PowerMac 6100 Upgrade Guide 

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This site is a comprehensive resource for a variety of upgrades to the Apple PowerMac 6100 and related machines. Contrary to popular press and opinion, the PowerMac 6100 is a very expandable and upgradeable machine! From its humble beginnings as a "beginner's" Performa, my venerable PowerMac is now a G3-powered, multimedia authoring workhorse machine with all manner of options, input devices, peripherals and cross-platform capabilities. It took a little elbow grease and a lot of reading, but now that the leg work has been done, it's really quite easy! Here's a table of contents:


Default configuration--Describes the original hardware and software configurations of this series Cache upgrades--A 30% speed increase for $15? Read on
RAM upgrades--Calculate how much RAM you can afford, then buy a little bit more than that. You can have up to 520 MB in your 6100! CPU upgrades--Increase your speed up to 16 times with a G3 or G4 processor. Affordably!
Hard drives--Replace your exhausted HD with a multi-gigabyte drive. You may even be able to use an IDE drive! Includes detailed installation instructions. CD-ROM Drives--Faster CD-ROM drives, plus CD-R and CD-RW drives, too. Includes detailed installation instructions.
Graphics upgrades--Drive big, high resolution monitors with more colors, or add AV capabilities Monitors--A brief introduction to the types and sizes of monitors supported by this machine
Operating System--My subjective impression of what Mac OS versions and alternative operating systems work well with this machine, including Linux Networking--Exchange files with and talk to other types of computers, including PCs! See the top of the page for a wireless solution, or this page for a more comprehensive view of my network.
Windows Interoperability--How to live in a world dominated by Windows machines DOS cards--How to run Windows on your Mac, via a hardware compatibility card or via software emulation
Other Resources--Other useful resources and links on the Web, including a way to search for aliens with your 6100  Peripherals--Notes on miscellaneous peripherals that I've attached to my 6100
The FAQ--Frequently Asked Questions. Some with answers! Sources--A summary of what I've got, where I bought, what I paid, etc., with some current street prices and sources where available. Buy some of my surplus parts!!
From scratch--New section!! The basics on setting up a Power Mac 6100 from scratch, including links to operating systems, utilities and applications. All free! Maintenance--New section!! Under construction, but here are some basic maintenance tips
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Caveats: I'm running these tests on my own equipment and maintaining this page during my free time. I don't have the budget to purchase equipment for testing purposes, so I have to rely on readers' data for some of the test results. On that note, if you have data that supports, contradicts, or fills in the gaps of mine, please send it to me and I'll incorporate it into the page. Feedback is always welcome, but please read the FAQ before you ask a question that may already have been answered.

Is your Mac a member of the 6100 family? If your Mac has a four digit model number beginning with 61 then yes. Otherwise, no. Please note that the Performa 5xxx series(meaning any Performa model number that begins with a 5) and the Performa 62xx series are not related. Sorry :(

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Last updated: 7/20/00

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