Upgrade Options for a PowerBase and Hard Drive Options for a StarMax

1999 – It’s not every day we get questions about Mac clones. These were the first ones Mac Daniel received about Power Computing and Motorola StarMax clones.

What Upgrade Options Does a PowerBase Have?

Power Computing logoDL writes: We run a small family run business (desktop publishing, PR, and marketing).

We have two Power Computing PowerBase computers, both with 64 MB of RAM (180 & 240 MHz). We are running Mac OS 8.5.

It appears there are two G3 upgrade cards for these machines: Newer and PowerLogix 220’s.

  • Are there other cards available?
  • Do you have to modify the motherboard to get them to fit?
  • Do they fit into place as easy as RAM?
  • Is it likely that these will soon disappear from the market as newer faster upgrades arrive?

In other words, given the demise of Power Computing and the limited sales base of the PowerBase, how likely is it that companies will continue to provide upgrade options for our two PowerBase computers?

Mac Daniel writes: You picked a model I’m not very familiar with. However, a friend says the PowerBase models were among the best 603-based machines ever built.

Unfortunately, Power Computing used a unique connector on the CPU card, so it’s unlikely you’ll see many new accelerators made for it – if any. Newer and PowerLogix are the only ones I’ve heard of.

My advice: If you’re mostly happy with with your PowerBases but want more speed, the G3 prices are reasonable. The G3/220 will give you 50-90% better performance than the 603e/240 in your fastest PowerBase.

Installation should be a breeze, just like dropping in a PCI card or RAM.

Can I Put an Off-the-Shelf IDE Drive in My StarMax?

StarMax logoAW writes: I have a Motorola StarMax 3000/240 MT and am looking to add an additional hard drive. I am wondering if any of the off-the-shelf hard drives having IDE or EIDE support would work. The StarMax spec book lists support for IDE/EIDE drives. If it would work, then my question is whether the size of the drive would be compatible?

Mac Daniel writes: I have no experience replacing IDE drives in Mac OS computers, but those who do (especially people on Quadlist) tell me it’s pretty much plug-and-play to replace the drive. Any IDE drive that fits should work.

Keywords: #powerbase #starmax3000

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