The Performance Edge: Turning Your G3 Computer Into A Screaming Beast!

Reader Report

I enjoyed reading your review of the Sonnet Encore G3 500 ZIF Upgrade. I recently purchased the upgrade and your experience with the product was similar to my own. I give Sonnet credit for having such detailed and well photographed instructions. I was in and out of the Mac in about 10 minutes, with the removal of the heat sink being the most time consuming....pushing the heat sink down to remove the clip hurts the fingers with those sharp metal fins.

But I just wanted to pass along my experience and results to you. I got the 500 from for $679 with no tax and free overnight shipping, thanks to Sonnet recently dropping the price. (The 466 model is now $579). At this price, this is a great upgrade and worth the money.

I installed the G3/500 into my beige desktop that was a 233/512K cache model. Since I went from the slowest to the fastest G3 as well as doubling the size of the backside cache, I saw a considerable speed increase. (As I noted in your experience, you upgraded a 300/1 MB model so I can understand why you did not notice such a drastic speed increase). I also replaced the stock 4 GB (5400 rpm) IDE drive with a Quantum 13.6 GB IDE 7200 rpm drive. My disk cache in the memory control panel is also set to 3 MB for both drive tests.

So here are my MacBench 5.0 results (Mac OS 8.6):




I was not able to do the Graphics test as I do not have a MacBench CD. But I have installed an ATI Rage Orion 128 Card and the graphics are considerably faster than the ATI Rage II on the board. The test I do not have is the speed of is the 13.6 GB drive with the 233 processor. So I am not sure how much faster, if any, the drive is with the new processor. However, in either case, the new hard drive is considerably faster than the stock hard drive.

I chose the Sonnet card because their upgrade cards do not require any Control Panels or Extensions to make them active. Additional software only leads to possible conflicts down the road. I also did not want to mess with jumpers or fine tuning of the card to ensure stability. The Sonnet card is a simple installation and no more worries. I had great success with their QuadDoubler 100/50 68040 Card in my old Centris 650, with no problems...and it has been installed since March '96. So in my opinion, the Sonnet card is the way to go. Oh, another interesting point....the 500 G3 runs much cooler than the original 233 (possibly due to the new copper-based CPU?). The 233 ran at 51"C versus 35"C for the 500.

Peter Hillman

Question: Ready to spring for that G3 card yet? Ask the MacSpeedZone community how they like the G3 upgrade cards they have bought.

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