processor upgrades Graphics Cards

Power Macintosh 8100/100 Processor Upgrade Page

PowerMac 8100/100 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: PPC 601, 100 MHz
  • Drive: 700MB - 1GB SCSI
  • Internal Fast SCSI
  • Slots: 3 NuBus 1 PDS
  • Installed RAM: 8MB ( soldered to motherboard)
  • Max RAM 264MB
  • RAM Slots: 8, 72-pin SIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 80 ns
  • 256 L2 Cache
  • 2MB VRAM (Max 4MB) 
  • Introduced: 1-3-95
  • Discontinued: 10-14-95
  • Initial Price: $4,399

    Special Notes:

  • Came in optional AV model which includes AV video card and video in/out
  • RAM must be installed in pairs


The 8100 family of PowerMacs came in three flavors: a 80Mhz model, a 100Mhz model and a 110Mhz model. In addition the 80Mhz and 100Mhz models could be purchased as AV machines which meant that the PDS slot contained a AV card with 2MB of VRAM rather the standard PDS video card that came with other models. When they were introduced, the 8100's were Apple's top of the line machines, marketed primarily to high-end DTP, graphics, prepress and multimedia professionals.

The brain of the machines is the 601 PowerPC chip (which was soon to become eclipsed by the 604 and 603 follow-ons). The 8100/110 sported an enhanced version of the 601, the 601+, that was smaller, used less power and ran cooler than the standard 601.

The machines come with 3 NuBus slots, which were somewhat hamstrung on the two slower machines. Three factors contributed to throughput that was less than half that of a high end Quadra: flawed controller circuitry and ROMs and a clock speed that that did not synchronize well with the 20MHz NuBus. The controller chip on the 110 model was redesigned making for better performance and more stability with many high-end NuBus cards.

Installed RAM varies from 8MB to 16MB and in all cases 8MB of RAM is soldered to the motherboard. RAM must be installed in pairs and maximum RAM is 264MB. There are 8 RAM slots. The machines came with 256K of L2 cache. Standard VRAM was 2MB but can be expanded to 4MB. Hard drive sizes range from 250MB to 2GB and all models came with 2X CD-ROM drives. The 8100's tower cases have one free drive bay which can accommodate 1 full height drive or two half height drives. Internal SCSI support and standard Ethernet are onboard.

  • Internal Links
  • External Links

    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 8100/100 (estimated) 149
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/220/110/512K 648
    NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/210/105/512K 650
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/250/125/512k 775
    NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/240/160/1MB 875
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/300/150/512k 930
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/300/150/1MB 1047