Motorola StarMax 3000

The 3000-series was Motorola’s entry-level Mac clone. Based on the Tanzania motherboard with a Power PC 603e CPU, they provided good performance at a lower price than the 604-based 4000-series. All models include an EDI hard drive, an ATAPI CD-ROM player, and an unprecedented (at least in the Mac OS world) five-year warranty.

Motorola StarMax 3000 tower copyright David Meuller, used under Creative Commons licenseThe most common complaints have been the quality of the case and noisiness. Overall, the StarMax has proven itself very reliable.

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.


  • 3000/160. 160 MHz 603e processor, desktop (DT) or tower (MT)
  • 3000/180. 180 MHz 603e processor, desktop or tower
  • 3000/200. 200 MHz 603e processor, desktop or tower
  • 3000/240. 240 MHz 603e processor, tower only


  • introduced 1996.09.17; discontinued 1997.07.01
  • requires System 7.5.3 through 9.1, excluding 7.5.5
  • CPU: 160-240 MHz PPC 603e
  • bus: 40 MHz
  • RAM: 16 MB standard in desktop configuration, 32 MB in towers, 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: 1 MB standard on desktops, 2 MB on towers. VRAM replaceable with 2 MB 3.3-volt EDO DRAM or 4 MB SGRAM card. (3000/240 ships with 4 MB VRAM.)
  • Video: 15-pin SVGA port; standard 1 MB VRAM supports thousands of colors at up to 800 x 600, 256 colors at up to 1152 x 870.
  • L2 cache: 256k, expandable to 512k (512k standard on 3000/240)
  • hard drive: EIDE, 1.2 MB standard in desktop configuration, 2.5GB in tower
  • 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

Online Resources

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