easy-to-upgrade tower case.

Apple reportedly states that a maximum of 512 MB of RAM can be supported by this PowerMac. However, third-parties have discovered that it actually can support 1024 MB (1.0 GB) of RAM with eight 128 MB memory modules.

Like the Power Macintosh 7300 and PowerMac 9600, the 8600 featured the new PowerPC 604e and 604ev CPU, an enhanced version of the PowerPC 604 used in the predecessor models 8500 and 9500, mounted on a daughter card. It used the same new case as the 9600, but was somewhat less expandable (8 instead of 12 RAM sockets, 3 instead of 6 PCI slots) at a lower price, a distinction that was carried over from the x500 generation.


The 8600 was plagued with supply problems from the beginning, and only in June 1997, four months after its introduction, was  the computer widely available.

Video & Graphics:

The Powermac 8600 offered on-board graphics with an output via a DB-15 connector (Apple’s proprietary version of SVGA).  VRAM slots to the motherboard allowed users to add video memory to boost resolutions and number of colours supported.  By default, this model has 2 MB of VRAM installed as two 1 MB VRAM DIMMs, supporting a single display at 512×384, 640×480, 800×600 or 832×624 at 24-bit, 1024×768 or 1152×870 at 16-bit, and 1280×1024 at 8-bit.

With the maximum 4 MB of VRAM installed, it supports 512×384, 640×480, 800×600, 832×624, 1024×768, or 1152×870 at 24-bit and 1280×1024 at 16-bit.

 Ports & Connectivity:

The Powermac 8600 offered similar ports to the Macintosh Quadra range, discontinued some 4 years earlier.  Video included the DB-15 socket, an ADB port was included for keyboard and mouse, DB-25 allowed for external SCSI peripherals, two geoport serial ports provided Printer and Modem support, an AAUI port offered ethernet connectivity and 2 x 3.5mm jacks offered support for a plaintalk microphone and stereo sound out.

However, continuing the comparison with the Quadra, the computer had come a long way in a short space of time.  Both S-Video input and S-Video Output were included as standard (no longer a special AV model) and they really worked well and a cat 5 ethernet connection was included (technically giving 2 network ports if you include the AAUI).  However, thanks to the performance of the 604e processor and the faster hard drives available, the PowerMac 8600 is probably one of the first truly decent video editing computers (some thing we take for granted today).

Introduction Date: February 17, 1997 Discontinued Date: August 5, 1997
Processor Speed: 200 MHz Processor Type: PowerPC 604e
Details: This model has a 32-bit processor and a 64-bit data path.
Processor Upgrade: Daughtercard FPU: Integrated
System Bus Speed: 50 MHz Cache Bus Speed: N/A
ROM/Firmware Type: Macintosh ROM ROM/Firmware Size: 4 MB
L1 Cache: 64k L2 Cache: 256k
RAM Type: 168-pin DIMM Min. RAM Speed: 70 ns
Details: Supports eight 70 ns 168-pin DIMMs.
Standard RAM: 32 MB Maximum RAM: 1.0 GB*
Motherboard RAM: None RAM Slots: 8
Video Card: Dedicated* VRAM Type: 1 MB VRAM DIMM*
Details: *By default, this model has 2 MB of VRAM installed as two 1 MB VRAM DIMMs.
Standard VRAM: 2 MB* Maximum VRAM: 4 MB*
Display Support: Single Display* Resolution Support: 832×624*
Standard Hard Drive: 2 GB Int. HD Interface: SCSI
Standard Optical: 12X CD-ROM* Standard Disk: 1.44 MB* (Manual)
Standard Modem: None Standard Ethernet: AAUI, 10Base-T
Expansion Slots: 3 PCI Expansion Bays: 1 5.25″*
Details: *Remaining open 5.25″ drive bay is front-facing.
Case Type: Tower Form Factor: Power Mac 9600
Apple Order No: M5453LL/A Apple Subfamily: Power Mac 8600
Details: N/A
Apple Model No: N/A Gestalt ID: 69
Battery Type: 3.6V Lithium Battery Life: N/A
Original Mac OS: 7.5.5 Supported Mac OS: 7.5.5-9.1
Dimensions: 17.3 x 9.7 x 17.3 Avg. Weight: 35.0 lbs (15.9 kg)
| 1 Reply