CPUs: PowerPC G4

First available in the Power Mac G4 in late 1999, the G4 processor is to the G3 as the 604 was to the 603 – and then some! Like the 604, and unlike the G3, G4 is designed for multiprocessor operation. It also runs about 25% faster for basic floating point math calculations and has a built-in […]

CPUs: PowerPC G3

Arthur, legendary King of England, became the code-name for the third generation PowerPC (PPC) processor, eventually named the 740 and 750. The successor of the 603e, these third-generation CPUs were optimized to run real software, not for some theoretical ideal.

CPUs: PowerPC 604 and 604e

The “power user” second generation PowerPC (PPC) CPU was the 604, unveiled in December 1994 along with the 603. Containing 3.6 million transistors, drawing twice the power of the 601, and with a dual L1 cache (16 KB for instructions, 16 KB for data), this workhorse could deal with four instructions per cycle. The 604 […]

CPUs: PowerPC 603 and 603e

The second generation split the PowerPC (PPC) line into entry level 603 and power user 604 chips. The 603 has only 1.6 million transistors, draws about half as much power as the 601, has two smaller caches (8 KB for instructions, 8 KB for data vs. a 32 KB unified cache in the 601), and […]

CPUs: PowerPC 601

The biggest change in the Apple product line prior to 2006 was the transition from Motorola 680×0 CPUs to the PowerPC (PPC) family of CPUs. Designed by a consortium of Apple, IBM, and Motorola (a.k.a. the AIM Alliance) and based on IBM’s POWER architecture, PowerPC became the most widely used RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) processor with […]

1.4 GHz iMac: What Is Apple Thinking?

We’ve published our first article on the Mid 2014 21.5″ iMac with its 1.4 GHz low-power dual-core i5 CPU, and Chris Carson was not impressed with its value. I want to treat is as fairly and unemotionally as possible, so let’s take a closer look.

LibreOffice: A Free Alternative to Microsoft Office and AppleWorks

LibreOffice is a free alternative to the not-inexpensive Microsoft Office suite. I’m using it to replace AppleWorks, which I’ve been using since ClarisWorks 1.0 shipped back in the System 7.0 era. Unfortunately, AppleWorks is incompatible with OS X 10.7 Lion and later, so I’ve had to find an alternative since installing OS X 10.9 Mavericks […]

Best Android Weather Apps

As Low End Android’s new writer, I figure I should introduce myself. My name is Zach Elliott, and I’ve been a Low End Mac viewer since 2006 when I started collecting vintage Macs while in high school. After I graduated, I attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelors of […]

Can I Run OS X Lion If I Upgrade My Core Duo’s CPU?

Apple’s first generation of Intel-based Macs (not counting the pro-oriented 2006 Mac Pro and Xservv), is build around Intel’s first generation Core technology. Except for the seriously underpowered Core Solo Mac mini, they all use the Core Duo CPU and are thus unable to run the OS X 10.7 Lion installer – or anything newer. In fact, Apple won’t […]

CPUs: Motorola 68040

The Quadra 700 and 900 introduced the 68040 in 1991. In great part due to a much larger L1 cache (4 KB for data and 4 KB for instructions vs. 256 bytes in the 68030) and parts of the CPU running at twice clock speed, the 68040 provides 2.5-3 times the performance of the 68030 at […]

CPUs: Motorola 68030

Apple introduced the Mac IIx, which has a 16 MHz 68030 CPU, in September 1988. The 68030 incorporates the memory management unit (MMU), which was a separate chip for the 68020, giving the ‘030 the ability to use virtual memory (VM) with third-party software, although Apple didn’t include VM as part of the Mac OS until System 7 in […]

CPUs: Motorola 68020

Apple took a big step when it introduced the 68020-based Mac II in March 1987. The new computer was modular, not an all-in-one design like the first four Macs. In addition to 6 expansion slots, a huge power supply, color support, and room for two floppy drives and an internal hard drive, the Mac II runs its […]

CPUs: Motorola 68000

The earliest personal computers used 8-bitCPUs (central processing units). Apple, Commodore, Rockwell, and Atari designed their computers around the MOS Tech 6502; Radio Shack’s Color Computer used the Motorola 6809; and most others, including the Radio ShackTRS-80 and all CP/M computers, used the Zilog Z-80 or Intel 8080. All ran in the 1-4 MHz range and […]

Half a Lifetime with Macs

It’s my birthday, and I realized I’ve been using Macs for half my life. I was 28 years old when I first used a Mac Plus way back in 1986, along with PageMaker 1.0 and the original LaserWriter printer. And 28 years later, I know a lot more about Macs – and myself.