processor upgrades Graphics Cards

Power Macintosh 6500/250  Processor Upgrade And Discussion Page - Performance Of Latest G3 Processor Upgrades

PowerMac 6500/250 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: PPC 603e, 250MHz
  • L2 Cache: 265K
  • Data Path: 64-bit, 50MHz
  • Installed RAM: 32MB
  • RAM Slots: 2, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 60ns
  • Drive: 3 or 4GB ATA
  • CD Drive: 12X or 24X CD-ROM
  • Slots: Two 7" PCI, Comm II, TV/FM, Video
  • Ethernet: 10baseT
  • Introduced: 2/17/97
  • Discontinued: 4/98
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,299 - 2,599
  • Current Price
  • Special Notes

  • Included internal modem
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Video out capable
  • Remote control port
  • Two Geoports
  • Supported OS: 7.5.5 - 9.x


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 in/out hardware.

Considered consumer machines, they were aimed at the small office and home market segments. 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 came with an internal Zip drive.





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.

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.

TBelow you will find the MacBench 4.0 results for all of the current processor upgrades available for this machine. Results marked in blue indicate that benchmark results were done by us. All other 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.

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card

MacBench 4.0 Processor Score

Power Macintosh 6500/250 336
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/250/125/512K 775
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/300/150/512K 930
Sonnet Crescendo L2/PCI G3/350/175/1MB 1138
Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 400/200/1MB 1300
Newer MAXpowr G3-L2B 400/200/1MB 1415
Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 500/250/1MB 1625