The Performa 6400/200 is a fast, expandable machine which is very much on par with it's current PC competition as well as competing Mac clones. The 6400 also represent many Performa firsts. It is the first Performa to use a full 64 bit logic board bus (excepting the 61xx's), the first tower design Performa, the first with PCI bus expansion, the first with a spare hard drive bay, and the first with a built in subwoofer.
The expansion bay on the 6400 takes up to a 5.25" SCSI device and is accessible by removing the top front panel of the machine. This bay is very hard to access, and should be handled by an authorized technician (plastics are not covered under Apple's warranty). Opening the face of the machine requires pulling very hard and hoping nothing breaks.
The 8X CD used in Performas can be noisier than people are used to, and the 2 gigabyte hard drive can make disturbing sounds. Both are normal.
6400's have 8mb of RAM on their logic boards and two DIMM slots, one typically being filled with one 8MB DIMM from Apple. The PCI slots consist of a riser card from a single slot on the logic board. The logic board is easily accessible from the rear of the machine.
The 6400 Performa includes a keyboard, mouse, and a nice software bundle, but no monitor.
The 6400/200 also comes in a Video Edition. This machine contains 32MB RAM and video capture hardware. This combination will not perform professional level video editing, but is still very useful and fun.
Advantages Price The price/performance level of a 6400 is outstanding.
Reliability Apple hardware is consistently among the top in reliability among all computer manufacturers.
Service Though we all have horror stories, Apple service is among the best in the industry. Apple is one of the last major computer manufacturers to still offer free technical support, not only for new hardware, but often for old systems as well.
Design Apple frequently wins industry awards for design. The makeup of a 6400 is on par with their innovative looks. Form and functionality are real plusses on this machine.
Drawbacks Video The temptation when buying a 6400 is to splurge and buy a 17" monitor. The 1mb of video memory is not enough to properly drive a monitor of this size. Additionally, the native video RAM on a 6400 is a bit slow. An inexpensive PCI video card remedies both issues.
Modem Apple has included their 28.8 GeoPort modem inside of the 6400. This probably is a good modem, but there have been several issues with them initially which may also be related to the internet software included with the system.
Noise The built in subwoofer of a 6400 creates a startup chime that can shake the floor. This makes it very dangerous to sneak in a session of Marathon Infinity late at night. Use external speakers with caution.
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