Mac Daniel's Advice

What About That New 7200 Upgrade?

- 2000.09.20

Q: Sonnet released a Crescendo G3/400 upgrade card for Power Mac 7200, 7215, and 8200. Is it worth upgrading?

A: The upgrade sounds interesting. You have to go through two elements to understand:

  1. If you don't have a 7200 now, you can get one for cheap at eBay. I took a quick look at the listings and saw most of them under US$200.
  2. The estimated street price of the card is US$500.

The upgrade card is a PCI card, and it has its own RAM slots. It is necessary to transfer memory to the card, leaving the smallest DIMM on the motherboard to handle startup. There are three DIMM sockets on the Crescendo G3/400.

Because the PCI card is not stuck with the computer's 37.5, 40, or 45 MHz bus, it can provide its own 66 MHz bus speed and get around the usual bottleneck effect of an upgrade card, which is a plus.

This card is really worth it if for some reason, like a bunch of peripherals and hardware that tie your hands, you have to upgrade your Mac.

On the other hand, the upgrade comes at a price ($500) and a second-hand 7200 would cost from $50 to $200. It would cost from $500 to $700 to buy/upgrade all the hardware, while a new iMac is available for $800 with a new screen.

If you need to upgrade the machine that you have now, this is a great deal. If you start from scratch, the upgrade path seems pricey.

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Not sure if you should upgrade your old Mac or replace it? Check the Mac Daniel index to see if we've already addressed your problem.

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