processor upgrades Graphics Cards

PowerTower Pro 180 Processor Upgrade Page

PowerTower Pro 180 Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: 604e, 180 MHz
  • L2 Cache: 1MB
  • Drive: 2GB SCSI
  • Internal Fast SCSI up to 10MBps
  • Slots: 6 PCI
  • Installed RAM: 16MB (768 Max)
  • RAM Slots: 12, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 70 ns
  • Installed VRAM: 8MB - IMS TwinTurbo 128 card
  • Introduced: 7-96
  • Original Price: $4,195
  • Notes:

  • Memory capable of interleaving
  • 8GB RAID option

The PowerTower Pro line, from Macintosh cloner Power Computing, introduced in the summer of 1996 were the machines that really worried Apple and perhaps sealed the fate of Power Computing and Mac cloning in general. Power Computing was consistently beginning to beat Apple to the market with faster, lower cost machines that garnering rave reviews from the Mac press. Though nothing special in terms of esthetics, the PowerTower Pro machines were basic, powerful and flexible work horses, aimed right at the high -end market - where Apple's biggest profit margins were. Apple eventually came the the conclusion that Power Computing was much more interested in taking market share away from Apple than in expanding the market in general. Apple killed off cloning just as it was about to really take off, putting an end to what it felt was largely a parasitic relationship.

Internal Links
External Links

The PowerTower Pros use the same motherboard that is found in the 9500s but were the first Macs to sport the 604e PPC Processor. The 604e was the faster successor to the 604 and has twice as much L1 cache as the 604. To take advantage of the faster processor a 1MB L2 cache was included with the machines. The PowerTower Pro machines shipped with 16MB of RAM which is expandable to 768MB in the 12 DIMM slots. Memory is capable of interleaving for slightly better processor performance. For graphics the machines had one of the fastest graphics cards of the time, the IMS Twin Turbo, with 8MB of graphics memory. The PowerTower Pros have 6 PCI slots.

The basic drive that shipped with the machines was a fast 2GB 7200 RPM AV drive, however there was a RAID option consisting of two 4GB drives which provided even better performance for those that required it. The CD-ROM drive is 8X.

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 scores.

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card

MacBench 4.0 Processor Score

PowerTower Pro 180 398
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