La serie CDC 6000 era formata da quattro unità funzionali, la memoria principale, uno o due processori centrali molto potenti e veloci, più processori periferici e una console per gestire il sistema. I sistemi della linea 6000 si suddividevano principalmente per il numero di processori centrali e per la loro potenza. Le macchine erano basate su un'architettura di tipo [[RISC]] ben prima che il termine fosse inventato.
The first member of the CDC 6000 series was the first [[supercomputer]] [[CDC 6600 ]], designed by [[Seymour Cray]] and [[James E. Thornton]] in [[Chippewa Falls , Wisconsin]]. It was introduced in September, [] and performed up to three million instructions per second, three times faster than the [[IBM Stretch]] , the speed champ for a couple years. It remained the fastest machine for five years until the [[CDC 7600]] was launched. The machine was [[Freon]] refrigerant cooled. Control Data manufactured about 100 machines of this type, selling for $6 to $10 million each.
The next system to be introduced was the [[CDC 6400]], delivered in April, []. The 6400 central processor was a slower, less expensive, implementation with serial processing - rather than the 6600s parallel functional units. All other aspects of the 6400 were identical to the 6600. Then followed a machine with dual 6400-style central processors, the CDC 6500, designed principally by James E. Thornton, in October, []. And finally, the CDC 6700 - with both a 6600-style CPU and a 6400-style CPU, was released in October, [].
Subsequent modifications to the series in 1969 included the extension to 20 peripheral and control processors with 24 channels. Control Data also marketed a CDC 6400 with a smaller number of peripheral processors, the CDC 6415-7 with 7 peripheral processors to reduce cost.