Performa 500 Series: Frequently Asked Questions
Last Modified: March 13, 2000
Old Article: 18290
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
This document contains the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Macintosh Performa 500 series computers.
Questions in this FAQ:
1) Why can't I get a microphone from an earlier Macintosh computer to work on my Performa 500 series computer?
2) Can I upgrade my Performa 575, 577, 578, or 580 to a PowerPC processor?
3) Can I upgrade my Performa 550 to the PowerPC processor?
4) Can I add a floating-point unit (FPU) to my computer?
5) Can my Performa 580 support an Apple IIe card? Can the other 500 series computers?
6) Can I install the Apple TV/Video System on my Performa 500 series computer?
7) I accidentally lost a program that came with my Macintosh Performa. How do I get it back?
8) Where can I get the latest Apple software updates?
1) Question: Why can't I get a microphone from an earlier Macintosh computer to work on my Performa 500 series computer?
Answer: The microphone used with many early Macintosh computer models is called the Apple Omnidirectional Microphone. It comes with a 1/2" plug. The microphone used with the Performa 600 series computers (as well as all new Macintosh models) is called a PlainTalk microphone. It has a 3/4" plug, the extra 1/4" of which is used to reach a power source that attenuates the microphone.
The correct microphone for use with the Macintosh Performa 630 series is the PlainTalk microphone, part number M9060Z/A. You can order this through many Apple-authorized retailers and catalog resellers. Their numbers can be obtained by contacting our 24-hour referral service at 800-538-9696.
For further information on the PlainTalk microphone, consult the online Apple Technical Info Library on the Internet at
2) Question: Can I upgrade my Performa 575, 577, 578, or 580 to the PowerPC?
Answer: The Macintosh Processor Upgrade Card (M3397LL/A, discontinued) upgrades Macintosh 570 and 580 series computers to Power Macintosh performance by replacing the 68LC040 processor with a PowerPC 601 processor.
The Macintosh Processor Upgrade Card, part number M3397LL/A (discontinued), must be installed by an Apple-authorized service provider, who can also tell you the current price. To locate an Apple-authorized service provider in your area, please call 1-800-538-9696.
For more information on the upgrade, use the Tech Info Library on the Internet at
3) Question: Can I upgrade my Performa 550 to the PowerPC?
Answer: No, the Macintosh LC/Performa 520/550 series PowerPC Upgrade (M3395LL/A) is no longer available. The upgrade was available for several months, but has since been removed from the Apple price list.
4) Question: Can I add a floating-point unit to my computer?
Answer: A floating point unit (FPU) or math coprocessor does not always give you a speed increase. An FPU is useful only when running programs that do extensive mathematical calculations that call for an FPU to be used.
If you have a Performa 550 or 560 computer, you may have a math coprocessor or floating point unit (FPU), Apple Service p/n 922-0107, installed in a special socket on the logic board. If you own a Performa 57x, the only way to add an FPU is to completely remove and replace the 68LC040 chip on the logic board. This upgrade is not available from Apple but may be available from a third party vendor. Apple does not recommend or support replacing the CPU chip.
From the online Apple Technical Info Library on the Internet at
5) Question: Can my Performa 580 support an Apple IIe card? Can the other 500 series computers?
Answer: The Apple IIe card is only compatible with computers that have the LC style processor direct slot (PDS). This includes the Macintosh Color Classic, Performa 400 series, LC/Performa 500 series computers (except the Macintosh LC 580 and Performa 580), and all Macintosh LC series computers except the Macintosh 630 family and Power Macintosh 5200 LC and 5300 LC computers.
The Macintosh LC 580, Macintosh 630 Family, and Power Macintosh 5200 LC and 5300 LC only operate in 32-bit addressing mode. Since the Apple IIe card is not compatible with 32-bit addressing, the Apple IIe Card is not compatible with these computers.
From the online Apple Technical Info Library (go shortcut "TIL") - use the search string "Apple IIe card and compatibility" to locate the article "Apple IIe Card: Macintosh Compatibility."
6) Question: Can I install the Apple TV/Video System on my Performa 500 series computer?
Answer: The Apple TV/Video System requires a special connection on the logic board. This connection is available only in the Macintosh 630 series and Power Macintosh or Performa 5200, 5300, 6200, and 6300 series of computers.
7) Question: I accidentally lost a program that came with my Macintosh Performa. How do I get it back?
Answer: If you have lost or removed a program that originally shipped on your Macintosh Performa, you can restore it with the program Apple Restore. This will copy files back to your computer's hard drive. To copy the files back, you will need backup disks. You were instructed to make a backup copy of your programs on floppy disks when you first purchased your computer. You will need these disks.
Using the Utilities disk which came with your computer, you can run Apple Restore in order to restore the data. This process is described in detail in Chapter 11 of your Macintosh User's Guide.
If your computer came with a built-in CD-ROM drive, you may not need to use the above process. The Macintosh Performa CD contains a complete backup of all the software which originally came with the computer. To restore this software, use the instructions included in the small pamphlet which accompanied the CD-ROM disc.
8) Where can I get the latest Apple software updates?
- Worldwide Web: