iMaxpowr G3

The first upgrade card for iMacs is here, and it's fast. With its 466MHz processor, Newer Technology's iMaxpowr G3 is the fastest iMac configuration yet. If your older iMac is beginning to huff and puff during its daily grind, you may want to consider an upgrade. Unfortunately, you can't use this one in the currently shipping iMacs–specifically the 350MHz blueberry model and the iMac DVs–but it's compatible with earlier models. So if you're not averse to opening up your machine, the iMaxpowr G3 will give you the fastest iMac in town.

Once installed, the iMaxpowr G3 requires no software, and your iMac will run as smoothly as before–only faster. Macworld Lab testing showed upgraded iMacs to be faster than original iMacs in every case (see "Rev Up Your iMac"). And because Apple ROMs are already on the upgrade card, the new processor will work properly in your iMac. (To get the ROMs necessary to manufacture more upgrades, Newer will buy back your iMac's original processor and send you a $200 rebate.)

The average iMac user can probably install the iMaxpowr G3, but if you've never touched a circuit board before, you may find installation daunting. Newer provides excellent written instructions complete with photos of every step, as well as a ten-minute video to ease you through the installation process. Unfortunately, the video isn't all that helpful; it's designed to show you how easy installation is rather than how to install the card.

Macworld's Buying Advice The iMaxpowr G3 upgrades your iMac to a fast 466MHz G3, at a price in line with that of similar G3 upgrades. It will make your iMac faster than the iMac DV Special Edition, although it won't add FireWire or DVD capability. If your need for speed is such that you'll part with $499, then upgrade and prosper.

RATING: 4.0 mice PROS: Fast; reasonably priced; requires no software; good documentation. CONS: Difficult to install. COMPANY: Newer Technology (316/943-0222, http://www.newertech.com ). COMPANY'S ESTIMATED PRICE: $699 ($499 after rebate).

July, 2000 page: 48

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