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Motorola ships new Mac clones

The company releases new StarMax models with technology it developed with Apple.

Motorola has started to ship a new line of Macintosh-compatible systems based on an updated design it developed jointly with Apple.

Motorola's StarMax 5000 line uses the newer Tanzania II design, based on a new motherboard--the computer's main circuit board--that increases the overall speed of the system.

Specifically, the data path (referred to as a "bus") that handles the data flow between the processor and memory now runs at 50 MHz, an increase over older 40-MHz Tanzania Macintosh systems. The systems also use faster Motorola 603e and 604e processors running at speeds of up to 300 MHz.

Also, on the new motherboard is an ATI Rage 3d II+ graphics chip for accelerated video graphics performance.

The new 5000 line consists of desktop systems running at speeds from 225 MHz to 300 MHz. All the systems use the 603e processor, except for the 5500/200, which uses the 604e chip.

The systems come in a minitower case and include a 16X CD-ROM drive, a 2.5GB or 4.3GB hard drive, a built-in Ethernet adaptor, 32MB of memory, and an Iomega Zip drive.

Prices on the new systems range from $1,999 to $3,399.

The 5000 series will ship with Apple's MacOS 7.6 loaded on the hard drives, despite the fact that a major revision of the operating system will ship later this week.

Apple itself held back the shipment of some computers, notably its new 2400/180 subnotebook, so that the new MacOS 8.0 could be included.