September 14, 1999

[4:30 PM] Sonnet Raises The Bar, Releases 500MHz G3 Upgrade Card

Sonnet Technologies has raised the bar a little bit further with the release of a new 500 MHZ G3 upgrade card for PCI Macs and clones, PowerMac G3s, the 20th Anniversary Mac, and a couple of other models as well. The new cards start at US$899, and offer even better performance for users of these older systems. According to Sonnet:

Sonnet Technologies, the leading manufacturer of performance upgrade products for Apple Macintosh computers, announces for immediate shipment the 500 MHz G3 upgrade cards for the PCI and G3 Power Macintoshes. This new speed tops the robust Sonnet line of Encore G3, Crescendo G3/PCI, and Crescendo G3/L2 upgrade cards. All the new cards are configured with 1MB 2:1 ratio backside cache, and earn impressive MacBench 4.0 processor scores of 1700 to 1800.

Encore G3 500 MHz

The Encore G3 500 MHz for G3 Power Macs is designed with unique auto-configuration hardware. . This exclusive design adjusts the bus speed multiplier to run the card at 500 MHz without requiring jumpers, switches, or control panels. Whether upgrading a 66 MHz bus speed platinum G3 or a 100 MHz bus speed Blue & White G3, the Sonnet Encore G3 500 MHz upgrade card auto-configures its multiplier (7.5x and 5x respectively). The cards have been repeatedly praised by resellers and customers alike as simple to plug into any G3 machine and easy to transfer from one machine to another. "We find the Sonnet Encore G3 upgrade cards to be easier to install than any other card on the market, and tech support issues from customers are virtually nonexistent," commented Larry O'Connor, President and CEO of Other World Computing.

Sonnet's full line of Encore G3 cards, including the latest 500 MHz speed, are compatible with the following Macintosh models:

  • G3 All-in-one
  • G3 Blue & White
  • G3 Desktop
  • G3 Mini Tower
  • G3 Server

Crescendo G3/PCI 500 MHz

The Crescendo G3 500 MHz for PCI Power Macs is a single-board solution engineered to work flawlessly. Sonnet's Crescendo G3 500 MHz card uses a 10x multiplier built into the latest IBM Power PC G3 processors. The 500 MHz board, available now, is about 10% faster than Sonnet's recently announced 450 MHz G4 upgrade card, which will be available in the fourth quarter. (450 MHz is the maximum G4 speed attainable in these 50 Mhz-bus machines due to the G4's 9x maximum bus multiplier.) A 500 MHz G3 is the better performance choice for most users.

The Crescendo G3 500 MHz card, along with the rest of the Crescendo G3/PCI line of products runs in all of the following Macintosh models:

  • Power Mac 7300/7500/7600/8500/8600/9500/9600
  • Workgroup Server 7350, 8550, 9650
  • Daystar Genesis
  • PowerCenter, PowerCenter Pro, PowerCurve, PowerTower, PowerTower Pro, PowerWave
  • UMAX J700/S900

Crescendo G3/L2

Sonnet's breakthrough 500 MHz cards reach out to 20th Anniversary Macintosh owners as well. The 500 Mhz card, which also works in the Power Mac 5500 and 6500, expands Sonnet's offerings which previously ranged from 250 to 400 MHz for these machines.

Sonnet has not yet updated their web site's product section with information on the new line. Pricing is as follows:

Encore G3 500/1MB for G3 Power Macs $899.95
Crescendo G3/PCI 500/1MB for PCI Power Macs $999.95
Crescendo G3/L2 500/1M for "Upgrade-challenged" Macs $999.95

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a great time for Sonnet to announce this new line of cards. 500 MHz is mighty fine and will be particularly attractive to owners of Blue & White G3s who were duped into upgrading their firmware with the update that prevents these machines from booting when encountering a G4 processor. These owners are not feeling very charitable towards Apple at the moment, especially in light of rather cynical and self-serving statements made on the issue.

Sonnet Technologies