Power Macintosh G3 Released

Although there were some initial teething pains - and some backlash from Mac professionals about putting an IDE drive in a Power Mac - the G3 course was set and would lead Apple from one profitable quarter to another.

For those with Power Macs or clones that used Apple's CPU daughter card, there were G3 upgrades. Newer Technology was the first to market with its MaxPower Pro, which had a 250 MHz CPU with 512 MB of level 2 cache running at 167 MHz. In coming years, G3 upgrades would get even faster (reaching 1.1 GHz!), and G4 upgrades eventually replaced them, allowing those pre-G3 Power Macs and clones to grow more powerful than anyone imagined when they were initially sold.

The Power Macintosh G3, commonly called "beige G3s" or "platinum G3s" for the color of their cases, was a series of personal computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from November 1997 to January 1999. It was the first Macintosh to use the PowerPC G3 (PPC750) microprocessor, and replaced a number of earlier Power Macintosh models, in particular the 7300, 8600 and 9600 models. It was succeeded by the Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White), which kept the name but introduced a radically different design.

The Power Mac G3 introduced a fast and large Level 2 backside cache to Apple's product lineup, running at half processor speed. As a result, these machines were widely considered to be faster than Intel PCs of similar CPU clock speed at launch, an assertion that was backed up by benchmarks performed by Byte Magazine, which prompted Apple to create the "Snail" and "Toasted Bunnies" television commercials.

The Power Macintosh G3 was originally intended to be a midrange series, between the low-end Performa/LC models and the six-PCI slot Power Macintosh 9600.

Apple developed a prototype G3-based six-slot full tower to be designated the Power Macintosh 9700. Despite demand from high-end users for more PCI slots in a G3 powered computer, Apple decided not to develop the prototype (dubbed “Power Express”) into a shipping product, leaving the 9600 as the last six-slot Mac Apple would ever make.