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April 17, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:39pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Meanwhile the Fremont, California offshoot of Taiwanese parentage, Umax Computer Corp has caused a bit of a stir by announcing that it is shipping the most powerful SuperMac system that it has ever produced, the new SuperMac S900/250. The thing also incorporates an Iomega Corp Zip drive, Ultra SCSI for external storage and Fast Ethernet networking as standard features, and is claimed to be the most powerful and expandable Mac OS system commercially available at a street price of just under $5,000. That’s all fair enough, but the cause of all the fuss is that little 250 subscript in the machine’s name. Lots of RISC vendors have parts clocked at 250MHz and higher, but it so happens that as far as IBM Corp, which makes the PowerPC 604e used in the Umax machine, is concerned, if you want a 604e faster than 233MHz, you’ll have to wait or whistle for it. More politely, IBM Corp’s Microelectronics Division of East Fishkill, New York told MacWeek Any questions about a 604e faster than 233MHz should be directed to the system company. Word from Umax is that it has shipped about 100 of the S900/250, to its advance customers, and insisted that the PowerPC processors used were production-quality. However the company is disappointed that IBM is still not ready to ship 250MHz parts in volume, and says there was a misunderstanding with IBM over chip availability. So that explains that. The other new Umax model uses the 233MHz 604e. Like all Umax machines, the new ones are designed for easy processor board replacement, and have slots for a second processor board to turn it into a dual which exploits the DayStar Digital Corp nPower multiprocessing technology that Umax licenses. The machines come with 32Mb of interleaved main memory, expandable to over 1Gb, 512Kb level-2 cache, 4Mb or 8Mb Video RAM on an IMS 128-bit graphics accelerator depending on model, eight times standard speed CD-ROM, 2.1Gb SCSI disk, floppy, six PCI card slots, and four available drive bays for adding devices – and a keyboard and a mouse are also included.

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