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MAXpowr PB ModuleRating
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Review:Newer Tech's PowerBook G3 466MHz CPU Upgrade
First Shipping CPU Upgrade for PowerBook Wallstreet & Lombard models
By Mike
Published: 8/30/2000
Review Summary and Final Comments
Intro | Benchmarks | Appl/Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design | Summary
The Final Word

UPDATE Jan. 2001: As readers know from reports on the main www.xlr8yourmac.com news page, Newer Tech is now closing so these upgrades are no longer being manufactured. The links in this review, pricing, etc. are therefore not valid. PowerLogix however is still making a similar PB CPU upgrade which requires no trade-in. See the BlueChip G3/500 review for more info.

For owners like me that love the older Wallstreet Powerbooks, this upgrade can deliver performance in most apps about equal to a new PowerBook G3/500. (It can't match the 3D/game performance of the newer model's faster graphics chip however, nor the battery life, but I have several batteries already and use this machine for non-gaming apps almost exclusively.)

If you have lots of legacy devices (SCSI, ADB, etc.) and love the solid construction of the Wallstreet series and it's better keyboard, the Newer Tech MAXpowr G3 upgrade deserves serious consideration.

One friend in California said something to me in a recent phone call that I wanted to mention here. He asked if I was going to buy one of these upgrades, saying that since it's my most used Mac (daily for over 2 years now), I'd actually get more benefit from this upgrade than upgrades for my other Macs - a very good point. Had my PCcard slots not went south just before the review, I'd probably have bought this upgrade, but I have to get that repaired first. Then I'll probably be installing a CPU upgrade in this Wallstreet permanently. There's still a lot of life left in this Powerbook that was donated by readers back in the summer of 1998. It's my most prized possession for that reason, and the fact it's the machine I rely on every day.

As of this original review date, Powerlogix's Powerbook upgrade was not shipping yet (I saw one running at Macworld NY), but I intend to review that one as well if possible. [I later posted a BlueChip G3/500 review.] It requires no CPU module return, using a ROM extraction from your old module to flash into the new Module. If Apple doesn't protest (legally) this method, I suspect Newer may eventually follow suit which would eliminate the need to return your CPU module for upgrading. (The potential legal issue with the reuse/flashing of the Rom code is because you then have 2 copies - one in your original module and one in the upgrade - which if the original module were sold to another person would be a violation of the Rom/software licensing I suspect.)

= Newer Technology PB MAXpowr G3 Upgrade =

Pros:

  • First shipping upgrade for PB 1998/1999 models
  • Dramatic speed boost (especially welcome for iMovie)
  • No negative effect on Battery run-time
  • Requires no cache control software
  • OS X compatible (according to Newer Tech)
  • Allows you to retain your legacy interface PB while running CPU speeds about equal to the fastest PB G3/500 available now (Aug. 2000)

Cons:

  • Requires returning your existing CPU module so your Powerbook will be down for about a week
  • PB design makes installation a bit more difficult than desktop systems
  • Can't overcome bottlenecks like ATI RageLT graphics chip in older Powerbooks.

Availability/Pricing:

(Update: about 6 months after this review was published Newer Tech closed their doors. This upgrade is no longer manufactured. Some retailers may have stock, but there is no warranty/support from Newer anymore that I am aware of.)


I hope this review has provided you with sufficient information on all aspects of the product, but if you have any further questions or comments you may contact me by email at: newsNOSPAM@xlr8yourmac.com.


Related Links:

See the Systems, IDE and Firewire pages for other PowerBook related reviews and articles. For reviews of other CPU upgrades at this site, see my CPU Upgrades page. The home page (www.xlr8yourmac.com) has links to reviews of Systems, SCSI, IDE, Firewire, Video cards (incl. 3Dfx), Game related articles, a 700+ Questions Answered FAQ and some of the most useful daily news on the net (updated most every day, several times a day usually).

Also check out my unique searchable databases of reader's CPU Upgrade Ratings/Reviews (4,400+ reports as of August 2000), Mac Drive Compatibility Reports (CD/HD/DVD/CDRW/Tape), Game Reviews and Video card/Game Performance. No other site has these features. Thanks for stopping by!


Index of MAXpowr PB G3 CPU Upgrade Review

Intro | Benchmarks | Appl/Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design | Summary

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