Sonnet Expands Line Of Power Mac 7200 Updgrades

Sonnet Technologies has expanded their line of processor upgrades for the previously non-upgradeable Power Mac 7200 series. Sonnet released the Crescendo G3/400/1MB card in September, and today announced two new cards, including a G4 model. According to Sonnet:

Sonnet Technologies, the worldwide market share leader in processor upgrade cards for Apple Macintosh? computers, announces two additional configurations to its recently-announced Crescendo line for the Power Mac 7200. The new Crescendo G3 400MHz offers 512K backside cache with a 3:1 cache ratio. The new Crescendo G4 400 MHz offers 1M backside cache with a 2:1 cache ratio. Now 7200 owners will have a choice among three speeds instead of one.

Once considered impossible to upgrade, the best-selling Power Mac 7200 has a new future due to the unprecedented achievement of Sonnetis engineering team. The first product in this new line of Crescendo upgrades was the Crescendo G3 400 MHz/1M model announced in September. The new series of Power Mac 7200 upgrades will boost performance up to thirteen times that of the original system.

Determining where the 7200 upgrade would be installed was one of the great challenges to this product line. Since the original PowerPC 601 processor in the 7200 is soldered onto the logic board, there is no available processor slot. The cache slot in this system does not carry the necessary signals, so this was not an option either. As a result, the 7200 upgrade card is installed into an available PCI slot. With the new G3 or G4 processor working on the PCI bus, truly top-tier performance is attained by adding local RAM to the same bus. To achieve this, Sonnet has provided 3 DIMM sockets to the card, where at least 50% of the total available memory must be located. While one small DIMM must remain on the motherboard to handle initial start-up duties, the remaining memory can be moved to the Crescendo card to minimize the need for incremental RAM purchases. In addition, the combined memory from both the motherboard and the card are fully utilized to allow greater total RAM capacity than previously possible, so users can opt for additional or larger DIMMs as desired.

The next hurdle to overcome was to surpass the maximum performance available on the 7200?s motherboard, which runs at bus speeds starting at 37.5 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 Sonnet?s 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 400 MHz processors and beyond.

Pricing and Availability
The Crescendo G3 and G4 7200 upgrades will be available in November, 2000:

  • Crescendo G3/7200 400/1M $499.95
  • Crescendo G3/7200 400/512K $399.95
  • Crescendo G4/7200 400/1M $599.95

Sonnet?s Crescendo 7200 G3 and G4 upgrade cards are compatible with the following Macintosh models:

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

You can find more information at the Sonnet Technologies web site.