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Power Macintosh G3/233 Processor Upgrade And Discussion Page - Performance Of Latest G3 & G4 Processor Upgrades

Power Mac G3/233 Facts at a Glance

  • G3 (750), 233 MHz
  • Bus Speed: 66 MHz
  • L2 Cache: 512K, backside @117 MHz
  • Installed RAM: 32 MB (768 MBMax)
  • RAM Slots: 3, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 10 ns
  • Installed SGRAM: 2MB (Max 6 MB)
  • Drive: 4 GB EIDE
  • Internal Zip Drive, 100MB
  • CD Drive: 24X
  • Floppy Drive
  • Networking: 10baseT
  • Slots: 3 PCI
  • Drive Bays: 2 external
  • Additional Ports: ADB, 2 Serial - Printer & Modem (modem port deactivated by Personality Card), SCSI
  • Supported MacOS: 8.0 - 10
  • Introduced: 8/97
  • Discontinued: 8//98
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,000
  • Current Price


  • Personality card with 16-Bit audio in/out and internal modem
  • ATI 3D RAGE II+ graphics accelerator
  • Desktop model requires low-profile memory modules

PowerMac Upgrade & Troubleshooting
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The Power Macintosh G3/233 was part of the first generation of machines from Apple based on the new 750 PowerPC or G3 processor. It is the low end model of the family which is comprised of another 266Mhz desktop model and a 266Mhz minitower. All three machines were considered mid-range models in terms of price and expandability, but surpassed Apple's high-end machines of the time in terms of raw speed. All three G3 machines sold extremely well and helped rejuvenate interest in the Macintosh platform at a time that it had been lagging.

The G3 chip found in the 233Mhz desktop model was a faster version of the PowerPC processor. It's speed is enhanced because the L2 cache resides on a dedicated backside bus running at 133Mhz between processor and cache. Previously L2 cache performance was limited by the speed of the main logic board bus which runs at a much slower speed. Also adding to the speed was a new type of memory called SDRAM. A reprogrammed memory controller/PCI bridge was able to carry out multiple tasks, previously only one instruction could be sent at a time.

The processor and cache reside in on a removable card that fits into a PC type ZIF socket making it easy to replace with a faster processor. The main system bus of these G3 machines runs at 66Mhz (previous Macs ran at 50Mhz). The G3/233 comes with 32MB SDRAM, expandable to 192 into the 3 DIMM sockets (standard profile 128MB DIMMs will not fit in this machine). The graphics controller is the ATI 3D Rage II+DVD and the machine come standard with 2MB SGRAM graphics memory which allows for millions of colors (32-bit) at up to 832 x 624 resolution. Graphics memory is expandable to 6MB which will allow millions of colors at higher resolutions and faster 3D performance. There are 3 PCI slots for add on cards and a proprietary slot for the included personality card, which on this machine includes 16-bit stereo in/out and 56Kbps modem. The drive is a 4GB IDE and the CD ROM is 24x. There are one or two free 3.5" dive bays and support of internal and external SCSI (5Mbytes per second). The machine case is easy to get into and the simplicity of the new logic board design make upgrades a snap.

Internal Links
External Links

Below you will find the MacBench 5.0 results for most of the processor upgrades available for this machine.

** Note that MacBench does not take advantage of the Velocity Engine (AltiVec instructions) of the G4. For AltiVec accelerated applications you can see a 1.4 to 4 times performance improvement over the G3, depending on the application and the functions you are trying to perform.

"But I thought that the G4 was so much faster than the G3?" In some cases it is! For G4 Application specific scores - Click Here

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card

MacBench 4.0 Processor Score

Power Mac G3/233 785
XLR8 MACh Speed MPe G4/400/200/1MB 1186
XLR8 MACh Velocity MPe Dual G4/400/200/1MB
PowerLogix PowerForce G4Z/400/200/1MB 1243
Sonnet Encore G4/400/200/1MB 1252
XLR8 MACh Speed G3Z/400/200/1MB 1314
XLR8 MACh Speed MPe G4/450/225/1MB 1335
XLR8 MACh Velocity MPe Dual G4/450/225/1MB 1335
PowerLogix PowerForce G4Z/450/225/1MB 1398
XLR8 MACh Speed G3Z/450/225/1MB 1478
XLR8 MACh Speed MPe G4/500/250/1MB 1483
XLR8 MACh Velocity MPe Dual G4/500/250/1MB 1483
XLR8 MACh Speed G3Z/466/233/1MB 1531
Sonnet Encore G4/500/250/1MB 1565
XLR8 MACh Speed G3Z/500/250/1MB 1643
Sonnet Encore G3/500/250/1MB 1679
PowerLogix PowerForce G3Z/500/250/1MB 1680