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Mac upgrade board uses G3 chip

Mactell is offering processor upgrade cards that use the PowerPC 750 processor found in the newest Macintosh systems.

Mactell, the Austin, Texas-based maker of Macintosh peripherals and processor circuit boards, said today it is offering redesigned processor upgrade cards that use the PowerPC 750 processor.

The redesigned card has technology that boosts the efficiency and speed at which data is moved between high-speed "cache" memory and a processor located on the same card. By reducing the need to access data on the main system board, performance is enhanced, the company said.

Potential users include professionals who do lots of video editing or other multimedia-intensive applications.

The new design also allows the processor card to be installed on computers that have a system bus (data path) that operates at more than 50 MHz, the speed at which most older Mac busses run. The new Power Mac G3 systems are the first Macs with a 66-MHz system bus.

Mactell said that the cards will work with Power Mac 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500, and 9600 systems, as well as a number of Mac clones from Motorola, Power Computing, and Umax.

The PowerJolt G3 Pro comes with 1MB of secondary cache memory and is priced starting at $899 for a 250-MHz processor with the cache operating at 125 MHz and goes up to $1,795 for a 300-MHz processor with the cache operating at 300 MHz for increased performance.

The PowerJolt G3 comes with 512K of cache and is priced from $549 to $895, depending on processor and cache speed.

Mactell is increasing its focus on processor and graphics cards, as it is now clearing out remaining inventories of Mac clones built on designs licensed from Motorola, a former Mac clone maker. Recently, it started offering a system with a 200-MHz PowerPC 603e with 16MB of memory, a 4GB hard disk drive, and a 24X CD-ROM for $749.