While Umax and Power Computing argue about whose Mac clone is faster, Apple Computer Corp announced yesterday at MacWorld that it is working with chip manufacturer Exponential Technology Inc of San Jose to deliver a 500MHz Macintosh. The new cheetah of the Macs would be built on a chip Exponential is said to be readying, the X704, which is itself a 500MHz BiCMOS version of the PowerPC chip (CI No 3,010). Apple is in fact a major investor in Exponential and the two have been doing joint development work on the X704. Exponential is planning to ship its X704 processors in the second quarter running at 466MHz, 500MHz and 533MHz. Apple plans to introduce a Mac based on the system before the end of the year, and the clone vendors will no doubt be working around the clock to launch their own Macs based on the X704 before that.