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PowerTower Pro 180 Processor Upgrade Page

PowerTower Pro 180 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: 604e, 180 MHz
  • L2 Cache: 1MB
  • Drive: 2GB SCSI
  • Internal Fast SCSI up to 10MBps
  • Slots: 6 PCI
  • Installed RAM: 16MB (768 Max)
  • RAM Slots: 12, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 70 ns
  • Installed VRAM: 8MB - IMS TwinTurbo 128 card
  • Introduced: 7-96
  • Original Price: $4,195
  • Notes:

  • Memory capable of interleaving
  • 8GB RAID option

Additional Resources




The PowerTower Pro line, from Macintosh cloner Power Computing, introduced in the summer of 1996 were the machines that really worried Apple and perhaps sealed the fate of Power Computing and Mac cloning in general. Power Computing was consistently beginning to beat Apple to the market with faster, lower cost machines that garnering rave reviews from the Mac press. Though nothing special in terms of esthetics, the PowerTower Pro machines were basic, powerful and flexible work horses, aimed right at the high -end market - where Apple's biggest profit margins were. Apple eventually came the the conclusion that Power Computing was much more interested in taking market share away from Apple than in expanding the market in general. Apple killed off cloning just as it was about to really take off, putting an end to what it felt was largely a parasitic relationship.

The PowerTower Pros use the same motherboard that is found in the 9500s but were the first Macs to sport the 604e PPC Processor. The 604e was the faster successor to the 604 and has twice as much L1 cache as the 604. To take advantage of the faster processor a 1MB L2 cache was included with the machines. The PowerTower Pro machines shipped with 16MB of RAM which is

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expandable to 768MB in the 12 DIMM slots. Memory is capable of interleaving for slightly better processor performance. For graphics the machines had one of the fastest graphics cards of the time, the IMS Twin Turbo, with 8MB of graphics memory. The PowerTower Pros have 6 PCI slots.

The basic drive that shipped with the machines was a fast 2GB 7200 RPM AV drive, however there was a RAID option consisting of two 4GB drives which provided even better performance for those that required it. The CD-ROM drive is 8X

Below you will find the MacBench 4.0 results for most of the processor upgrades available for this machine. These results are what the individual manufactures publish for their cards. In other words the speed trials were run by the manufacturer. For an independent evaluation of these cards check the Processor Upgrade Page to see if we have results available. The bar graphs below express results as a percentage of improvement over the base machine, which receives a score of 100%. Further down the page you will find a table with the actual MacBench scores.

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card

MacBench 4.0 Processor Score

PowerTower Pro 180 398
Sonnet Crescendo G3/375/187/512K 1100
PowerLogix G3/350/175/1MB 1107
NewerTechnology MAXpower G4/350/175/1MB 1118
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/333/222/1MB 1150
Sonnet Crescendo G3/400/200/512K 1173
PowerLogix G4/400/200/1MB 1239
XLR8 MACh Speed G4/400/200/1MB 1259
PowerLogix G3/400/200/1MB 1265
NewerTechnology MAXpower G4/400/200/1MB 1278
Sonnet Crescendo G4/400/200/1MB 1290
Sonnet Crescendo G3/400/200/1MB 1294
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/400/200/1MB 1294
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/400/200/1MB 1327
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/450/225/1MB 1370
PowerLogix G4/450/225/1MB 1394
XLR8 MACh Speed G4/450/225/1MB 1417
NewerTechnology MAXpower G4/450/225/1MB 1436
Sonnet Crescendo G4/450/200/1MB 1451
PowerLogix G3/500/200/1MB 1462
PowerLogix G4/500/250/1MB 1549
XLR8 MACh Speed G4/500/250/1MB 1574
Sonnet Crescendo G3/500/250/1MB 1617
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/500/250/1MB 1618
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/500/250/1MB 1642

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Copyright 1996-2003 by Cider Press Publishing LLC all rights reserved. MacSpeedZone is not authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Computer. Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, iPod, iBook, iMac, eMac, and PowerBook are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Additional company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks and are hereby acknowledged.