Clone makers have been able to ship large numbers of the most expensive and powerful computer systems in the Mac market while Apple has struggled to manufacture its high-end Power Macintosh 8600 line in adequate quantities.
"In general, clone manufacturers are definitely helping the Mac market by providing an alternative when Apple can't ship or doesn't have the configurations people want. That probably keeps people in the Mac fold. In terms of whether anybody is really expanding the market, they are expanding the market very little if at all," according to Kevin Hause, an analyst with International Data Corporation.
Umax has also been aggressively targeting the consumer market with systems priced below $1,000, but much of the demand has been at the high end of the market, according to resellers. To satisfy those in markets such as desktop publishing and content creation, the company is introducing the SuperMac S910/250 with 250-MHz 604e Power PC processor.
The S910/250 is also the first high-end Umax system that can be upgradable to Umax CacheDoubler technology. CacheDoubler provides a 1MB secondary cache memory, doubling the standard 512KB size, with extremely high speeds. The more cache memory a computer has, the better it performs.
The new system comes with 64MB of memory, a 4GB hard drive, a 24X CD-ROM, internal Zip drive and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet card. Umax says it is upgradable to a dual-processor system as well.
The company already sells an older version 250-MHz processor in the S900, which uses more power and does not have the CacheDoubler technology.
Umax says the new model will be available in early August through retail stores, value-added resellers, and catalog sales. The estimated price will be $4,395.