The Usenet rumor mill is slowly gearing up for the introduction of a new Macintosh. This isn’t the long awaited Portable or anything on the low-end; this will be the Mac to humble existing Macs from the specs that are being bandied around. So if your IIfx is a tad poky, you might keep your eyes out for a 25 MHz 68040-based Macintosh with 5 NuBus slots, 4 SCSI ports (possibly all internal, since the tower-style machine will have room inside the case and removable bezels (what a great word!) for removable media like CD-ROM and SyQuest drives), built-in Ethernet (which isn’t surprising considering Apple’s recent release of Ethernet products), and a 600-watt power supply. Memory will not be forgotten with room for 64 meg of RAM onboard using 4 meg SIMMs.
It’s nice Apple may finally admit that a power machine needs a heavy duty power supply, (especially since the LC and IIsi have such wimpy power supplies). We certainly hope that Apple will follow their current policy of providing upgrades to the current machines, so those people feeling lonely with a IIx can upgrade to the 68040. Even more important, in our opinion, would be an upgrade for the SE case. There are a lot of applications that don’t call for a modular Mac but can use the power of the 68040.
Needless to say, Apple will direct the machine at the power hungry crowd, such as high-end graphic designers and engineers. When the IIci was released, a friend brought up an Illustrator 88 document to see how fast Illustrator could draw it on the IIci. It took about 40 seconds, or about twice as fast as on his Mac II. He managed to control himself, though, and settled for a IIfx shortly thereafter. Apple may also be positioning the machine as a server, since it has so much room for storage devices and plenty of speed, though it will only make much difference on an EtherTalk network, since with LocalTalk the network itself is the bottleneck, not the server’s performance.
If you can’t wait for this tower Mac to appear on the Apple horizon, there are several third party accelerators available for different Mac models. Radius and IIR both offer 68040 accelerators with room for memory for NuBus Macs, and IIR will also carry a 68030 accelerator for the SE. Fusion Data Systems has a 68040 card called the TokaMAC LC, which it claims runs 50% faster than a IIfx. And finally, Total Systems Integration announced a 68040 card for the SE/30 and IIsi (with the Processor Direct Slot option, presumably). These cards all run in the $3000 to $4000 range and should show up in March.
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John Starta — [email protected]
Chuck Rapp — [email protected]
David Gutierrez — [email protected]
Jim Matthews — [email protected]
Kenneth J Meltsner — [email protected]
Chris Silverberg — [email protected]
Michael D Mellinger — [email protected]
Evan J Torrie — [email protected]
Roger Tang — [email protected]
MacWEEK — 08-Jan-91, Vol. 5, #1, pg. 1