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Power Macintosh G3

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The last of the traditional beige style cases. The tower model shares the design of the Power Macintosh 8600, and the desktop model shares the design of the Power Macintosh 7600.

The Power Macintosh G3 series features exciting Apple innovations in processor technology and system architecture that significantly increase both performance and flexibility, to enhance your productivity and encourage your creativity. Like the processors that power them, these systems are designed to turn your ideal vision of powerful computing into affordable reality.

Built upon the PowerPC G3 -- the next-generation of PowerPC technology, and the first processor optimized for the Mac OS -- these computers dramatically alter the price/performance equation. And by incorporating a new approach to cache memory, the Power Macintosh G3 models can provide nearly twice the performance of systems based on the PowerPC 603e processor -- an improvement that far exceeds the increases in clock speed alone. In addition, these computers feature a new logic board design with a faster system bus, to maximize their power -- and yours.

General Information

These computers use the innovative, next-generation PowerPC G3 processor, which was designed specifically to provide increased power at affordable cost. It does so through three major innovations: a state-of-the-art 0.25-micron manufacturing process, optimization for the Mac OS, and a new, more efficient approach to level 2 cache known as backside cache. Backside cache boosts performance far above the performance of earlier systems — even those with higher clock speeds — by positioning the cache directly on the processor module and making it directly accessible through a faster, dedicated bus. This bus can run at varying speeds in proportion to the processor speed. So, for example, the Power Macintosh G3 system based on a 266-megahertz PowerPC G3 processor features a 133-megahertz dedicated backside bus — more than twice the speed of the system bus.


PowerPC G3 microprocessor running at a clock frequency of 233 MHz, 266 MHz, 300 MHz, and 333 MHz depending on model and configuration. 66 MHz Apple RISC system bus.

  • 117- or 133-MHz dedicated 64-bit backside bus
  • Integrated floating-point unit and 32K level 1 on-chip data and instruction caches


0 MB soldered on the main logic board; expandable to 768 MB using 64-bit (non-parity) 168-pin JEDEC-standard 3.3-volt unbuffered SDRAM (synchronous dynamic access memory) DIMM (dual inline memory module) cards. Three DIMM card slots are provided for DRAM expansion. A minimum of 32 MB of RAM is installed in one of the DIMM card slots.


Uses the ATI RAGE II+ chip. 2 MB synchronous graphics RAM (SGRAM) frame buffer on the main logic board. Video memory can be expanded to 4 MB or 6 MB with an optional 2 MB or 4 MB SGRAM graphics memory module.

Built-in 2D and 3D hardware graphics acceleration using the ATI 3D RAGE II+DVD or ATI 3D RAGE PRO-PCI graphics controller. Software support through Macintosh QuickDraw 3D and QuickDraw 3D RAVE (rendering acceleration virtual engine) APIs. The ATI 3D RAGE II+DVD graphics controller is the graphics controller used in the original Power Macintosh G3 computer.


512 KB or 1 MB of back-side second-level (L2) cache on processor module (depending on model and configuration). The cache runs at one half the clock frequency of the microprocessor. For example, the cache would run at 166.5 MHz on a 333 MHz processor module.


PCI card expansion slots: the modular and minitower enclosures accept three 12-inch PCI cards; three 15-watt cards or two 25-watt cards.



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See Also

The Power Macintosh Series from Apple Computer
Power Macintosh 4400 -- Power Macintosh 5200 -- Power Macintosh 5260 -- Power Macintosh 5300 -- Power Macintosh 5400 -- Power Macintosh 5500 -- Power Macintosh 6100 -- Power Macintosh 6200 -- Power Macintosh 6300 -- Power Macintosh 6360 -- Power Macintosh 6400 -- Power Macintosh 6500 -- Power Macintosh 7100 -- Power Macintosh 7200 -- Power Macintosh 7300 -- Power Macintosh 7500 -- Power Macintosh 7600 -- Power Macintosh 8100 -- Power Macintosh 8500 -- Power Macintosh 8600 -- Power Macintosh 9500 -- Power Macintosh 9600 -- Power Macintosh G3