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The Power Macintosh Advantage

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Power Macintosh computers offer unprecedented levels of performance

With the introduction of the PowerPC 601 processor line in Macintosh computers, Apple created the Power Macintosh line, the first personal computers to integrate the PowerPC processor with an industry-standard operating system. PowerPC processors streamline the internal workings of computers through a technology known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing). And they offer significant performance increases and new capabilities, while preserving compatibility with existing software and peripherals.

Apple computers based on PowerPC processors offer these key advantages:

  • Breakthrough price/performance value. In a comparison of processors, the PowerPC 601 chip (the first PowerPC processor) has a price/performance advantage over competitors based on CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing) technology. Power Macintosh and Apple's other PowerPC processor-based computers are designed to provide faster performance than CISC-based computers at the same price.
  • A smooth transition for current Macintosh, DOS, and Windows users. Apple and third-party developers are offering a variety of affordable upgrades for existing Macintosh models. Customers can purchase Macintosh computers based on the Motorola 68000 family of processors with the confidence that they can upgrade when they're ready. In addition, SoftWindows software from Insignia Solutions allows Apple's PowerPC processor-based computers to run Windows 3.1 or MS-DOS 6.2 applications. And the Power Macintosh 6100/66 DOS Compatible provides hardware-level compatibility with MS-DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1 software-based applications through its built-in 486DX2 processor.
  • High-performance applications. Software developers have designed more than 500 applications specifically to take advantage of the performance capabilities of the PowerPC processor. These applications run up to six times faster than conventional Macintosh applications designed for 68040-based systems.

Power Macintosh computers outperform comparable personal computers with a Pentium processor running Windows 3.1

At the heart of any Power Macintosh computer is a powerful PowerPC processor. The following points summarize how Power Macintosh computers with the PowerPC 601 processor outperform Intel Pentium processor-based computers running Windows 3.1. ("A Performance Comparison: Apple Power Macintosh Computers vs. Intel Pentium Processor-Based Computers Running Windows" by Ingram Laboratories, February 1995)

  • Overall, the Power Macintosh computers were 38 percent faster than PCs based on Pentium processors of equivalent clock speed.
  • In the category of graphics and publishing applications, the Power Macintosh 8100/110 was 92 percent faster than a PC based on a 100-megahertz Intel Pentium processor.

Power Macintosh computers are compatible with Macintosh and Windows software-based systems

  • Power Macintosh computers are the most compatible systems on the market. In addition to running System 7, they run virtually all your existing Macintosh software with no modification whatsoever. And Power Macintosh computers are compatible with existing Macintosh cards, cables, printers, system software extensions, and networking hardware and software.
  • Power Macintosh computers have advanced compatibility features built right into the system software. For example, Macintosh PC Exchange software, included with Macintosh System 7.5, lets you open, edit, and print MS-DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1 files using your Power Macintosh.
  • The Power Macintosh 6100/66 DOS Compatible runs applications for MS-DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1, in addition to applications for the Mac OS. This computer comes with a built-in 66-megahertz 486DX2 processor, to provide hardware-level compatibility with MS-DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1 software-based applications. And because it also uses a PowerPC 601 processor, this system lets you run virtually any software you want to, including applications optimized to take advantage of the PowerPC processor's high performance.
  • The DOS Compatibility Card, which includes a 486DX2 processor, gives your Power Macintosh 6100 or Macintosh Performa 6100 series computer the same MS-DOS and Windows compatibility as the Power Macintosh 6100/66 DOS Compatible.
  • Several third-party products also provide DOS and Windows compatibility for Power Macintosh. Through SoftWindows software (available from Insignia Solutions), Power Macintosh computers can run standard-mode MS-DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1 software-based applications at speeds comparable to those of entry-level PCs based on the 80386 and 80486 processors.
  • Apple has implemented an affordable, comprehensive upgrade path to PowerPC for existing Macintosh and PowerBook computers -- so you can still buy and support Macintosh computers based on the Motorola 68000 family of microprocessors without missing out on the advantages of PowerPC technology.

Power Macintosh computers can run hundreds of applications at an exceptionally fast rate

  • Software developers worldwide are redesigning applications -- and creating new ones -- to take advantage of the performance capabilities of the PowerPC processor, resulting in the largest library of mainstream applications designed specifically for a RISC platform. These applications can run up to six times faster than the applications you use on today's 680x0-based Macintosh computers.
  • Computational-intensive RISC-based applications for tasks such as three-dimensional modeling and scientific visualization offer much higher performance than their CISC-based counterparts.
  • The high performance of the PowerPC processor also enables developers to add new features to these applications. In this way, PowerPC technology helps advance the boundaries of software capabilities and opens the doors to innovation.

See Also