processor upgrades Graphics Cards

Power Macintosh 8500/180 Processor Upgrade Page

PowerMac 8500/180 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: 604e, 180 MHz
  • Drive: 2GB SCSI
  • Internal SCSI: Fast SCSI 10MB per sec
  • Slots: 3 PCI
  • Installed RAM: 16MB or 32MB
  • RAM Slots: 8, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 70 ns
    • Notes: 128MB DIMMs can be used, but have not been tested.
  • Installed VRAM: 2MB
  • On-board AAUI and 10baseT
  • Composite and S-video
  • Introduced: 8-5-96
  • Initial Retail Price: $3,999


The Power Macintosh 8500/180 represented a speed bump for an already existing Macintosh model. Part of the second generation PowerMac family it was released in the summer of 96 when there was a great deal of competition from the then existing Macintosh clone makers, such as Power Computing. The 8500 was considered a good, if expensive, performer and was a mid-level machine aimed at in-house publishing, media authoring and technical market segments. It distinguished itself from other machines in its class by having near broadcast quality video circuitry built-in. The machine is capable of 24-bit video input/output and has both composite and s-video connectors. The 8500/180 sports a 604e PowerPC processor and along with the 9500/200 (released at the same time) were the first machines from Apple based on this faster version of the 604 PowerPC. In addition the 604e chip had twice the amount of integrated L1 cache at the 604 - 64K as opposed to 32K. The 8500/180 was about 30% faster than the previous 8500/150 which it replaced.

However the overall speed of the 8500/180's processing power was hobbled somewhat by the small size of its L2 cache which weighed in at 256K. The L2 cache on the 8500/180 is upgradable and adding a 1024K chip will increase processor performance by about 23%. The 8500's processor resides on a separate daughter card making it easily upgradable to a faster processor. The machine sports 3 PCI slots, an extra drive bay (internal Fast SCSI - 10MBps) and 8 memory slots for a total possible capacity of 512MB of RAM. The 8500 shipped with 2MB of video RAM , the ability to add 2 more.

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 8500/180 329
Sonnet Crescendo G3/233/177/512K 720
PowerLogix PowerForce G3/220/110/512K 742
Vimage Vpower G3/233/117/512K 757
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/233/117/512K 777
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/250/125/512K 800
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/266/133/512K 875
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/266/133/512K 881
Sonnet Crescendo G3/266/133/1MB 920
Vimage Vpower G3/266/133 939
Mactell PowerJolt G3/250/250/1MB 973
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/300/150/512K 975
Mactell PowerJolt G3/266/266/1MB 1018
Vimage Vpower G3/300/150/1MB 1045
Sonnet Crescendo G3/300/150/1MB 1045
PowerLogix PowerForce G3/300/150/1MB 1047
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/300/150/1MB 1060
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/300/200/1MB 1091
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/333/167/1MB 1154
Sonnet Crescendo G3/333/167/1MB 1155
Mactell PowerJolt G3/300/300/1MB 1161
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/333/166/1MB 1179
Sonnet Crescendo G3/366183/1MB 1252
PowerLogix PowerForce G3/300/300/1MB 1276
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/366/183/1MB 1286
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/366/183/1MB 1286
XLR8 MACh Speed G3/400/200/1MB 1399
Sonnet Crescendo G3/400/200/1MB 1400
NewerTechnology MAXpower G3/400/200/1MB 1417