Macintosh Quadra 610

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Macintosh Quadra 610
Centris 610
CPU: 25 MHz (20MHz in Centris) Motorola MC68040 (MC68LC040 in Centris)
RAM Type:72-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 68 MiB
Expansion slots: 1 NuBus
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
Introduced:February 10 1993
Discontinued:July 18 1994
MSRP:$1859 (Centris), $1439 (Quadra) (US)
Full Specifications

Initially released as the Centris 610, the low-profile machine was granted full 'Quadra status' and a speed bump just eight months after it was originally launched.


The Macintosh II had proved that the Mac could survive not only as an all-in-one machine but also as a more conventional desktop machine. In one guise or another the Mac II had been around for six years and had relied heavily on the Motorola 68030 CPU whihc, in its day, had been a great processor. Time waits for no man or machine though and the imminent arrival of the new 68040 was tempting for all concerned. The only problem was one of money.

The 68040 was a powerful processor that was not only fast in its own right but also included a high level of integrated cache memory and a dedicated floating point unit (FPU). In the past Apple had been able to offer the 68030 as a standalone processor and then add the optional 68882 FPU as a way to boost performance, and cut costs in the process - in the 68040 they didn't have that option and it was going to be expensive for buyers. The solution came in the form of the 68LC040, a 68040 which lacked the FPU. It wouldn't offer users the same power as the full-blown chip but was considerably cheaper.

Before the release of the Quadra line (based on the 68040), Apple opted to release the Centris series which would use the low cost 68LC040 - some saw it as a clever solution, some saw it as a half-way house, some saw it as a con. The Centris line though was something new though and was well placed as Apple's mid-range machines (aimed as sitting beneath the high-end Quadras and the low-end LCs) and it was still about twice as fast as the ageing IIci. As if all of this wasn't enough to confuse buyers, the machine also came in a range of configurations to seemingly suit every budget with the lowest spec machines eliminating even onboard ethernet and having just 4Mb of RAM and an 80Mb hard drive.

Released in February 1993, the Quadra 610 came in a very fetching low-profile case that may have taken up very little in the way of desk space but did, as way of a pay-off, restrict expansion. A single 5.25" drive bay allowed an optional CD-ROM to be fitted, the single NuBus slot gave some hope and the two 72-pin DIMM slots did allow memory to be increased to a healthy 68Mb (each slot would accept a 32Mb module which, when added to the onboard 4Mb added up to 68Mb). There was also one other drawback to the new case and, by having the power switch located next to the floppy drive, many users (specifically those from a Windows/DOS background) mistakenly pressed the power button to eject the drive - a mistake that they quickly learned to avoid (the other side effect of this arrangement was that the machien couldn't be switched on/off via the keyboard).

Despite being a big hit with buyers, the Centris 610 was given an overhaul just eight months after it was released (on 21st October 1993 the Centris 610 ceased and the Quadra 610 began). Rebranded as the Quadra 610, the machine now boasted a full blown 68040 and was clocked at 25MHz instead of the original 20MHz (Note: The original Centris machines can have their processor upgraded simply by replacing the 68LC040 with a 68040 - no other modifications are needed). Otherwise it was business as usual as the two machines were identical.

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 25 MHz (20MHz in Centris) Motorola MC68040 (MC68LC040 in Centris)
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 25 MHz (20MHz in Centris)
    • Data Path: 32bit
    • RAM Type: 72-pin SIMM (80 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 4 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 2
    • Maximum RAM: 68 MiB
    • Cache: 8 KiB (level 1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 2
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (DB-25)
    • Audio In: Mini-jack
    • Audio Out: 8 bit stereo 22KHz (mini-jack)
    • NuBus Slots: 1
  • Storage
    • Hard Drive: 80 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
    • Max Resolution: 512x384 (16 bit), 640x480, 800x600, 832x624 (8 bit - 512Kb), (16 bit - 1Mb), 832x624, 1024x768, 1152x870 (4 bit - 512Kb), (8 bit - 1Mb)
    • Standard VRAM: 512 KiB
    • VRAM Slots: 2
    • Maximum VRAM: 1 MiB
    • Video Out: DB-15
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Speedbump 610 (Quadra), Econoline, QFC (quick, fast, cheap), WLCD (Centris)
    • Gestalt ID: 52 (Centris), 53 (Quadra)
    • 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
    • Introduced: February 10 1993
    • Introduced: July 18 1994
    • MSRP: $1859 (Centris), $1439 (Quadra) (US)

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