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Umax revs up Mac clones

The clone maker says its new CacheDoubler speeds up its consumer models by as much as 25 percent.

Umax today announced a new technology to increase the performance of its Mac clones.

Umax CacheDoubler provides a 1MB, level-2 cache memory, doubling the standard 512KB size. The more cache memory a computer has, the better it performs. This is because the processor and cache work in close conjunction and are isolated from the rest of the computer. They therefore can communicate at a higher speed than the rest of the computer.

According to Umax, the new CacheDoubler architecture allows speed gains of up to 25 percent over comparable 603e-based machines.

The new technology will show up first in the C600x/240 and C600x/280 systems. Both systems use Motorola's 603e processor, a low-cost chip designed for the home market.

Available in July, the C600X/240 and C600x/280 will cost $1,995 and $2,395 respectively, pricetags that place them solidly in the mid-range consumer market.

Umax intends to eventually extend the technology to the rest of its computer line, including its home systems priced below $1,000 and its high-end multi-processor computers for graphics professionals.

Umax says the development of new, high-performance technology by a Macintosh licensee is proof that clone makers can produce technological innovation as well as copies of existing designs.

Other manufacturers, such as Power Computing, have also been increasing the performance of Macintosh systems. Power Computing has recently been able to produce high-end systems that outperform Apple's own desktops.

Apple originally expected Macintosh clone manufacturers to mainly produce low- to mid-range systems based on established designs, leaving the high-end market to Apple.

Umax has been producing Macintosh clones since early 1996 when it bought licensing rights from Radius.