processor upgrades Graphics Cards

The MACh Speed Card from XLR8: Breaking the Sound Barrier

General Impressions: This is the fastest card we have tested to date and it sure felt like it too! The strongest area of improvement noted by Macbench 5.0 (scores below) was in the graphics department. Active scrolling in all of our applications lost that annoying stutter and became as smooth as silk. Performance gains were significant across the board, from finder functions to all of the applications we ran with the card installed. Overall the experience was akin to trading in your 1960's VW Bug for a Porsche. We should note that the results we list below are at a clock setting of 420MHz. This is above the default setting of 400MHz for this card. Overclocking may void your warranty. Click here for a performance comparison at the two clock settings.

Installation: This card comes with a row of 12 dip switches that control the bus speed and ratio. This was a bit intimidating at first but the card's manual has a frequency chart that lists all possible (as well as recommended) settings. If you don't feel bold enough to fiddle with the switches you can always leave them at their default. The backside cache is activated by a control panel instead of an extension. XLR8 also includes software for verifying your CPU and cache settings.

Stability: We had the card in our 9500 off and on for close to 4 weeks. In addition to running test programs we used it for gaming, site maintenance, web browsing etc. We never experienced any instability or problems during our use even though we were operating above the default 400MHz.

MacBench 5.0 Results





"Real World" Tests
(Shorter bars are better)


XLR8 Card Stats



Cooling System

Variable/Fixed Clock Rate

Tech Support


MACh Speed G3/400/1MB/200


Heat Sink


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2 Years