October 18, 1991: Quadra 900 Introduced

by Chris Seibold Oct 18, 2010

The Quadra 900 was Apple's king of performance for a short time. The machine featured Motorola's peppy 040 processor, and sharing a first with the Quadra 700, shipped with built-in Ethernet.

More interesting than the inclusion of Ethernet was the form factor of the Quadra 900; the machine was Apple's first tower configuration.

Having a tower form factor allowed for expansion. There were sixteen slots for RAM, but the flexibility came at a price. The Quadra 900 was enormous; the machine was roughly the size of the current Mac Pro. Also large was the price: Apple wanted a steep $8500 for just one of the machines. The first Mac tower (one that was obviously meant to be a server) was introduced this week in 1991.


  • I think it was actually released in 1991 (a screaming 25mHz), with the 33mHz Quadra 950 following in mid-1992.

    Its desirability at the time was compromised by being among the first (if not *the* very first) new Mac to require System 7…a lot of software hadn’t yet been updated to work optimally with System 7, plus System 7 itself needed a few revs to become acceptably stable. For a user running audio software like Sound Designer II on a IIfx (or even a IIci) with System 6.0.8, the Quadra 900 with System 7.0.1 was outright sluggish.

    MarkSF had this to say on Oct 19, 2006 Posts: 14
  • I know for sure it was in 1991. The Quadra 900 was my first business mac, received late november 1991 (in Europe).
    As far as I know the Quadra was the first with System 7 which gave (not too much) trouble as a graphic machine (Quark XPress, imagesetter, scanner).
    Although it was the most expensive option it looked to us as the fastest pc on earth, at that time of course. More like a minicomputer and a hell of a lot faster than the (milliondollar) pixelboxes.

    TieBie had this to say on Oct 23, 2006 Posts: 1
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