Apple's latest Power Mac G3 configuration has the same trendy designand the same basic hardware componentsas its predecessors. But underneath that blue-and-white exterior sits a new 450MHz G3 CPU, offering a modest performance boost at the same price as that of previous high-end models (see Reviews , April 1999).
Macworld Lab tested a configuration with a 1MB backside cache, 64MB of RAM, an ATI Rage 128 graphics accelerator with 16MB of video memory, a 9GB Ultra2 Wide SCSI hard drive, and a 32 x CD-ROM drive (this is similar to Apple's Better configuration, except for the RAM allotment). As with previous blue G3 models, the system ships with a 10/100BaseT Ethernet connection but no modem, although you can add an internal 56-Kbps modem for $100. You also get two USB ports and two FireWire ports, which will come in handy now that more FireWire peripherals are available. The system includes four PCI slots, but with the graphics accelerator and Ultra2 Wide SCSI card installed, only two slots are available.
New G3 systems ship with Mac OS 8.6, but our chosen reference system, a Power Mac G3/400, ran Mac OS 8.5.1. To isolate any OS-related performance differences, we tested the new G3 under both versions. The results were generally predictable (see "Faster by a Nose"). However, the new system running Mac OS 8.6 scored slightly lower than its counterpart running OS 8.5.1 on the Graphics test, which appears to be a consequence of the new version of QuickDraw in Mac OS 8.6.
Apple's Power Macintosh G3/450 retains an under-$3,000 price tag while offering a modest performance boost. If you frequently perform such hardware-intensive tasks as digital-video creation, 3-D rendering, or high-resolution photo retouching, give it a close look.
RATING: PROS: Fast; good price; easy to add expansion hardware. CONS: Unergonomic mouse; no serial port; limited PCI slots. COMPANY: Apple Computer (800/795-1000, http://www.apple.com ). LIST PRICE: $2,859.
September 1999 page: 47