Motorola StarMax 4000
- Got a StarMax? Join LEM's StarMax Group.
- Got a pre-G3 Power Mac with PCI slots? Join LEM's PCI PowerMacs Group.
The 4000-series was Motorola's professional-level Mac clone. Based on the Tanzania motherboard with a Power PC 604e CPU, these provide top performance at a reasonable price. All models include an EDI hard drive, an ATAPI CD-ROM player, and an unprecedented (at least in the Mac OS Planet) five-year warranty.
Tanzania-based computers will not boot with a dead PRAM battery. Try replacing the battery before attempting to replace the power supply on a "dead" StarMax.
The most common complaints have been the quality of the case and noisiness. Overall, the StarMax has proven itself very reliable.
- 4000/160. 160 MHz 604e processor, desktop (DT) or tower (MT)
- 4000/200. 200 MHz 604e processor, desktop or tower
- introduced 1996.09.17; discontinued 1997.07.01
- requires System 7.5.3 through 9.1, excluding 7.5.5
- CPU: 160-200 MHz PPC 604e
- bus: 40 MHz
- RAM: 16 MB or 32 MB standard (varies with configuration, but tower is always 32 MB), expandable to 160 MB using 3-volt 60ns or faster EDO DIMMs (older 5-volt DIMMs are not compatible). Peculiarly, RAM slot 3 addresses only a single bank of memory, unlike dual-bank slots 1 and 2. While you can use any DIMM up to 64 MB in slots 1 and 2, you should only use a single-bank DIMM in slot 3. This limits slot 3 to 32 MB. Except for the earliest towers, every StarMax ships with a single-bank DIMM in RAM slot 3 (some early towers shipped with a double-bank DIMM).
- VRAM: 2 MB standard. VRAM replaceable with 4 MB SGRAM card.
- Video: 15-pin SVGA port; standard 2 MB VRAM supports millions of colors at up to 800 x 600, thousands of colors at up to 1152 x 870, and 256 colors at up to 1280 x 1024
- L2 cache: 512k
- hard drive: EIDE, 1.2 MB, 2.5GB, or 4.3GB standard (varies with configuration, but tower is always 2.5GB)
- CD-ROM: 8x or 16x ATAPI drive, varies with configuration
- ADB: 1 port for keyboard and mouse
- PS/2 keyboard port
- PS/2 mouse port
- two miniDIN-8 GeoPorts on back of computer
- SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
- PCI slots: 3 on desktop, 5 on tower
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Vimage had a G3 upgrade for the 3000 and 4000
- Low End Mac's Compleat Guide to Mac OS 9, 2008 edition, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.05.12. Declared dead by Steve Jobs 6 years ago, Mac OS 9 remains fast and stable, but Classic software hasn't kept up with Web changes. What Macs support OS 9, where to buy it, and how to update to version 9.2.2.
- Hacking Mac OS 7.6.1 so many Mac OS 8 apps will run, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.10.30. With a little ResEdit work and a second copy of your System Folder, you can run a lot of OS 8 apps with Mac OS 7.6.1.
- Mac System 7.5.5 can do anything Mac OS 7.6.1 can, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.06.04. Yes, it is possible to run Internet Explorer 5.1.7 and SoundJam with System 7.5.5. You just need to have all the updates - and make one modification for SoundJam.
- Format any drive for older Macs with patched Apple tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Apple branded hard drives - until you apply the patches linked to this article.
- SATA and PCI Power Macs: No OS X joy, but you can boot OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.17. Weeks of experimention find that while you can't seem to boot a pre-G3 Power Mac into OS X from a SATA hard drive, you can at least boot OS 9 from it.
- Musings on low-end SATA cards in PCI Power Macs, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.06. Thoughts on why the inexpensive SATA card might almost work in a pre-G3 PCI Power Mac.
- Old Power Macs and SATA not a marriage made in heaven, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.03. The PCI SATA card said blue & white G3 or newer and Mac OS 8.6 or later, but maybe it would work in an older pre-G3 Power Mac....
- System 7 Today, advocates of Apple's 'orphan' Mac OS 7.6.1, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2006.10.26. Why Mac OS 7.6.1 is far better for 68040 and PowerPC Macs than System 7.5.x.
- Mac OS 8 and 8.1: Maximum size, maximum convenience, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.09.11. Mac OS 8 and 8.1 add some useful new features and tools, and it can even be practical on 68030-based Macs.
- Installing Linux on a PCI Power Mac, Part 1, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.09.05. Preparing your PCI Power Mac (or clone) for Linux and getting openSUSE Linux installed.
- Customizing Mac OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.08.01. Fiddling with themes, picking a browser, and making the Classic Mac OS work just the way you want it to.
- The ins and outs of booting Linux on the Mac, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.07.31. "Old World" Macs can't boot directly into Linux. They need to boot the Classic Mac OS first, then pass control over to Linux.
- Preparing your PCI Power Mac for Linux, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.07.26. How powerful a CPU do you need? How much memory? Do you need a faster drive controller? Are some video cards better than others?
- Getting the Mac digital jukebox up and running, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.05.08. Connecting your PowerPC Mac to your rstereo and remote control options for running a headless digital audio jukebox.
- System 7.6.1 is perfect for many older Macs, John Martorana, That Old Mac Magic, 2006.03.24. Want the best speed from your old Mac? System 7.6.1 can give you that with a fairly small memory footprint - also helpful on older Macs.
- Web browser tips for the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.01.03. Tips on getting the most out of WaMCom, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, iCab, Opera, and WannaBe using the classic Mac OS.
- The best browsers for PowerPC Macs and the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2005.12.16. Two browsers stand out from the pack: iCab 3 is modern and remains under development, and WaMCom brings Mozilla to older Macs.
- How Big a Hard Drive Can I Put in My iMac, eMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, or iBook?, Dan Knight, Mac Daniel, 2005.10.24. A lot of older Macs don't know how to deal with drives over 128 GB in size. We look at three options.
- Sonata SD, Sonnet Tech, 2004.06.01. First new PCI video card for the Mac in ages sells for just US$99, supports OS 7.5.3 and later plus OS X 10.1.5 and later, works with VGA or old Mac monitors, 16 MB VRAM.
- StarMax-Talk, Yahoo! Groups. An email list for Motorola StarMax and related clones.
- Upgrading the StarMax 3000, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 1/26/01. The upgrade potential of the Motorola StarMax 3000 and 4000.
- Guide to G3 Accelerators for Level 2 Cache Slot
- Guide to G4 Accelerators for Level 2 Cache Slot
- Apple TIL 30720: Power Mac 4400 update 1.0
- Apple has released patch for OS 8.1 only on Power Mac 4400, 7220, Motorola StarMax, and Umax Aegis (an Asia-only model). It fixes problems with the HFS+ driver (which loads even when HFS+ volumes are not present) and the ATA Manager, which may result in your mouse click not registering or problems switching from a PC card. Read me and download.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
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the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ