processor upgrades Graphics Cards

The MACh Speed G3z/400 Card from XLR8: Size Doesn't Matter...

General Impressions: The First thing that struck us when we unpacked this card was how small it was. We have tested several PCI upgrade cards in the past and compared to these the ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) card looks pretty insignificant. Don't let looks fool you though, this card packs a punch! It is unfortunate that the only machine we had available to test the ZIF card on was a G3/300. The results below are less striking than they would be on the slower G3 machines I suspect that this card is intended for. To give you an idea of the improvement you might expect on an older G3 we have included MacBench scores for the G3/233.

Installation: The ZIF card comes with an excellent manual that walks you through installation and fine tuning the performance of the card. Also included: a reusable grounding strap and "heat sink removal tool" a.k.a. screwdriver. Hang on to the grounding strap for RAM installations, PCI card installations etc. At first I thought it was a little

Supported Models

Apple: All G3 Desktop, Minitower and All-in-One systems

strange including a screwdriver but I could see somebody (myself included) using one that had a slight magnetic charge and wrecking the card. Removing the heat sink was the only part of the installation that made me slightly nervous but the manual had this step clearly explained and well illustrated. Replacing the old card with the XLR8 one was a snap after this, Zero Insertion is an apt name for these cards as they just drop into place. There are 4 jumper switches on the card that control the bus speed and ratio. A chapter of the manual explains the possible settings (up to 533MHz, at least in theory) and how to find a good speed/stability compromise. The backside cache is activated by a control panel instead of an extension. XLR8 also includes software for verifying your CPU and cache settings.

One last note: The G3/300 machine we used is supposedly the MacBench base machine and, as such, should have had scores around 1,000 for all the tests. The "Disk" and "Graphics" are far off this mark. The hard drive in our G3/300 was different than the base machine's but I am still puzzled by the graphics score. If you can explain the difference in the graphics scores swing by our Discussion Forum and let us know.

MacBench 5.0 Results
(Longer bars are better)








"Real World" Tests
(Shorter bars are better)



XLR8 Card Stats



Cooling System

Variable/Fixed Clock Rate

Tech Support


MACh Speed ZIF G3/400/1MB/200


Heat Sink


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2 Years