I Want to Upgrade My Power Mac 7500

1998 – GS writes: I was interested to read your advice to a 7200 owner saying that he would be better off upgrading to a 7500. I have a 7500 and am mulling some upgrade questions.

  1. I have the built-in 500 MB hard drive that came with the machine. I’m out of space (even using my external Zip). Do I replace the functioning internal drive I have? Do I go external? Should I make a long-term investment in the faster versions of SCSI my current system can’t handle?
  2. Then there’s that G3 chip. Boy, it’s fast. I have one at work. Do I put one into the 7500?
  3. Lastly, when my machine came out, there was a lot of talk about the fact that it didn’t have an L2 cache. Is this something I should be looking at?

Like so many, I covet the new G3s, but I can’t rationalize the expense when my 7500 is still performing adequately.

Power Mac 7500Mac Daniel writes: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s G3. ;-)

  1. You can add a second internal drive to the 7500, right below the current drive. I’ve seen some great deals on new drives that simply aren’t as big as today’s hot drives: 1.2 GB Apple drives for US$99, 3-4 GB drives for under US$200. And by putting the drive inside the computer, you take advantage of the faster internal SCSI-2 bus (external is SCSI-1, which has only half as much bandwidth).
  2. You haven’t mentioned how fast your 7500 is today. If you have a 601 card and just find it a bit slow, there are great deals on 604 and 604e cards pulled to make way for G3 upgrades in somebody else’s Power Mac. And some of the G3 cards are now under US$400, making them very tempting.
  3. Yes, unless you’re adding a G3 upgrade, you absolutely want to have an L2 cache in your 7500. You can probably pick up a 256 KB cache for under US$25, but a 1 MB will offer up to 50% more speed than that for around US$100. (I wouldn’t have believed it, but then I put one in my 7600 at work. Wow!)

As a Mac user on a budget, I always recommend staying at least one step behind the state of the art (a.k.a. the bleeding edge). Computers are much more affordable and better values a step or two from the overpriced bleeding edge. Especially with a computer like the 7500, you have so many upgrade options that it’s hard to justify replacing it.

Keywords: #powermac7500

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