Apple Macintosh Quadra Line Sets New Level of Performance; Retains Macintosh Simplicity
New Computers From Apple Are Up To Twice As Fast As The Macintosh IIfx
COMDEX, Las Vegas, Oct. 21, 1991 -- PR Newswire -- Apple Computer Inc. today introduced two personal computers that represent the company's largest, single jump in computing performance since the introduction of the Macintosh II in 1987. The new Apple Macintosh Quadra line of personal computers are Apple's highest performance computers ever and deliver powerful technologies made easy-to-use. The Quadra computers, built around the latest Motorola 68040 microprocessor, are also among the highest performance computers in the PC industry.
The new top-of-the-line Quadras consists of two models -- the Quadra 700, a high performance desktop Macintosh, and the Quadra 900, a high performance, "tower" design built with configurability and expandability in mind.
The announcement took place on the opening day of COMDEX, the world's largest personal computer exposition. The week-long show draws more than 100,000 attendees from all over the world with diverse computing interests. In keeping with its goal to reach more people, Apple introduced the Quadra computers here to attract new customers who have not historically purchased Macintosh computers.
"Our goal is to move Macintosh into the mainstream of personal computing in organizations of all sizes. With the introduction of the Quadras, we've taken yet another significant step towards fulfilling the needs of customers in large computing environments -- whether in government, education or business," said John Sculley, Apple's chairman and chief executive officer. "The Quadras offer new levels of performance, connectivity, and expandability while retaining all the ease-of-use features Macintosh customers have come to expect. With the Quadras' leading edge technologies, we'll reach new customers who consistently demand the highest performance from their computers."
Apple believes that the Macintosh Quadra systems will be successful with new customers in all segments of the market from business professionals to engineers to graphic designers to financial planners. The Quadras run virtually all Macintosh applications from spreadsheets and databases to desktop publishing and CAD/CAM to file and networking services.
Both of the new models share impressive processing power (twice the speed of the Macintosh IIfx), built-in true-color graphics capability for most monitors, on-board high speed Ethernet networking and improved SCSI/NuBus subsystems. Additionally, the floor-standing Quadra 900 can incorporate extra RAM memory (up to 64MB), additional hard disks or other removable SCSI storage devices (such as CD-ROM, magneto-optical, cartridge drives, and others) and offers key lock security.
In designing the Quadras, Apple balanced four technology areas -- processing power, true-color graphics, high-speed networking and high-speed SCSI & NuBus -- to address a broad range of customer needs. Processing Power
The 25MHz 68040 is the primary performance component in the Quadra computers. It's the latest microprocessor from Motorola and features a number of benefits.
The 68040 contains more than 1.2 million transistors allowing for a number of important features to be incorporated directly onto the microprocessor chip including 8K of fast cache memory, a floating point coprocessor and a memory management unit. Incorporating these features, which are often separate components in other computers, onto a single chip improves overall performance and reliability. The Quadras are up to twice as fast as the Macintosh IIfx, the company's previous highest performance system.
In a recent performance benchmark study conducted by Ingram Laboratories, a subsidiary of Ingram Micro, the world's largest distributor of microcomputer products, the Macintosh Quadra 900 was rated the fastest computer against 80386- and 80486-based PCs. In fact, the Quadra 900 dramatically outperforms 33MHz and 50MHz 80486 systems by as much as 63 percent. In the test, seven applications were timed performing a variety of everyday tasks. Ingram benchmarked the entire Macintosh product family running System 7 against IBM, Compaq and clone PCs running Windows 3.0. True-Color Graphics
Both members of the Quadra line share the highest performance and most configurable graphics subsystems ever designed onto an Apple logic board. That subsystem delivers up to 24 bits per pixel or true-color (16.7 million colors) images on many monitors and provides built-in support for all Apple monitors. That means that customers can choose from a 12-inch monochrome display all the way up to Apple's new 21-inch color display without the need for an extra display card. The graphics subsystem also supports many monochrome and color monitors from third-party companies.
Customers not only enjoy millions of colors on the screen, but everyday tasks like scrolling and moving complex graphics take place more quickly and smoothly than ever before. This level of performance is possible because the graphics subsystem features its own Video Random Access Memory (VRAM) and its own memory controller, which combine with the 68040 to speed up overall graphics processing.
The Quadra 700 comes with 512K of VRAM which supports 256 colors or shades of gray on the 12-, 13- and 16-inch monitors and 16 colors or shades of gray on larger displays. By simply adding SIMMs (Single In-Line Memory Modules), VRAM can be expanded to 2MB for true-color on the 12-, 13- and 16-inch displays. The Quadra 900 comes standard with 1MB of VRAM which supports 256 colors or shades of gray on all Apple displays. The VRAM can be expanded to 2MB for true-color on the 12-, 13- and 16-inch displays.
For customers requiring true-color on 21-inch displays, there are a number of third party NuBus cards available now. (Please refer to the Fall 1991 Third-Party Product Descriptions for a detailed list.) High-Speed Networking
The Quadra line features built-in high performance Ethernet while continuing the Macintosh tradition of offering LocalTalk. Both networks offer the plug-and-play simplicity for which Apple networks are known. For Ethernet connections, the 700 and 900 are equipped with an Apple Ethernet port, a media independent connecting system which allows customers to use any standard Ethernet media including thin coax, thick coax and twisted-pair wiring.
The recently announced AppleShare Server 3.0 software operating under the System 7 offers both file service and print spooling while accommodating up to 120 concurrent users. The combination of AppleShare software, the Quadra systems' performance, built-in Ethernet, and other features make these machines easily adaptable for use as high performance servers. High-Speed SCSI and NuBus
To properly balance the performance of the 68040, the Quadras needed a higher performance input/output (I/O) subsystem as well. New advances in ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) technology allow the Quadra line to offer up to twice the speed of SCSI and NuBus performance over previous Macintosh computers.
Higher I/O performance means less waiting time for users because I/O is critical to accessing storage devices and expansion cards. The new higher performance I/O subsystem is also backwards compatible so that virtually all of today's hard disks, scanners, CD-ROM drives, and expansion cards continue to work. Even greater levels of performance are possible when new, faster devices take advantage of these advanced capabilities. Macintosh Quadra Features The members of the Macintosh Quadra line share many common features: -- RAM Expansion: Up to 20MB on the Quadra 700, up to 64MB on the Quadra 900 using 4MB SIMMs; -- Graphics Subsystem: Support for all Apple monitors -- true-color capable for 12-, 13- and 16-inch monitors, high performance graphics processing, additional support for VGA, Super VGA, PAL and NTSC modes; -- NuBus Expansion: 2 slots on the Quadra 700, 5 slots on the Quadra 900; -- Sound: Sound input (microphone included) and stereo sound output; -- SuperDrive: 1.4MB floppy with the ability to read and write other formats such as MS-DOS, OS/2 and ProDOS; -- System 7.0.1: Hardware-only system software release to support the new Macintosh systems -- Quadra, PowerBook(TM), Classic(R) II. In addition, the Quadra 900 also features: -- Storage Capacity: Up to four 5.25" half-height SCSI devices, two of which can have front panel access for removable media -- CD ROM, magneto-optical, cartridge drives, etc.; -- Larger Power Budget: A 300-watt power supply which provides increased power for the five NuBus slots and four internal SCSI devices; -- Key Lock: Three modes of operation -- on, off and lock. Lock mode shuts off the floppy disk drive, mouse, and keyboard operations. Quadra 700 Upgrade
Owners of Macintosh IIcx and IIci computers can upgrade to the power and performance of the Quadra 700 with a simple logic board upgrade. This dealer installed option offers all the Quadra 700's features including on-board true-color graphics, high speed Ethernet, networking and sound input. Each logic board upgrade comes standard with 4MB of RAM and 512K of VRAM.
Pricing and Availability
All of the Apple Macintosh Quadra computers and accessories will be available through authorized Apple resellers worldwide. Each machine comes equipped with Macintosh System 7.0.1 software, HyperCard(R) 2.1 software, microphone, complete documentation, training software and a one-year limited warranty. Manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) and availability in the United States for the Quadra computers and related products are as follows:
Product/Configuration MSRP Availability
Quadra 700 4MB RAM/floppy $5,699 Immediate
Quadra 700 4MB RAM/80MB Hard Disk $6,399 Immediate
Quadra 700 4MB RAM/160MB Hard Disk $6,999 Immediate
Quadra 700 4MB RAM/400MB Hard Disk $7,699 Jan. 1992
Quadra 900 4MB RAM/floppy $7,199 Immediate
Quadra 900 4MB RAM/160MB Hard Disk $8,499 Immediate
Quadra 900 4MB RAM/400MB Hard Disk $9,199 Jan. 1992
Quadra 700 Logic Board Upgrade $3,499 Jan. 1992
Macintosh VRAM Expansion Kit $175 Immediate
Macintosh 4MB Memory Expansion Kit $425 Immediate
(Prices, availability and configurations may vary outside the United States.)
NOTE: Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, and LocalTalk are registered trademarks; and Macintosh Quadra, PowerBook and SuperDrive are trademarks of Apple Computer Inc. HyperCard is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc. licensed to Claris Corp. Classic is a registered trademark used under license by Apple Computer Inc.
CONTACT: John Cook of Apple Computer Inc., 408-974-3145/ 08:21 EDT
Copyright (c) 1991, PR Newswire