PowerMac 8600/250 Facts at a Glance
- Processor: 604e, 250MHz
- Bus Speed: 50 MHz
- L2 Cache: 1MB In-line (100MHz)
- Installed RAM: 32MB (Max 1 GB*)
- RAM Slots: 8, 168-pin DIMM
- Min RAM Speed: 70 ns
- Installed VRAM: 2MB (Max 4 MB)
- Drive: 4GB SCSI
- Internal Fast SCSI up to 10MBps
- CD Drive: 24X
- Network: On-board AAUI and 10baseT
- Slots: 3PCI
- Drive Bays: 2 (5.25") (Zip drive occupies one)
- Introduced: 8/5/97
- Discontinued: 12/97
- Original Price: $3,700
- *128MB DIMMs can be used, but have not been tested
- Video in/out capable
- In-line cache
- Internal Zip Drive
February 15, 2001
The 8600/250 was put on the market in the late summer of
1997. It sported two innovations related to processor performance.
The first was a reworking of the Processor itself, the venerable
604e - shrinking it down in size. This reengineered chip was
the short-lived Mach 5 version of the 604e.
Shrinking the chip down substantially, made is possible to
run it at higher clock speeds. To take advantage of these
higher clock speeds, however, another innovation was necessary
in the L2 cache structure - so that the processor would get
data fast enough. To achieve this Apple used an in-line cache
scheme with a direct 100Mhz bus between the L2 cache and the
processor (twice the system bus speed). This in-line cache
scheme appeared only on the high end 8600 and 9600 machines
and also some UMAX clones. It died out however soon after
the appearance of the G3 machines, as did 604e Mach 5 processor
based machines themselves.
The processor and cache sit on a separate daughter card and
thus are easily replaced with any of the many new G3 upgrades
made for this machine. The 8600/250 has 3 PCI slots, 8 RAM
DIMM slots, built-in Ethernet and internal Fast SCSI support.
It came with 32MB of RAM, 2MB of Video RAM (expandable the
4MB, for more colors at higher resolution, using 1MB modules)
and 1MB of in-line cache. For drives, the machine has a 4GB
SCSI hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive. The 8600 is also video
in/out capable having both composite and S-video connectors.
Getting to the machine's upgrade slots is very easy.
The 8600/250 was considered a good solid machine, and its
innovations were lauded. However, at the time clone makers
were already previewing G3 based machines and certain Mac
publications, while praising the 8600 highly, suggested you
give them a pass and wait for the G3 clones to arrive. It
is not hard to see why, given this kind of advice from many
influential Mac sources, that Apple pulled the plug on cloning
only a short while later.
Below you will find the MacBench 4.0 results for the current
processor upgrades available for this machine. Results marked
in blue indicate that benchmark results were done by us. All
other processor card results were provided by the upgrade
manufacturer. 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 score.
** Note that MacBench does not take advantage
of the Velocity Engine (AltiVec instructions) of the G4. For
AltiVec accelerated applications
you can see a 1.5 to 4 times performance improvement over
the G3, depending on the application and the functions you
are trying to perform.
For G4 Application specific scores - Click