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Review: Newer Tech's iMAXpowr G4/433 CPU Upgrade
World's First G4 CPU Upgrade for iMac 233 - 333MHz models
Pros: World's first iMac G4 CPU upgrade. System was 100% stable during extensive tests and provided a dramatic boost over the original CPU (see apps/games test results). Claimed to be OS X compatible. [OS X not released at time of review.] Includes video tape with step-by-step installation guide.
Newer Technology's iMAXpowr G4 CPU upgrade does what many may have thought we'd never see - allow iMac rev A through D (G3/233 to G3/333MHz models) owners to upgrade their CPU to a G4 reliably. Benchmark and Applications/Game performance was dramatically boosted after installing the iMAXpowr G4 upgrade. The final price of $549 (July 2000) depends upon the return shipping of the original processor to Newer Technology within fourteen days. Newer expects the supply of these upgrades to be limited to 500 units per week.
Since the iMAXpowr G4/433 runs at nearly twice the clock speed of my original iMac G3/233 (as well as having twice the backside cache), even without Altivec support performance improvements were impressive.
About OS 9 and G4 Upgrades: [NOTE: This review was written long before OS 9.1 was released - OS 9.1 does not have the extensions below (doesn't need them) and will remove them if they exist during an OS 9.1 update. For see this related article on OS 9.1.] As noted on my Nov 13th 1999 weekend news page and in the previous XLR8 G4/400 ZIF review, if you install OS 9 on a G4 CPU upgraded Mac, the 4 OS 9 Altivec extensions are not normally installed. (Note: These 4 extensions are only a part of OS 9.0 and OS 9.04 - not OS 9.1) These 4 used by OS 9.0 and OS 9.04 extensions are:
Although I'm told that selecting a customized OS 9 install and choosing a "Universal" OS 9 installation will install them, a simpler way is to use Tome Viewer to extract the specific files from the installer. Point Tome Viewer at Mac OS 9:Software Installers:System Software:Mac OS 9 Additions:Tome.
The iMAXpowr G4 is compatible with the following iMac versions:
Altivec support requires Mac OS 8.6 or later (OS 9.04 preferred). Newer Tech also notes the iMAXpowr is OS X compatible (they have beta tested it under OS X).
Test System Hardware Summary
Comparison System: I used an Apple iMac DV SE (reviewed previously) for performance comparisons. The DV SE iMac has a faster system bus (100MHz vs 66MHz), much larger hard drive and faster onboard controller as well as other features like firewire. See the previous review of that system for more details.
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