Wow, the folks at XLR8, a manufacturer of Mac upgrade and expansion products, have been busy at Macworld San Francisco this week. They’ve announced new versions of their MACh Carrier and MACh Velocity G4 Mpe products, as well as a new reseller program.
For one, the company is now shipping the MPe version of its MACh Carrier products. The XLR8 MACh Carrier G4 MPe will utilize the current range of MACh Speed G4 MPe ZIFs (identified by a yellow screen print on the PCB instead of white) with the velocity adapter and the previously announced MACh Carrier 2.0. Initially, XLR8 will offer the XLR8 MACh Carrier G4 MPe in single 350 MHz, 400 MHz and 450 MHz configurations.
The Carrier ZIF MPe is sold without a ZIF processor and is compatible with most third party ZIF processor upgrade cards. However, to maximize the performance of the forthcoming XLR8 Velocity multiprocessing adapter, customers will have to purchase PowerPC G4 ZIF processor upgrade cards that are MPe compatible (and currently only available from XLR8).
For maximum performance, the XLR8 MACh Speed G4 MPe ZIF and the MACh Velocity card all support the full MESI cache state identifiers, said David Marsden, National Sales Manager at XLR8. Customers who have XLR8 MACh Speed G3 processors, with or without Carriers, can take advantage of XLR8’s Trade-Up Program to upgrade to G4 MPe processors. At the XLR8 Web site, you can trade your existing product for up to a 20 percent discount on the cost of the MACh Carrier G4 MPe.
The G4 MPe Carrier continues the ability to upgrade two machines for the price of one. Users who buy the G4 Carrier MPe can use the G4 ZIF MPe that comes with the Carrier in a ZIF compatible machine (beige G3, Blue and White G3 and early graphite ZIF-based G4 systems), and then use the ZIF that has been removed from the system with the Carrier MPe to upgrade a 7300 to 9600 class machine. Pricing is: 1 x 350Mhz XLR8 MACh Carrier G4 Mpe, $429; 1 x 400Mhz XLR8 MACh Carrier G4 Mpe, $479; 1 x 450Mhz XLR8 MACh Carrier G4 Mpe, $529.
XLR8 is also debuting the latest addition to its range of upgrade cards, the MACh Velocity G4 MPe. Due next month the XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 MPe will utilize the current range of MACh Speed G4 MPe ZIFs (again, identified by a yellow screen print on the printed circuit board (PCB) instead of white) and the MACh Velocity adapter populated with either one or two ZIF processor cards. Customers who have already purchased a single MACh Speed G4 MPe ZIF will be able to purchase the adapter with the second ZIF. Initially we will offer the XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 MPe in dual 350Mhz, 450Mhz, 400Mhz and 500Mhz.
For maximum performance, the XLR8 MACh Speed G4 MPe ZIF and the Velocity card all support the full MESI cache state identifiers, said Chris Cooksey, Director of Engineering at XLR8. The MACh Velocity G4 MPe multiprocessing solution utilizes the standard ZIF (zero insertion force) sockets found on the motherboard. To upgrade to multiprocessing, just open the cover, remove the heat sink, open the ZIF socket, lift out the old processor, and replace it with the populated MACh Velocity card, Cooksey said.
The XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 MPe solution will work without balanced G4 MPe ZIFs (in other words, it’s possible to have 350MHz G4 MPe ZIF and a 500MHz G4 MPe ZIF in the velocity card). Third party manufacturers of ZIFs, including Apple, don’t connect all command lines on the ZIF, and therefore, the use of another manufacturer’s non-MPe ZIF will restrict the performance of the XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 MPe to the MEI cache memory states and therefore, the overall performance, Cooksey said. Pricing on single processor units is: 1 x 400Mhz XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 Mpe, $649; 1 x 450Mhz XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 Mpe, $699; 1 x 500Mhz XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 Mpe, $849.
Dual processor units cost: 2 x 400Mhz XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 Mpe, $1,049; 2 x 450Mhz XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 Mpe, $1,149; 2 x 500Mhz XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 Mpe, $1,449.
Finally, XLR8 announced the launch of its Authorized Reseller and support network, the MP Partner Program. All MP Partner Members will be listed on the XLR8 Web site (www.xlr8.com) and will be the first point of contact for users wanting information about the benefits of multiprocessing (MP).
The MP partners will have detailed access to XLR8 technical documentation and will be able to inform potential customers about the best XLR8 solutions for their requirements. In order to become a member of the MP partner program, resellers will have to meet the XLR8 criteria, including technical pre-sales ability, employ an Apple authorized technician and a have background in Mac product support, according to Jack Kolk, general manager of XLR8.
Resellers who would like to be considered for the MP Partner Program should visit
https://www.xlr8.com/resellers and complete the application form. End users who wish to locate their local XLR8 authorized reseller should visit