The Performance Edge: PowerBook 1400 Owners Once Again Have An Upgrade Option...

Sonnet Technologies
Last year there were two G3 manufacturers making upgrades for the PowerBook 1400, Newer Technology with their NuPowr card and Vimage with their Vpower. Newer pulled the plug on the NuPowr line and Vimage folded shop entirely. Last week at the MacWorld expo, Sonnet Technologies announced that they would be filling the void with their Crescendo G3/PB 333/512. Expected in February, availability may be limited at first due to pent up demand. Sonnet's card uses a low power copper G3 processor from IBM and according to Sonnet will even extend your battery life by 25%!

"This is win-win for the customer," said Sonnet President Robert Farnsworth. "We are providing a dramatic increase in performance and a significant extension of battery life too."

PowerBook 1400 Info.
Introduced at the end of 1996 for roughly $2,500, the PowerBook 1400 series was the most affordable of Apple's PowerBook offerings at the time. The 1400 series included 117MHz, 133MHz and 166MHz models. The 1400/117 lacked a level two cache while the 133MHz and 166MHz models shipped with a 128k level two cache. Regardless of the cache, all of the 1400's were hobbled by their 32 bit system buses which formed a bottleneck for data traveling to and from the processor. The 1400's came with a 11.3" inch screen which was available as either dual-scan or active matrix. The resolution was bumped up from the 640x480 of older PowerBooks to 800x600. Many faulted the video as being too slow and with 1MB VRAM video was limited to 16 bit. As a fun bonus, all of the 1400's offered the cool option of adding a custom back like the one pictured above.

The scores below are from the 1400 upgrade cards available last year and should give you some idea what to expect from the Sonnet card. Note that the fastest card available was Newer's G3/250. Sonnet's G3/333 should score well above any of the cards below! The G3/PB 333/512 has an estimated street price of $399.

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