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, it doesn’t work 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 letting someone open up your machine, the iMaxpowr G3 will result in the fastest iMac in town. Once installed, the iMaxpowr G3 requires no software. 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 an iMac. The average iMac user can probably install the iMaxpowr G3. But in the UK, the dealers have decided it’s safer to do it themselves. Apparently, we’re not as technically adept as the Yanks. Another reason for this method is that to get the ROMs needed for the upgrade Newer needs the old ROMs from your machine. In the US this is done with a rebate scheme, but in the UK this is all taken care of by the dealer. This means that although you need to have the upgrade professionally done, you don’t have the headache of sending ROMs around the world. So it’s actually easier to upgrade in the UK.

OUR VERDICT

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. Also, no software means no system clashes. If your need for speed is such that you’ll spend £398, then upgrade and prosper.

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