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Motorola StarMax 4000/160 Processor Upgrade And Discussion Page - Performance Of Latest G3 Processor Upgrades

StarMax 4000/160DT Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: 604e, 160 MHz
  • System Bus Speed: 40MHz
  • Drive: 1.2GB EIDE
  • CD-ROM Drive: 8X ATAPI
  • Slots: 3 PCI
  • Installed RAM: 16MB
  • Max RAM: 160MB
  • RAM Slots: 3, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 60 ns
  • L2 Cache: 512K
  • Installed VRAM: 2MB (Max 4MB)
  • Introduced:10/96
  • Discontinued: -7/97
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,599
  • Current Price

StarMax 4000/160MT Facts at a Glance

  • Processor: 604e, 200 MHz
  • System Bus Speed: 40MHz
  • Drive: 2.5GB EIDE
  • CD-ROM Drive: 8X ATAPI
  • Slots: 5 PCI
  • Installed RAM: 32MB
  • Max RAM: 160MB
  • RAM Slots: 3, 168-pin DIMM
  • Min RAM Speed: 60 ns
  • L2 Cache: 512K
  • Installed VRAM: 2MB (Max 4MB)
  • Introduced:10/96
  • Discontinued: 10/97
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,999
  • Current Price

Additional Notes
  • Requires 3.3v EDO RAM
  • RAM cannot be interleaved
  • Requires adapter to use Mac monitors
  • PS/2 input port allows the use of PC devices
  • Came with 28.8 modem
  • Came with 5 year warranty
StarMax Upgrade & Troubleshooting
Discussion Forum


Released in the Fall of 1996 the StarMax 4000 series of computers were Motorola's high-end offerings. Aimed primarily at the business market, the 4000s .mirror closely their less powerful siblings (the 3000 series). The 4000s also came in two form factors; a desktop version and a mini-tower version. What distinguishes the 4000s from the 3000s is their higher performance processor (the 604e),larger L2 cache (512K) and larger amounts of installed VRAM (2MB). Also the 4000s came in only two speeds, 160 and 200Mhz models. Although knocked for poor disk performance, a CPU that was soldered to the motherboard (rather than being replaceable), that they initially shipped without a Mac monitor adapter and were somewhat noisy during operation, the StarMax 4000s were considered solid machines that bested Apple's offerings significantly in the price/performance arena.

What separated the desktop models from the tower ones (other than the form factor) was that the desktops came with 16MB of RAM, a 1.2GB EIDE hard drive, 3 PCI slots, and the case had one free drive bay. The tower models on the other hand had; 32MB of RAM, a 2.5GB EIDE hard drive, 5 PCI slots and the case had 4 free drive bays. Other than this the features of the desktop machines and the tower machines are the same.

For Great Prices On Upgrades Check The Vendors Below
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On all machines the processor is soldered to the motherboard making its removal impossible. Luckily there are several CPU upgrade manufacturers that make upgrades for these computers which fit into the L2 cache slot. There are 3 DIMM memory slots for a maximum capacity of 160MB.and these machines use 3.3v EDO RAM. Interestingly you are not able to install 8MB DIMMs in the StarMax, 16MB being the smallest accepted size. Two MB of VRAM was standard and is upgradable to 4MB. All machines have a 8X ATAPI CD-ROM drive and came with a 28.8 external modem. There is no onboard Ethernet or internal SCSI. To add these features you will have to add appropriate PCI cards. Also the machines have a PC style SVGA monitor port. To use a Mac monitor will require an adapter. On the back of the StarMaxs are two PS/2 ports which allow you to use PC input devices, such as keyboard, mice, etc.

Aimed at the business market the StarMax 3000s shipped with a unprecedented 5 year warranty.

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

MacBench Absolute Scores

Processor Upgrade Card

MacBench 4.0 Processor Score

StarMax 4000/160

Sonnet Crescendo L2 G3/240/120/512K 744
Sonnet Crescendo L2 G3/300/150/512K 930
Sonnet Crescendo L2 G3/340/170/1MB 1105
Newer MAXpowr G3-L2 400/200/1MB 1415

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