My Turn

Old Power Mac Reaches 800 MHz

Maxwell M Cabral - 2002.09.30

My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

Sure, tons of 800 MHz and faster Macs have left Cupertino, but not as many as the number of slower Macs people have bought. There are millions of slower "New World" Macs, such as B&W G3s and slot loading iMacs, not to mention the countless other PCI Power Macs and clones. Most of these have been left behind by not only the 800 MHz G4, but also by the now shipping dual 1.25 GHz machines.

Luckily, Sonnet and others have come up with new upgrades to keep us from having to buy new computers. One good example is the Sonnet Crescendo/PCI G4 inside the 7300 I'm writing this on.

It's currently a 7300 G4/800 with 1 GB of RAM. I would call this amount of RAM a luxury, but it does help when your running a lot of RAM hungry applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Quark.

As for the upgrade card, it comes with the 7455 variant of the G4, which comes with L2 and L3 cashes. Everything feels really fast and a lot smoother, even though there had been a 400 MHz G3 in the 7300 before this upgrade.

Installation was fast and simple: Just install the software and swap out the cards.

Now that the G4 card is in there and were running hard and fast, OS X is going to be the next step. I definitely think that this card is worth its US$400 price. It feels as fast as a new Mac and is cheaper.

If your shopping for a new Mac, consider this option, but keep an eye out on the rumors - if there's a new Power Mac based on a faster G4 or the new IBM chip coming in January, wait for them so the prices will drop even lower on 7500s and similar models.

This is just a hint: Baucom Computers has great deals on PCI Macs. And don't forget to put in at least 256 MB of RAM.

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