2 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2012 6:35 AM by Allan Jones
swarmsea Level 1 (0 points)

Hello all,


I'm trying to gather some information about some of the Apple computers.

I've tried searching for certain blog posts and such - but nothing, besides some hardware information comes up. So I would love if some of you could just take some time and explain me a little bit, sort of, tell me your memories about the Power Macitonsh 8600 / 250.


For what these computers were manufactured? What was the porpuse for these computers to be manufactured - was it for video, graphic, media?... Maybe someone who have worked with them, can tell me in some greather detail - how they used these computers for their activies



  • Jeff Level 6 (11,445 points)

    The Power Mac 8600/250 and the slightly faster versions - 8600/300 and 8600/350 - were very capable computers when they were released in the late summer of 1997, over 15 years ago.  The specific processor card installed (either the 250, 300, or 350 MHz card) and the corresponding snap-in nameplate on the front of the case are what distinguished one model from the other.  In all other respects, the three models were identical.  Their improved motherboards (the "Kansas" architecture) featured a processor card slot designed for the "Mach V" 604ev processor cards, which were an improvement over earlier Power Macs having the 604e processor cards - such as the 8600/200 models.  The Mach V processor cards had 1 MB of inline L2 Cache, which ran at ½ of the processor's speed (i.e. the 250 MHz processor had 1 MB of L2 Cache running at 125 MHz).  The three 8600 models with the inline L2 Cache were noticeably faster than their predecessors.  The older Power Macs had a slot on the motherboard for an L2 Cache card, but that L2 Cache ran at the system bus speed, which was 50 MHz for most of those models.  I have (3) Power Mac 8600/300s and their mini-tower case was well-designed, in terms of expansion options.  A slightly shortened version of the same chassis/case was used for the beige Power Mac G3 mini-towers.  The 8600's A/V module was better suited for importing audio than video, because you didn't get full-screen video with Apple's Video Player program anyway.  The program was more for personal enjoyment than serious video work.  The extra 5.25" expansion bay, the mounting plate on the chassis floor for additional hard drives, the large cooling fan in the side panel, and (3) PCI slots for upgrade options made these 8600s the best of the pre-G3 Power Mac computers. I ran a pair of 4 GB hard drives in all of mine, and each had the Iomega Zip drive.  Prior to CD burners and USB flash drives, a Zip drive provided the means for backing up 100 MBs of data to a single disk, which was more portable than using an external hard drive.  In the (3) PCI slots, I installed a better graphics card, a USB card, and a FireWire card.  This enabled me to use newer hardware peripherals, such as USB printers and flash drives, as well as external FireWire hard drives and CD burners.  I did replace the 604ev/300 MHz processor card in one of mine with a G3/266 MHz processor card, and there was a definite speed increase over the Mach V processor with its inline L2 Cache.  Those 8600s were great computers for general use, which (in my case) included the internet, word processing, spreadsheets, label printing, photo editing, music (iTunes), etc.  I ran OS 8.6 or 9.1 in them, but when supported web browsers for pre-OS X Macs became scarce, many of us retired our older Power Macs from daily use.  The introduction of the PowerPC G3 processor and subsequent release of the beige Power Mac G3 computers in late 1997 were the primary reason the 8600-(250/300/350)s were phased out, after such a short production time.  I continued to use mine, in addition to the faster G3s that I owned.


    The specs for the 8600/250 can be found here, and you can download the Apple "User Manual" for the 8600 series.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,680 points)

    If you are researching Apple products, this free-standing (and free) database is excellent. Has some stuff that everymac.com doesn't plus it resides on your hard drive so you can quickly compare models without going online.




    I find the version you download from the developer's site to be more stable that the one that's on the App store.