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Power Macintosh 6400/200 Processor Upgrade And Discussion Page - Performance Of Latest G3 Processor Upgrades

PowerMac 6400/200 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: PPC 603e, 200 MHz
  • Data Path: 64-bit 40MHz
  • L2 Cache: 256K
  • Drive: 2.4GB IDE
  • CD Drive: 8X
  • Expansion Bays: 1 (5.25 inch)
  • Slots: Two 7" PCI, Comm II, TV/FM, Video
  • Installed RAM: 16MB or 32MB (8MB soldered to motherboard)
  • Max RAM: 136MB
  • RAM Slots: 2, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 70 ns
  • Video RAM: 1MB (Max)
  • Introduced: 8/5/96
  • Discontinued: 8/97
  • Initial Retail Price: $2099 - $2,799

    Special Notes

  • Included 28.8 internal modem
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Video out capable
  • Mac OS Supported:7.5.3 - 9.x
  • The Video editing option models provided video in/out


The Performa 6400/200 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). The machine shipped with a 256K L2 cache. Adding a larger cache will boost processor performance modestly.

The hard drive on the 6400/200 is a 2.4GB 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 machinešs 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.

For Great Prices On Upgrades Check The Vendors Below
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Small Dog MacConnection

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Used/Refurbished Macs
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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 all of the current processor upgrades available for this machine. Results marked in blue indicate that benchmark results were done by us. All other results were provided by the upgrade manufacturer. 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 6400/200 258
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/240/120/512K 744
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/300/150/512K 930
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/320/160/1MB 1120
Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 400/200/1MB 1400
Newer MAXpowr G3-L2B 400/200/1MB 1414

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