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Power Macintosh 8100/100 Processor Upgrade Page - Performance Of Latest G3 And G4 Processor Upgrades

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 - $4,599
  • Current Price

    Special Notes:

  • Came in optional AV model which includes AV video card and video in/out
  • RAM must be installed in pairs
  • Optional CD-ROM drive
  • PDS slot filled with video card


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.

The video setup was an interesting one. The logic board video borrowed RAM for display, up to 640K depending on resolution and color settings. The PDS slot housed a separate video card with 2MB VRAM (4MB max) making it easy to hook up two monitors at once. The best display, of course, came from the PDS card.

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 of the same speed 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 700MB to 2GB. A 2X CD-ROM was an option. 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.

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    Below you will find the MacBench 4.0 results for all of the current processor upgrades available for this machine. Results marked in Red indicate that benchmark results we provided by the upgrade manufacturer. All other results are from the results of our own testing. 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 8100/100 149
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/266/133/512K 798
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/266/133/1MB 925
    Sonnet Crescendo G4/300/150/1MB 1032
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/300/150/1MB 1035
    NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/300/200/1MB 1095
    Sonnet Crescendo G3/333/166/1MB 1141