Difference between revisions of "Macintosh PowerBook 550c"

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Latest revision as of 04:17, 22 December 2007

Macintosh PowerBook 550c
CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68040
RAM Type:Pseudostatic RAM
Maximum RAM: 36 MiB
Supported OS: System 7.1.1 - Mac OS 8.1
Introduced:May 30 1995
MSRP:$4840 (US)
Full Specifications

The fifth installment in the PowerBook 5xx series, sporting a full blown Motorola 68040 processor – rather than the 68LC040 seen in the other four machines – and a bigger screen. It was only sold in Japan.


Apple's decision to release all four machines in the new PowerBook 5xx series was hardly unusual – on the other hand, the fact that they never upgraded or re-visited the series certainly was. Whilst the Duo and PowerBook 1xx machines were tweaked and improved, the 5xx machines were released and then seemingly forgotten about. This was certainly the case across most of the world but not in Japan, where a fifth machine was added to the series just over a year after the introduction of the 520, 520c, 540 and 540c.

Unlike the rest of the PowerBook 5xx series, which were all very closely tied together – all used the same processor running at either 25 MHz or 33 MHz, the same 9.5" screen, and came with 4 MiB of memory as standard – the 550c not only used a bigger screen (a massive 10.4" active matrix) and had a bigger hard drive than any other Apple laptop, it also boasted a full-blown Motorola 68040 processor and came with twice as much memory as the other 5xxs: 8 MiB. This not only meant that the 550c had a dedicated floating point unit (FPU), but also an '040 PDS expansion slot.

Elsewhere, the machine was very much more of the same, with the exansion bay/second battery slot all present and correct, on board Ethernet as per the other machines, the option to upgrade to the PowerPC chips, &c. The processor, screen, and limited market made the machine highly desirable and 550cs on the second hand market often demand seemingly ludicrous prices.

Despite only being released in Japan, the 550c was the final laptop released that was based on the 68040 processor – only the PowerBook 190 would use a 680x0 processor before the entire product line switched to PowerPC processors.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68040
    • ROM: 2 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 33 MHz
    • Data Path: 32-bit
    • RAM Type: Pseudostatic RAM (85 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 8 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 1
    • Maximum RAM: 36 MiB
    • Cache: 8 KiB (L1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 1
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (HDI-30)
    • Ethernet: 1 (AAUI)
    • Audio In: Mini-jack
    • Audio Out: 16-bit stereo 22 KHz (mini-jack)
    • Built-in Speaker: Mono
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 750 MiB
    • Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    • Floppy Drive: One 3.5" 1.44 MiB SuperDrive
  • Video
    • Built-in Display: 10.4" 8-bit 640×480 colour active matrix
    • Max Resolution: 640×480 (8-bit), 640×400 (16-bit)
    • Standard VRAM: 512 KiB
    • VRAM Onboard: 512 KiB
    • VRAM Slots: 0
    • Maximum VRAM: 512 KiB
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Blackbird, Banzai
    • Gestalt ID: 72
    • Power: One (or two) Nickel-Metal-Hydride
    • Case Style: PowerBook 520
    • Dimensions: 11.5" x 9.7" x 2.3" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 7.1 lbs. (both batteries), 6.3 lbs. (one battery)
    • Mac OS Support: System 7.1.1 - Mac OS 8.1
    • Introduced: May 30 1995
    • MSRP: $4840 (US)

More Information