processor upgrades Graphics Cards

PowerBase180  Processor Upgrade And Discussion Page - Performance Of Latest G3 Processor Upgrades

PowerBase 180 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: PPC 603e, 180 MHz
  • L2 Cache: 256K
  • Data Path: 64-bit, 40MHz
  • Drive: 1.2GB IDE
  • CD-ROM:4X or 8X
  • Three 12" PCI Slots
  • Installed RAM: 16MB EDO 5 volt
  • RAM Slots: 3, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 60 ns
  • VRAM: 2MB (4MB Max.)
  • Introduced: 9/96
  • Discontinued: 8/97
  • Initial Retail Price: $1,499-1,599
  • Current Price

    Special Notes

  • Memory interleaving not possible
  • First DIMM slot can only accept 32MB of RAM, other slots 64MB each
  • No built-in Ethernet
  • Supported MacOS: 7.5.3-9.0

PowerBase Upgrade
Discussion Forum


The Power Computing PowerBase models of Macintosh compatible clones hit the market in the late summer of 1996. Offering an excellent price/performance value these consumer orientated machines proved very popular and were hailed by most Mac orientated magazines as better value than Apple's own offerings, which cost more and were less powerful. It was in large part due to the commercial success of Power Computing, the marketing hype that surrounded the company, and the fact that Power Computing was going for Apple's jugular, that Apple pulled the plug on cloning - a controversial decision at the time.

The PowerBase 180 was the low end model of a three unit family that also hailed 200Mhz and 240Mhz models. It sported a 180Mhz 603e processor and a 256K L2 cache. The 603e processor was the low end PowerPC chip of the time and was also very low in power consumption.

The PowerBase's processor exits on a removable card and is thus replaceable with a faster processor. The 180 also shipped with 16MB of EDO (Extended Data

Out) RAM. RAM is expandable to 160MB using 3 DIMM slots. The machine shipped with 2MB of Graphics memory (expandable to 4MB for more colors at higher resolutions) and had a special chip for handling 3-D graphics acceleration. There are 3 full size PCI slots. The machine has a 8x CD ROM and a pokey 1.2GB IDE drive. One innovation was the inclusion of a PS/2 keyboard port. You had a choice of cases for the PowerBase machines; a desktop model that had no free drive bays and a minitower that had two free, front accessible 5.25" drive bays.



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


(1)Card actually runs at 240MHz in this machine
(2) Card actually runs at 320MHz in this machine
(3) Card actually runs at 360MHz in this machine

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card

MacBench 4.0 Processor Score

PowerBase 180

Sonnet Crescendo L2 G3/250/125/512K (1) 744
Sonnet Crescendo L2 G3/300/150/512K 930
Sonnet Crescendo L2 G3/350/175/1MB (2.) 992
PowerLogix PowerForce G3/300/150/1MB 1047
Sonnet Crescendo L2 G3/300/150/1MB 1073
Powerlogix PowerForce G4/350/175/1MB (3) 1135
PowerLogix PowerForce G3/400/200/1MB 1375
Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 400/200/1MB 1400
Newer MAXpowr G3-L2 400/200/1MB 1415