The MACh Speed card from XLR8 brings a huge speed increase to users of G3 Macs. It’s a ZIF socket (Zero Insertion Force) upgrade, so it is easy to install. The software gives plenty of information on what the card is doing, how fast the cache is running, and even how hot the processor is.
The difference between the XLR8 card and those from other manufacturers is the amount of control you’re given. With the MACh Speed card you can go to 400MHz and beyond. This is made possible by the use of tiny jumpers on the card itself. If you’re feeling brave you can set the card.
to run at different multiples of your Mac’s bus speed. The standard setting is for a 6:1 ratio that gives you 400MHz, but there are settings for 6.5:1, 7:1, 7.5:1 and 8:1 ratios. The maximum setting gives a theoretical 533MHz to your old G3 233 – more than double the speed.
Taking the Mac beyond the recommended processor speed is not for the fainthearted. But it is rewarding. You will reap the benefits of extreme speed and productivity.
To find how fast your machine can go, you must increase the speed until it won’t start. This is your upper limit, so you must set the card to the previous fastest speed. It’s recommended that you leave the card running for 24 hours to check for faults. Then you can look forward to faster computing.
In our test we achieved 433MHz, faster than the 400MHz and still apparently stable, so it proved good value. Other machines may be able to run the processor even faster. But at its 400MHz setting, the card makes a big difference in processor-intensive work. It may be worth considering upgrading your disks too, for an all-around speed increase.
Of course for just a little more cash, you can buy an iMac, but if this doesn’t appeal the MACh Speed 400MHz G3Z card gives your old Mac a new lease of life.