The Performance Edge: Sonnet Pulls Another Rabbit Out Of The Hat! The Price/Performance Equation For The New Power Mac 7200s

Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Sonnet, which seems to have a G3 or G4 upgrade card for almost every Mac out there, has come out with another first - a G3 upgrade for the previously non-upgradable 7200 series of Power Macs. These upgrades fit into one of the PCI slots of your machine and contain 3 memory slots into which you will install memory you previously had installed in the slots on the machine's motherboard (if any). The reason for this is that the upgrade card provides a 66MHz bus between the memory on the card and the processor (the bus on the 7200s run from only 37 -45MHz, depending on Machine) thus allowing for greater processor speeds. You however have to have one DIMM in a motherboard slot to handle the boot process. All around a pretty clever idea for upgrading and giving new life to the popular 7200 machines - at a price!

Below we explore what performance gain you will see with these cards installed in the machines they are made for. We also take a comparative look at the price/performance equation of each card.

New Prices and the Machines The Cards Are Intended For

Note: This upgrade is due sometime between now and the end of the year - Sonnet was not more specific.

Crescendo 7200-G3/400/200/1MB
Price $499.95


Sonnetıs Crescendo 7200 G3 upgrade card is compatible with the following Macintosh models:

- Power Mac 7200, 7215
- Workgroup Server 7250
- Power Mac 8200

Previous Sonnet Prices


What kind of performance gain are you getting for the money you'll be shelling out for the various cards?......

Scores marked in Red indicate this information was provided by Sonnet. Scores Marked in Blue indicate that this information was independently verified by MacSpeedZone.

And how much do you pay per performance point (price divided by performance score) ....

Previous Sonnet Price/Performance Numbers

Have questions about these upgrades? Ask our experts below.


Press Release


APPLE EXPO, PARIS, FRANCE Ĝ September 13, 2000. Sonnet Technologies, the worldwide
market share leader in processor upgrade cards for Apple Macintosh€ computers,
announces the first G3 upgrade for the Power Mac 7200. Once considered impossible to
upgrade, this best-selling system has a new future due to the unprecedented
achievement of Sonnet's engineering team. The first product in this new Crescendo line
will be G3 400 Mhz/1M model, and will boost performance up to eight times as fast as
the original system.

"There were numerous challenges in designing an upgrade for the 7200 which we have
been able to overcome using the knowledge and breakthroughs weıve accumulated from our
years of previous upgrade designs," states Sonnet's Chief Engineer, Henry Kanapell.
The first challenge was to determine where the upgrade would be installed. The only
option was to place the 7200 upgrade card in an available PCI slot, which had not
previously been attempted. The original PowerPC 601 processor in the 7200 is soldered
onto the logic board, so there is no processor slot. The cache slot in this system
does not carry the necessary signals. 
With the processor working on the PCI bus, the only way to get truly top-tier
performance was to place local RAM on the card. To address this, Sonnet has provided 3
DIMM sockets that match those on the 7200 motherboard. While one small DIMM must
remain in place to handle initial start-up duties, the remaining memory can be moved
to the Crescendo card to minimize the need for incremental RAM purchases. Users can
also opt for additional or larger DIMMs as desired.

The next hurdle to overcome was to surpass the maximum performance available on the
7200ıs  motherboard, which run at bus speeds starting at 30 MHz. Sonnet felt it
imperative that users be able to upgrade to truly modern performance levels, and this
too has been achieved. Using design elements from Sonnetıs recently announced
Fortissimo€ technology, Sonnet created an independent bus to run on the new processor
card. This bus runs at a speed of 66 MHz, which allows the Crescendo 7200 to take full
advantage of a 400 MHz G3 processor and beyond.

èWhile weıve had our share of industry-leading developments, itıs not every day you
can announce something people thought to be impossible,î says Robert Farnsworth,
Sonnetıs president and CEO. èThe Crescendo 7200 represents a tremendous achievement by
our team, and will give thousands of Mac users a new way to more productively use
their computers.î

Pricing and Availability
The Crescendo G3/7200 will be available in Q4, 2000:

Crescendo G3/7200 400/1M                        $499.95

Sonnetıs Crescendo 7200 G3 upgrade card is compatible with the following Macintosh
- Power Mac 7200, 7215
- Workgroup Server 7250
- Power Mac 8200        
Simply Fast€
Sonnet cards have unequaled ease-of-installation and reliability. The Sonnet Presto,
Crescendo and Encore cards work in every compatible Macintosh without the need for the
antiquated methods of hardware configuration. Free from switches, jumpers, and control
panels, the Sonnet upgrade cards are Simply Fast€. Sonnet products are guaranteed to
operate reliably over variations of machine, time and temperature. The ability to move
an upgrade card from one machine to another without the need to tweak any jumpers,
switches or control panels is a significant advantage to resellers and organizations
that want to maximize their flexibility, while minimizing the long term technical
support requirements.

About Sonnet Technologies, Inc.
Sonnet Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Irvine, California, is the worldwide
market share leader in processor upgrade cards and enhancement products for Apple
Macintosh€ computers. Founded in 1986, Sonnet upgrades more Macintosh models with
processor upgrade cards than any other company. Sonnet products are easy to install,
are backed by a three-year warranty, include free technical support, and require no
switches, jumpers, or control panels. To locate an authorized reseller or purchase
product, visit the Sonnet Technologies web site at , or
call the company at 1-800-786-6260 (USA and Canada) or 1 949-587-3500


As of August 7, 2000 Sonnet moved to a larger facility:
Sonnet Technologies
15 Whatney
Irvine, CA  92618
(949) 587-3500
Fax: (949) 457-6350