Macintosh Quadra 650

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Centris 650
CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68040
RAM Type:72-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 138 MiB
Expansion slots: 1-PDS
3 NuBus
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
A/UX 3.0.1 - 3.1.1
Introduced:February 10 1993
Discontinued:October 21 1993
MSRP:$2699 (US)
Full Specifications

Replacement for the ageing Quadra 700, the Centris (later Quadra) 650 might not have provided much of a speed boost but it did address the 700's biggest failing, expansion.


Along with the Quadra 900, the Quadra 700 had launched the flagship Quadra series in 1991. The new machines had put the power of the Motorola 68040 into the hands of users and they'd been very warmly received. Two years later though and the pair were starting to look a little long in the tooth. The 950 had already been replaced by the Quadra 950 and in February 1993 it was time for the 700 to drop off the product list.


When first released the Quadra 700 had been one of Apple's top-of-the-range machines but that didn't mean that it wasn't without its problems. By re-using the case from the IIci the machine had no internal drive bays, which meant that there was no way for users to add the one device that was very quickly becoming a 'must have'—the CD-ROM. The 650 not only addressed this but also gave the old workhorse a bit of a shot in the arm at the same time.

Despite being initially launched under the Centris label, the 650 boasted a full-blown 68040 rather than the lower price/performance 68LC040 (which lacks the dedicated floating point unit) seen in the other Centris machines. (Note: A limited number of the Centris machines did come fitted with the 68LC040 instead of the 68040. These machines also lacked onboard ethernet and came with only 4MiB of onboard RAM instead of 8MiB.) Running at the same 25MHz as the 700 the new machine might not have seemed like much of an improvement but by using interleaved 72-pin SIMMs instead of 30-pin modules users could see a 10% speed boost, the new and improved SCSI bus sped up disk access and the accelerated video made everything look great.


Quadra 650
CPU: 33 MHz Motorola MC68040
RAM Type:72-pin SIMM
Maximum RAM: 138 MiB
Expansion slots: 1-PDS
3 NuBus
Supported OS: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
A/UX 3.0.1 - 3.1.1
Introduced:October 21 1993
Discontinued:September 12 1994
MSRP:$2399 (US)
Full Specifications

If this wasn't enough speed, users only had to wait eight months until the machine was rebranded as the Quadra 650. Everything was the same as before except that the machine was clocked at 33MHz instead of 25MHz...and was $300 less.

Where both versions of the machine excelled over the older 700 though was expansion and connectivity. The older machine had lacked any sort of internal drive bay (aside from the single hard drive and floppy bays—both pre-filled though) and while there had been two NuBus slots and a PDS slot, there hadn't been any on board ethernet (which ate a precious NuBus slot if users felt the need to add one). The 650 had a spare 5.25" drive bay, which could be pre-filled with an optional CD drive (Note: The 650, along with the Quadra 800, were the first Macs that could be booted directly from CD), three slots NuBus instead of two, and an optional AAUI ethernet connection.

Having taken the case from the IIvi may have certainly given the 650 the expansion options that were so desperately needed but it also re-introduced one of the most loathed cases in the history of the Mac. The steel case was very symbolic of the IBM PC and seemed to lack the warmth and friendliness that encapsulated the Mac (as an added 'bonus' the sharp metal edges make working inside the 650 something of a health hazard with it being all too easy to slice a finger, hand or foot and end up bleeding inside the case).

Full Specifications

  • General
    • CPU: 33 MHz (25 MHz in Centris) Motorola MC68040 (68LC040 in some Centris machines)
    • ROM: 1 MiB
    • Bus Speed: 33 MHz (25 MHz in Centris)
    • Data Path: 32bit
    • RAM Type: 72-pin SIMM (80 ns)
    • Standard RAM: 4 MiB - 8 MiB
    • RAM Onboard: 4 MiB - 8 MiB
    • RAM Slots: 4
    • Maximum RAM: 138 MiB
    • Cache: 8 KiB (level 1)
  • I/O & Expansion
    • ADB: 2
    • Serial: 2
    • SCSI: 1 (DB-25)
    • Ethernet: 1 (AAUI) (optional)
    • Audio In: Mini-jack
    • Audio Out: 16 bit stereo 22KHz (mini-jack)
    • PDS Slot Type: 1
    • NuBus Slots: 3
  • 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), 640x480, 800x600, 832x624 (16 bit - 1Mb), 832x624, 1024x768, 1152x870 (4 bit), 832x624, 1024x768, 1152x870 (8 bit - 1Mb)
    • Standard VRAM: 512 KiB - 1 MiB
    • VRAM Slots: 2
    • Maximum VRAM: 1 MiB
    • Video Out: DB-15
  • Miscellaneous
    • Codename: Speedbump 650 (Quadra), Wombat 25 (Centris)
    • Gestalt ID: 36
    • PRAM Battery: 3.6V half-AA
    • Case Style: IIvi
    • Dimensions: 13.0" x 16.5" x 6.0" (W x D x H)
    • Weight: 25 lbs.
    • Mac OS Support: System 7.1 - Mac OS 8.1
    • A/UX Support: 3.0.1 - 3.1.1
    • Introduced: February 10 1993
    • Introduced: September 12 1994
    • MSRP: $2699 (Centris), $2399 (Quadra) (US)

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