Macintosh Quadra 900

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Macintosh Quadra 900
CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68040
RAM Type:30-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 64 MiB (Apple), 256 MiB (Actual)
Expansion slots: 040-PDS
5 NuBus
Supported OS: System 7.0.1 - Mac OS 8.1
A/UX 3.0 - 3.1.1
Introduced:October 21 1991
Discontinued:May 18 1992
MSRP:$7200 (US)
Full Specifications

Launched alongside the Quadra 700, the Quadra 900 heralded the start of the Motorola 68040 age: more speed, more power and more performance. When it came to the 900 itself, it was the sheer size of the machine that grabbed users' attention.


Motorola's new 68040 CPU was certainly fast and powerful. To mark the arrival of the new chip, Apple created a whole new product line based around it: Quadra. The Quadra series was the next step up from the Macintosh II and LC lines, and was seen as the 'power user' machine. Unrivalled performance, new features not seen anywhere else in the Mac line, and the power to satiate even the most demanding of users. This was what Quadra stood for, and the world got its first glimpse of this power in the form of the Quadra 700 and the Quadra 900.

While the Quadra 700 could be quite happily installed on a desktop, underneath or beside a monitor, the 900 was a totally different story. It wasn't just big on performance, it was just big. Standing over 18" high and stretching back over 20", the 900 was a behemoth of a machine that was designed to be used for much more than just writing the occasional letter or playing with the tile puzzle.

Seemingly cavernous inside, the 900 sported not only a PDS expansion slot but 5 NuBus slots, too – three 'standard' 15 watt, and two 'high power' 25 watt. It also featured sixteen RAM slots – enabling users to install up to 64 MiB of RAM, according to Apple, but 256 MiB in reality – three drive bays, twin SCSI buses (N.B. When using System 7.0-7.1, the two SCSI buses must be treated as one with respect to SCSI IDs. This includes internal and external devices), and a VRAM slot – expandable from the standard 1 MiB to 2 MiB. In short, if you could think of something to put in it, the 900 would probably take it. Expansion wasn't only present on the inside as, just like the 700, the 900 was the first Mac to come equipped with on board Ethernet in the shape of an AAUI socket.

Ethernet wasn't the only 'first' that the 900 could claim to its name as, unlike the 700, it was the very first machine to have a locking key, allowing users to set the machine to 'off', 'on' or 'secure'. Proof, if proof were needed, that the 900 was was far more than just a desktop computer.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68040
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 25 MHz
    • Data Path: 32-bit
    • RAM Type: 30-pin SIMM (80 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 16
    • Maximum RAM(Apple): 64 MiB
    • Maximum RAM(Actual): 256 MiB
    • Cache: 8 KiB (L1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 2
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (DB-25)
    • Floppy Connector: 1
    • Ethernet: 1 (AAUI)
    • Audio In: Mini-jack
    • Audio Out: 8-bit stereo 22 KHz (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Mono
    • PDS Slot Type: 040
    • NuBus Slots: 5
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 160 MiB - 400 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
  • Video
    • Max Resolution: 512×384 (24-bit), 640×480, 832×624 (8-bit) (24-bit — 2 MiB), 1152×870 (8-bit)
    • Standard VRAM: 1 MiB
    • VRAM Onboard: 1 MiB
    • VRAM Slots: 4
    • Maximum VRAM: 2 MiB
    • Video Out: DB-15
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Darwin, IIex, Eclipse, Premise 500
    • Gestalt ID: 20
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V half-AA
    • Case Style: Quadra 900
    • Dimensions: 8.9" x 20.6" x 18.6" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 36.8 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 7.0.1 - Mac OS 8.1
    • A/UX Support: 3.0 - 3.1.1
    • Introduced: October 21 1991
    • Introduced: May 18 1992
    • MSRP: $7200 (US)

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