Mac Quadra 650

Version Française

I had it in 2010

What's in the box Monitor Software ATARI/PC Emulation Internet PPC card Video Capture Overclocking

After some deception using the Powerbook 520c, I decided to get a Quadra. Great choice asI have no more battery nor PRAM problem. I even got a greater power.

Visit the page of the PowerBook 520c bringing complements of informations.

What's in the box?

  • CPU 68040, 33MHz, with FPU and MMU
  • Daughter board with CPU Power PC 66MHz
  • 84MB RAM (136 maxi or 132 if only 4MB on the motherboard)
  • Great screen resolutions with thousands colors
  • port SCSI, LAN, monitor, ADB, Ethernet...
  • sound in/out
  • Disk drive SCSI 500MB and CD-Rom unit

Note that some ports have a non standard format. Thus, you'll have to findadapters to use Ethernet, a VGA monitor... That's Apple...

What system?

It can run the systems up to Mac OS 8.1. That's the one installed in this Quadra.


To use an standard VGA monitor, an adapter is requiered. The one I have is programmable with 10 switches. Si you can customize it according to your monitor (in particular the max screen resolution). Those settings modify the options displayed into the "Monitor and Sound" tool.

I have a VGA 15" flatscreen, look at the interesting resolutions available, and in thousands colors!

Some Software

The Programmation

The excellent Fantasm Assembler V5.3 brings a very user-friendly developement system, even funnywith the digitized voice! It has an editor with colored syntax, an assembler, a debugger and everything requiered to managea complete project. Lots of libraries and examples are included.

This version was kindly sent to me by , the creators, that had to search their hard diskfor me!This company still offers a version for donwload.
Visit their site!

An example: my very first program thatdisplays the mouse position and waits for a mouse clic to quit.

The Think Pascal 4.5: another SDK based on Pascal.Powerful and well documented as it is easy to find books describing how to use it.

One example: calculating and displaying the Julia fractal.

Tests with SpeedoMeter: better than the Quadra 605, the reference.
Here the comparison with the Powerbook 520c/33MHz.

The Quadra is logically better, particularly concerning the mathmatical calculations as the PB520 lacks theFPU unit.

Note that the graphic result for the Quadra is twice as good as the Powerbook!

Atari/PC Emulation

An Atari with MagicMAC 6

Visit the KRONOS pages for benches in Atari mode.
You'll see how powerful is the Quadra compared to the stock Atari machines.

The emulation with MagicMAC on Quadra is a real pleasure.The machine is reactive, much faster than the Atari TT andreally stable even with my programs that do not follow the GEM advices! This is a partial emulation as MAC and Atari share the same processor family, this ensures a great power.

Here the desktop with ASSEMBLE the assembler, KRONOS the benchmarker and M_Player for the video.

A PC with SoftPC 3.1

The PC emulation with Soft PC on Quadra is surprisinglyfast for such different processors (the 68040 emulating a 80286).SoftPC offers the CGA, EGA and VGA modes, the use of the mouse, access to a rezisable hard driveand a shared folder MAC/PC to ease exchanges.

Here my fractal program in CGA mode to demonstrate that the FPU 8087 emulation is complete.
Finally I installed Windows 3.0a in VGA.

The desktop is reactive even with thislittle graphic game "Solitaire".


The Transceiver

Thanks to Guillaume "Le Moustique" for this box!
To connect your MAC to the Internet, the easiest way is to use a RJ45 Ethernet cable.This last is plugged into aTransceiver as the MAC doesn't have this connectivity itself.

Two LEDs show the status:
  1. The integrity of the link
  2. The activity (data in transfert)

Without any additional driver, you can access the Internet using your standard applications.

Here Internet Explorer 4.01 to surf on the WEB.
And here Outlook Express 4.01 for mailing and reading newsgroups.

On the picture, the newsgroup "Ordinosaures" (french retrocomputing)!

PowerPC PPC601 card

The Quadra can use a second processor on a daughter board, the RISC PPC 601/66MHz.

You make this card active using a little system tool, then you have to reboot the machine. Thanks to Cyril "Bibou" for the card drivers (Visit his pages for more MAC/ATARI downloads)

The power-on sound is different! (that's a detail...).

I didn't explore much this card as I mostly use 68K software that are emulated with the PPC with no better performance. Some day, maybe!

Unfortunately, the PPC doesn't run when overclocked with the MacClip. WIth a 68040 at 39MHz, I should get a PPC at 78MHz, but the machine won't boot. See below for overclocking details.

Capture Video

The NUBUS card VideoSpigot allows you to capture video on every MAC with a NUBUS extension port.

Here is the card, it has only one RCA input for composite video and accept the formats NTSC/PAL/SECAM. For sound input, you'll use the integrated microphone jack.

When installing the software, you face a little problem of compatibility: this program only runs with the QuickTime 1.6 version and not with the QuickTime 2.5 that I have onmy computer. So, a little work is requiered: let's open the Extensions Manager.

I duplicate "Mes réglages" (=My settings) and created a set where every current QuickTime2.5 extension is disabled. I save that under the name "Mes réglages QT1.6" (then, if I select again "Mes reglages", I will enable the QuickTime 2.5, nothing is lost!) Then, after a restart, I copy the two files QuickTime and VideoSpigot (from the Software disk that came with the card) to the Extension Folder. I rename this QuickTime file as QuickTime1.6 to avoid name conflicts and I restart a last time. Everything is ready!

Then, you run ScreenPlay in wich some settings are available.

Here are my preferences with PAL capture in 384x288, and the use of the integrated sound input. For the video compressions, there's a large choice! I like the Cinepak because you can tune the quality and select the number of colors (greys, 256 colors or TrueColor).

When running the program, the display is in LIVE mode, this means that the MAC just displays what the video source sends. (The bad image quality is due to a soft light in my room and the use of a very old video recorder).

A clic on record starts recording. In this mode, the display is reduced and only grey scales are used to keep the power for video capture.
At the end, a media-player type window appears and you can replay what you've recorded with sound.

Last, through the menu entry "Save as..." you can save your video as a QuickTime sequence using the compression defined before.

You can select a part of the image (crop) and select the starting and ending point before saving.

Once it is saved with ScreenPlay, the video can only be viewed on the MAC with the VideoSpigot extension. How to do if you want to read it on a PC, an Atari?. You have to convert it to a standard format.

QuickTime should be able to export the video, but I had no success with the Spigot files.

I found the program QuickEditor 3.6 (from the Macintosh Garden site), a complete video editor. For a simple conversion, just load it with "Open Movie" and export it with "Save Movie As..." to get a new file to a format accepted by other systems.


The MacClip Jr

It's a little piece of electronics in three articulated parts that clips, without any soldering, over the original clock chip.

There are four different settings to turn the 33MHz into 38, 39, 40 or 41MHz according to your system stability. You have to test this gradually!

Unfortunately, the PPC card don't run when overclocked. So, the only solution is to use the 68040.

Before installation, you can see the original clock (yellow) at 16,7 MHz and the processor. I removed the cooler that won't be efficient when accelerated. After installation, the MacClip covers the clock and I placed the new cooler plus a fan whose power has been taken from the hard disk.

Tests were long as every new frequency setting requiere to switch the computer off and to remove the clip (because the DIP switches are really small and on the back side!).

It is also hard to replace the clip correctly with the four contacts, so, some boots ended with an endless black screen...

Finally, I managed to speed it up to 39MHz, using 40 leads to a blocked system just before extensions are loaded.

A little tool is provided to verify the clock speed:

The overall acceleration is +17%.

Note: the only bad result is the one of the SCSI disk test! Is it because of the filled disk? Or a poor synchro at 39MHz?

Since December, 15th, 2007