The SuperMac C500 (known as the Apus 2000 series in Europe and Asia) was Umax’s entry level computer, perhaps the model that best met their corporate goal of making quality Mac OS computers at prices that could give PCs a run for their money. It may have been the least expensive Mac OS computer of its era.
Initially introduced with 140 MHz PowerPC 603e CPU in August 1996, Umax was selling 240 MHz models by November 1997. The C500 was designed around a modified Tanzania motherboard. It has two PCI expansion slots on a daughter card.
Tanzania-based computers will not boot with a dead 4.5V PRAM battery. Try replacing the battery before attempting to replace the power supply on a “dead” C500.
Not only was the C500 affordable, but it was the least expensive Mac clone with an upgradable CPU (and the first to use a ZIF socket).
Umax was the only clone maker to acquire a Mac OS 8 license from Apple, and version 5 installer CDs shipped with Mac OS 8.
- C500/140 (Apus 2140). 140 MHz CPU, 35 MHz bus
- C500/160 (Apus 2160). 160 MHz CPU, 40 MHz bus
- C500/180 (Apus 2180). 180 MHz CPU, 36 MHz bus
- C500/200. 200 CPU, 40 MHz bus
- C500/240 (Apus 2240). 240 CPU, 40 MHZ bus
- C500LT models are a second generation design introduced in 1997
- C500e models include ethernet
- C500i models include a 33.6k external modem
- C500/140 introduced 1996.08.07, discontinued 1997.05.09
- C500/160 introduced 1996.09.24, discontinued 1997.07.01
- C500/180 introduced 1996.10.01, discontinued 1997.05.09
- C500e/180 introduced 1997.05.09, discontinued 1997.08.01
- C500i/180 introduced 1997.05.09, discontinued 1997.10.01
- C500e/200 and C500i/200 introduced 1997.08.04; discontinued 1998.03.01
- C500LT/140 introduced 1997.05.09, discontinued 1997.08.01
- C500LT/180 introduced 1997.05.09, discontinued 1997.08.01
- C500LT/200 introduced 1997.04.04, discontinued 1998.03.01
- C500/240 and C500e/240 introduced 1997.11.03, discontinued 1998.08.31
- requires System 7.5.3 through 9.1
- CPU: 140-240 MHz 603e
- bus: 35-40 MHz
- CPU performance, MacBench 5.0 (Beige G3/300 = 1000): 268 (180 MHz), 317 (240), 428 (240 w/CacheDoubler)
- RAM: 16-32 MB (16 MB on motherboard), expandable to 144 MB using two 168-pin DIMMs and 70ns or faster 5 volt EDO or fast-page (FPM) DRAM, 1 MB dedicated to video memory
- Video: RAM-based built-in video, 1 MB fixed, supports 16-bit color to 800 x 600 and 8-bit to 1024 x 768
- L2 cache: 256k, upgradable to 1 MB
- hard drive: 1.2-3 GB IDE
- CD-ROM: 8x (140-200 MHz LT), 12x (200 MHz), or 24x (240 MHz) SCSI drive
- ADB: 1 port for keyboard and mouse
- two miniDIN-8 GeoPorts on back of computer
- DB-25 SCSI connector on back of computer with SCSI-2 support
- PCI slots: 2
- ethernet: optional, uses PCI slot
- size (H x W x D): 4.0″ x 13.75″ x 16.0″ (101 x 349 x 406mm)
- weight: 16 lb. (7.2 kg)
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to Mac OS 9, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.05.12. Mac OS 9 remains fast and stable, but Classic software hasn’t kept up with the changing internet. Which Macs support OS 9, where to buy it, and how to update to 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.
- OS X on a SuperMac C600, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2003.04.29. How to put OS X on a SuperMac C500, C600, or Performa 6400.
- iCab stability, MacMail, the CD-RW specification, Word 5.1 on a TiBook, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2002.11.13. Info on finding the SuperMac C500’s battery.
- SuperMac Insider
- Installing CacheDoubler in a SuperMac C500
- Benchmarks: SuperMac C500. Also applies to C600. Tests 603e/200, 603e/240, and Cache Doubler.
- SuperMac C500/600 Upgrades
- Guide to G3 Accelerators for Level 2 Cache Slot
- Upgrades: SuperMac C500, MacSpeedZone
- PowerJolt G3/280 for Umax C500/600 (Apus 2000/3000), Accelerate Your Mac!, 3/26/99. Application tests show twice the performance of the 180 MHz 603e.
- Mac OS 8.5 Issues on Umax SuperMac
- Vimage G3/240 upgrade
- Newer Technologies G3 tested in Umax C500, Accelerate Your Mac
- SuperMacs email list
- When upgrading RAM, avoid 4K refresh memory, choosing 2K memory instead. EDO memory is preferable to FPM memory, since the 16 MB on the motherboard is already EDO RAM.
- Although CacheDoubler does great things for performance, field reports indicate you cannot use a USB PCI card with CacheDoubler installed.
- The version of FWB Hard Disk Toolkit that ships with the SuperMac may not be compatible with Mac OS 8 or later. You must use version 2.0.6 or later only if you are using a SCSI hard drive (with the IDE drive, use Apple’s Drive Setup that ships with system 8.0, 8.1, or 8.5.1), available on the software updates page. Be sure to install it on your SCSI hard drive before you run the OS 8 installer. Also, you must be sure that you do not update the driver on your hard drive during OS 8 installation. Using an incompatible version of FWB HDT or using the Apple driver on the drive that came with the SuperMac may so damage the hard drive structure that you will have to reformat it and reinstall everything. (As always, you should do a full backup before installing new drivers or updating your operating system.)
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