Macintosh Quadra 660AV

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Macintosh Quadra 660AV
Centris 660av
CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68040
RAM Type:72-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 68 MiB
Expansion slots: 040-PDS
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
Introduced:July 29 1993
Discontinued:September 12 1994
MSRP:$2489 (Centris), $2300 (Quadra) (US)
Full Specifications

Released alongside the Quadra 840av, the Quadra 660av put real audio/video technology in the hands of users at a price that didn't require a second mortgage.


The Centris line had been seen as either a stop-gap before the arrival of the Quadras or a 'low-budget' version of the Quadra machines, depending on which perspective and opinion you followed. The one thing that differentiated the two product lines was the Centris' use of the Motorola 68LC040 rather than the 68040 used in the Quadra line (the difference being the addition of a dedicated floating point unit in the 68040). Yes, several machines initially released under the Centris brand were later 'upgraded' to being Quadra machines (with the appropriate switch in CPU), but Centris meant 'cheap' and 'Quadra' meant power. It was the Quadra 660av that bucked the trend.

Initially released as the Centris 660av, the machine sported the full-blown 68040 from day one — begging the question why it was branded 'Centris'. In this case, the 660av was no ordinary machine. Housed in the same slimline case as the Quadra 610, the 660av, like its stablemate the Quadra 840av, had far more power under the hood than met the eye. The av machines were no ordinary Macs as they included dedicated audio/visual hardware which allowed users to work with not only audio, but video, too. This was something that simply hadn't been seen on a desktop machine of this class before.

The power behind the av came from the AT&T 3210 Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip which, in the case of the 660av, was run at a screaming 55 MHz — the 840av managed to push it to 66 MHz for those users who needed the ultimate in power. Coupled with the 660av's own 68040 running at a very healthy 25 MHz, the overall result was a machine that gave users plenty of bang for their buck.

Elsewhere, the machine shared much with the slightly older Centris/Quadra 610. Yes, they both used the same case design but they also had the same memory system (two 72-pin SIMM slots), and the option of a CD-ROM drive; they also came equipped with a Processor Direct Slot slot (PDS).

Available for under $2500 (later reduced to $2300 when the machine was rebranded as the Quadra 660av on 1st October 1993), the machine was a bargain in anybody's book but it wasn't without its problems as, just like the 840av, it was very picky about which monitors it would work with. Some would work; some needed a special cable; and some just refused to work, full stop. Similarly the 'quirks' of the 610 were all present and correct and users new to Macintosh would still press the power button thinking that it was the floppy eject button, whilst the RAM slots refused to accept 64 MiB modules, thus limiting the machine to a maximum of 68 MiB main memory.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68040
    • ROM: 2 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 25 MHz
    • Data Path: 32-bit
    • RAM Type: 72-pin SIMM (70 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 8 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 8 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 2
    • Maximum RAM: 68 MiB
    • Cache: 8 KiB (L1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 2
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (DB-25)
    • Audio In: Mini-jack, Composite
    • Audio Out: 16-bit 8-48 KHz stereo (mini-jack, composite)
    • NuBus Slots: 1 (with nubus right-angle adapter)
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 160 MiB - 500 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
    • Optical Drive: 1 (Optional)
    • Optical Drive Type: CD-ROM (2x speed SCSI)
  • Video
    • Standard VRAM: 1 MiB
    • VRAM Onboard: 1 MiB
    • Maximum VRAM: 1 MiB
    • Video In: Composite, s_Video
    • Video Out: DB-15, Composite, S-Video
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Tempest
    • Gestalt ID: 53
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V half-AA
    • Case Style: Quadra 610
    • Dimensions: 16.3" x 15.6" x 3.4" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 14 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
    • System Enabler: System Enabler 088 v1.1
    • Introduced: July 29 1993
    • Introduced: September 12 1994
    • MSRP: $2489 (Centris), $2300 (Quadra) (US)

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