MaxxBoxx: The Biggest, Most Colorful, Least Known Mac Clones

One of the less well known Mac clone lines, MaxxBoxx was released in Germany in July 1997 to fill the needs of users with very demanding applications.

MaxxBoxx clones have 10 drive baysIn a stunning enclosure, the MaxxBoxx was easy to open and upgrade. The machine was built into a cube that was twice as wide as an ordinary mini tower with room for up to 10 drives.

Dimensions are estimated at about 15″ high, 16″ deep, and 12″ wide – more or less a wider version of the Power Mac 8500 (based on photos). That’s about 2,700 cubic inches, which makes it even larger than the Quadra 900/950/Power Mac 9500 at 2,050 cubic inches – and probably the largest Mac OS computers ever built. (If anyone has precise dimensions, please let us know in the comments. Thanks!)

MaxxBoxx clones came in 8 colorsAs if that weren’t enough, the MaxxBoxx company released the machines in different colors a year before the original iMac and two years before Apple started offering iMacs in more than one color.

Different models were based on Apple’s Tanzania II, Nitro, and Tsunami motherboards. Some contained as many as four 200 MHz 604e PowerPC processors – or just a single 200 MHz 604e. There were no low-end 603-based models.

MaxxBoxx had four basic models, most available in multiple processor configurations. They 860 and 960 can be upgraded with CPU daughter cards, while the 930 uses a ZIF socket for processor upgrades.

  • MaxxBoxx 730, single 200 MHz CPU, no CPU upgrade, only model with a 40 MHz bus
  • MaxxBoxx 860, single 200 or 225 MHz CPU or two 180 or 200 MHz CPUs, 50 MHz bus
  • MaxxBoxx 930, single 233, 266, or 333 MHz CPU, 66 MHz bus
  • MaxxBoxx 960, single 200 or 225 MHz CPU, two 180 or 200 MHz CPUs, or four 200 MHz CPUs; 50 MHz bus

MaxxBoxx Macintosh cloneAmong graphics and video professionals, the machine was very popular because it had so many drive bays and so many CPU options. It garnered a loyal and devoted following. The machines sold in limited quantities despite their cult status.

Hoping to funnel MaxxBoxx customers its high-end Power Mac 9600/MP, Apple canceled the company’s Mac OS license, but to no avail, as MaxxBoxx appears to have had a legitimate sublicense from Umax. A copy of BeOS and retail copy of Mac OS 8 went out with every machine.

Eventually, SuperMac had its Mac OS license revoked, and MaxxBoxx closed up shop on February 1, 1998.

Further Reading

Keywords: #maxxboxx

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