The Unofficial PowerPro Homepage

This is the Unofficial PowerPro 601 Homepage. The PowerPro is an upgrade card that was manufactured by DayStar Digital and sold both under the Apple and DayStar brand names. It enables some members of the Quadra series of Macintosh computers with a Motorola 68040 CPU to be upgraded to a PowerPC 601 processor.

DayStar PowerPro 601Please, note that the PowerPro 601 is different from the DayStar Turbo 601 upgrade card. The Turbo 601 is an upgrade card for 68030 machines. There is an excellent resource devoted to the Turbo 601: The Unofficial Turbo 601 Site. Another great resource for upgrading and accelerating all varieties of Macintoshes is the Accelerate Your Mac! site. Low End Mac is also a great site to know about.

To further confuse matters, DayStar also made the PowerCard for upgrading 68040-based Macintoshes with an LC PDS (Processor Direct Slot) to a PowerPC 601 CPU. The PowerCard was sold as the Power Macintosh Processor Upgrade under the Apple brand. This was to distinguish it from the Power Macintosh Upgrade Card, which was Apple’s name for the PowerPro.

Although, the Unofficial PowerPro Messageboard is intended primarily as a technical resource, many users find it helpful in buying, selling, and trading upgrade cards. I would also recommend the eBay online auction as a good resource for finding PowerPros.

Unfortunately, DayStar is out of business. Tech support is still available from GDTS. Both Sonnet Technologies and MicroMac Technology have non-Power Mac upgrades available for older machines. Some of which they will support under Mac OS 8.

Apple has OS 8 certified the Apple 601 upgrades on 68040 machines only. Upgrades on 68030 machines will not be supported. Neither the 68040 nor the 68030 upgrades were supported by DayStar under Mac OS 8.

A few brave souls are determined to perform this upgrade without official support. Although the PowerPro has become an orphaned technology, it is still viable and even vital to many of its users. It is essential that those users help each other. To facilitate this, the Unofficial PowerPro 601 Homepage & Messageboard was born. Most users have posted encouraging messages in regard to PowerPro OS 8 compatibility. As more information about the PowerPro becomes available, it will be posted by users here.

Welcome to the future. It’s unsupported.

– Joshua Schwarz, Unofficial Webmeister

Addendum: The PowerPro boards are still working. In fact they have been revived by Sonnet Technologies under the name Presto PPC.

Original PowerPros will run without modification through Mac OS 8.1. For OS 8.5 or 8.6, I believe Sonnet is currently offering a hardware modification for $49. Also, Bob Rabun reports on a software hack that appears to work.

This site might disappear again without any notice. But who knows, like the PowerPro, it might surprise you and stick around for awhile.

– Josh

PowerPro Specifications

Technical Resources

PowerPro 601 (All Versions)

Hardware Requirements

  • Apple Macintosh Centris 610, 650 or Quadra 610, 650, 700, 800, 900, 950 (Centris 610 and Quadra 610 require an adapter and will only work with the 100 MHz version of the PowerPro 601)
  • At least 8 MB of RAM

Software System Requirements

  • Control Panel (DayStar PowerPro or Apple Power Macintosh Card)
  • DayStar certified only through Mac OS 7.5.1
  • Apple branded cards are certified through Mac OS 8


  • PowerPC 601 at 66 MHz, 80 MHz, or 100 MHz
    • The Centris 610 can only operate the PowerPro 601 at 80 MHz due to the its 20 MHz clock speed
  • 64-bit data bus
  • 32-bit address bus
  • Processor Direct Slot (PDS) interface
  • Built-in 32 KB unified instruction and data cache

Secondary Cache

  • Level 2 Static RAM Cache (check the PowerPro 601’s packaging for cache size)
  • The 66 MHz/ 80 MHz versions of the PowerPro 601 have slots for an optional 1 MB Level 2 Static RAM cache card
  • The 100 MHz version of the PowerPro 601 has a 1 MB Level 2 Static RAM cache soldered onto the card


  • Apple PowerPC licensed ROMs

Environmental Conditions

  • 50° to 104° F (10° to 40° C)
  • Humidity: 10% to 80% (non-condensing)
  • Altitude: Sea level to 10,000 feet

PowerPro 601 with RAM Expansion (66/80 MHz version)

Memory Requirements

  • Uses standard 72-pin Macintosh SIMMs
  • 2 banks with two 72-pin SIMM slots each
  • 1M X 32 (4MB), 2M x 32 (8MB), 4M x32 (16MB), 8M x 32 (32MB)
  • 80ns or faster
  • Non-parity or parity (parity not used)

Memory Configurations

  • Valid on board configurations: 0 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, 24 MB, 32 MB, 40 MB, 48 MB,64 MB, 72 MB, 80 MB, 96 MB, 128 MB

PowerCard 601

Hardware Requirements

  • Apple Macintosh Quadra 605 and 630; LC 470, 570, 580, and 630; Performa 470, 570, 580 and 630.
  • At least 8 MB of RAM

Software System Requirements

  • Control Panel (Daystar PowerPro or Apple Power Macintosh Card)
  • Mac OS 7.5 or later with included System Enabler extension (Enabler might not be necessary under OS 8)
  • DayStar certified only through Mac OS 7.5.1
  • Apple branded cards are certified through Mac OS 8


  • PowerPC 601 at 50  MHz, 66 MHz, or 100 MHz
  • Processor Direct Slot (PDS) interface
  • Built-in 32KB unified instruction and data cache

Secondary Cache

  • 256 KB Level 2 Static RAM Cache


  • Apple PowerPC licensed ROMs

Josh’s Installation & Troubleshooting Tips


  • Install a “Universal” version of the Mac OS. The Universal option is available on all Mac OS installation disks. This will allow the machine to boot in both regular Mac (68040) and Power Mac (601) mode. You can install just the Power Mac version of the Mac OS if you never intend to run in 68040 mode. In that case, you should keep a valid 68040 system installed on a backup disk. In the event of your PowerPro not running, you will need the 68040 system to restart the computer and diagnose the problem.
  • Install the PowerPro Control Panel in the System Folder.
  • Check the DayStar manual for proper adapters and jumper settings for the PowerPro card and your model Macintosh. Install the PowerPro board in the PDS slot of the computer.
  • Restart the computer. Set the PowerPro Control Panel to “PowerPro Startup”.
  • Restart the computer. You should here a new startup chime – brighter with some reverb in it. That indicates that the PowerPro is activated. You may have to push the reset button on the Mac a couple of times to get the chime. After the machine starts, check the PowerPro Control Panel. It will indicate your machine’s current status.


If you can’t get your system to boot with the PowerPro or you get the dreaded Chime of Death, try the following –

  • Check to make sure that –
    • A valid Universal version of the Mac OS is loaded without any third party INITs other than the PowerPro Control Panel.
    • All expansion cards are firmly seated without any bent pins or loose ribbon cable connections.
    • PowerPro jumper pin settings are correct for your model Mac. On PowerPros with RAM expansion, all PowerPro RAM is firmly seated.
    • Any SCSI devices are properly connected and terminated.
  • Zap the PRAM. Hold down the P, R, Option, and Command keys while the Mac restarts. After it cycles through the beginning of the restart process a couple of times, let go of the keys and the Mac will finish booting up. You have just given the computer the rough equivalent of electro-shock therapy. So, it may take it as long as ten minutes to boot. And when it does, some of your settings (e.g., General Controls) will have to be reset.
  • If you are using a PowerPro with RAM expansion, remove any PowerPro RAM.
  • Remove any NuBus cards from the system.
  • Remove all SCSI devices except the boot drive. Make sure it is properly connected and terminated.

Once the system is started, put the additional hardware back on – one piece at a time. Restart between each piece until you see the problem reoccur. Congratulations, you’ve found the culprit!

Keywords: #daystarpowerpro #powerpro601

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