Should I Accelerate My StarMax Clone or Buy an iMac?

1998 – TG writes: Current system: Motorola StarMax 3000 with 200 MHz 603e, 32 MB RAM, 4 MB VRAM onboard. Thinking: Vimage G3/240 processor upgrade, 32 MB more RAM, PCI video card with 2D-3D acceleration (total upwards of $700). Or buy an iMac.

Whaddaya think?

Bondi iMacMac Daniel writes: Let’s start with the iMac. The current revision comes with a Rage Pro graphics chip and 6 MB VRAM, which is better than you have now, but no match for some of today’s 3D cards. With an extra 32 MB of memory, you’re probably looking at $1,299.

Motorola StarMax desktopYou already own the StarMax 3000, so the only expense would be the accelerator, memory, and video card. At your estimate of $700, it’s quite a bit less expensive than an iMac.

The other factors are what your StarMax might be worth on the used market (I haven’t seen any listed, but based on comparisons with the Performa 6400, probably somewhere around $500), the future of the StarMax, and the future of the Macintosh.

If you sold your StarMax and monitor for $600 and bought a 64 MB iMac for $1,300, your net cost is the same $700 as upgrading your current system. Performance would be comparable, but the iMac can probably be upgraded to 300 MHz or beyond at some point. And it will be able to run Mac OS X.

On the other hand, as time goes by your StarMax will depreciate slowly, while a used iMac will drop in price as newer models arrive with even more standard features or lower price tags.

With the Mac’s 15th anniversary coming in January 1999, I’d suggest you hold off until Apple announces its early 1999 lineup.

Keywords: #starmax #motorolastarmax

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