processor upgrades Graphics Cards

Power Macintosh 6500/250  Processor Upgrade Page

PowerMac 6500/250 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: PPC 603e, 250MHz
  • Drive: 3 or 4GB ATA
  • Slots: Two 7" PCI, Comm II, TV/FM, Video
  • Installed RAM: 32MB
  • RAM Slots: 2, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 60ns
  • Introduced: 2/17/97
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,299 - 2,599

    Special Notes

  • Included internal modem
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Video out capable


The Power Macintosh 6500 family was introduced in the winter of 1997. There are 4 models, coming in four speeds; 225Mhz, 250Mhz, 275Mhz and 300Mhz, all based on the 603e chip. The machines came in the familiar Performa 6400 rounded tower form factor, and other than the speed difference, distinguished themselves from each other by varying hard drive sizes, amounts of installed RAM, L2 cache size, bundled software, and in the case of the 275Mhz machine, the inclusion of video out hardware.

Considered consumer machines, they were aimed at the small office and home market segments, and you could purchase machines with various software bundle options that would appeal to the different markets.

All 6500 machines have two 7" PCI slots, a Comm II slot, TV tuner slot and a video in slot. The Comm slot is occupied by a 33.6-Kbps Geoport modem (later models came with a 56Kbps modem). All machines were capable of video out. Some 6500 models come with an internal Zip

To accelerate 3D and 2D graphics performance, the machines came with ATI's 3D Rage II graphics chip. Installed VRAM is 2MB which is non-upgradeable. To get millions of colors at higher resolutions you will have to install a ATI graphics card with more VRAM. The system bus on the 6500s is 50Mhz, which is a 10Mhz speed bump from the 6400.

Internal Links

External Links










The maximum RAM that can be installed is 128MB, into two DIMM slots. The logic board is easily accessible and slides right out the back of the machine.

The machines were considered good, polished performers, but also, over-priced compared to the clone competition of the time.

The 6500/250 came with 32MB of RAM, 265K of L2 cache, a 3 or 4GB hard drive and a 12X or 24X CD-ROM drive.

When the 6500's were released their processors  were considered  non-upgradable. However clever companies have figured out how to use the L2 cache slot for processor upgrades and there are now several companies that have such L2 cache slot upgrades available.

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 score.

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card

MacBench 4.0 Processor Score

Power Macintosh 6500/250 336
Vimage PF G3/240/120/512K 729
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/240/120/512K 740
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/300/150/512K 930
MAXpowr G3-L2B 300/512K/150 975
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/300/150/1MB 1045
MAXpowr G3-L2B 300/1MB/200 1100
Vimage PF G3/300/1MB 1104
Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 400/200/1MB 1400
MAXpowr G3-L2B 400/1MB/200 1415