processor upgrades Graphics Cards

Power Macintosh 6400/180  Processor Upgrade Page

PowerMac 6400/180 Facts at a Glance
  • Processor: PPC 603e, 180 MHz
  • Drive: 1.6GB IDE
  • Slots: Two 7" PCI, Comm II, TV/FM, Video
  • Installed RAM: 16MB (soldered to motherboard)
  • RAM Slots: 2, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 70 ns
  • Introduced: 8/5/96
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,400
    Special Notes
  • Included 28.8 internal modem
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Video out capable

The Performa 6400/180 went on the market in the summer of 1996. Aimed at the consumer market, it was a departure from recent past consumer offerings from Apple. Past Performas had been fitted in a standard  desktop form factor. The 6400 sported a tower form factor with rounded edges giving it something of an elegant look (though it was dubbed a laundry hamper by MacWeek!). Inside the tower there is a 603e processor (Apple's low end processor at the time) and 16MB of RAM (8MB soldered to the motherboard and 8MB in one of the two available DIMM slots). RAM can be expanded up to 136MB. In addition the motherboard sported two 7" PCI slots, a Comm II slot (fitted with a 28.8 modem), a video slot (designed specifically with Apple's Avid Video Card in mind - an-add on option) and a TV/FM slot for Apple's TV/FM tuner card (also an add-on option). There is a slot for adding a L2 cache though the machine shipped without one. Adding a 512K L2 cache will improve processor performance between 40-50%.

The hard drive on the 6400/180 is a 1.6GB IDE and the CD ROM drive is 8x. One of the unique features of the 6400 was the addition of a dual purpose speaker located on the bottom of the machine˙s case.  On it's own the speaker richly reproduces all sounds. However if you plug-in external speakers, the built-in speaker acts as a subwoofer, sending higher register tones to the external speakers - pretty clever. Though considered a machine with a great deal of multimedia potential the

6400 was hobbled by relative limited on-board graphics. Video memory was limited to 1MB and is not upgradable, limiting you to 8-bit color at resolutions higher than 800 x 600 pixels on a 17" monitor. Video performance itself was considered sluggish. At the time of the 6400's release there was stiff competition from the PowerBase computers from Power Computing, which in general received positive reviews and were substantially cheaper than the 6400. 

When  the 6400's was released its processor  was considered  non-upgradable. However clever companies have figured out how to use the L2 cache slot for processor upgrades and there are now several companies that have such L2 cache slot upgrades available.


Below you will find the MacBench 4.0 results for most of the processor upgrades available for this machine. These results are what the individual manufactures publish for their cards. In other words the speed trials were run by the manufacturer. For an independent evaluation of these cards check the Processor Upgrade Page to see if we have results available. The bar graphs below express results as a percentage of improvement over the base machine, which receives a score of 100%. Further down the page you will find a table with the actual MacBench score.

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card MacBench 4.0 Processor Score
Power Macintosh 6400/180 184
Vimage PF G3/240/120/512K 729