Power Macintosh

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Power Macintosh

(computer)
Apple Computer's personal computer based on the PowerPC, introduced on 1994-03-14. Existing 680x0 code (both applications and device drivers) run on Power Macintosh systems without modification via a Motorola 68LC040 emulator. The performance of these unmodified applications is equivalent to a fast 68040-based Macintosh, e.g. a fast Macintosh Quadra. The Power Macintosh runs Macintosh operating system from System 7.5 to Mac OS 8.5.

Latest version, as of 2003-11-26: Power Mac G5.

Power Mac Home.

Power Mac

A PowerPC-based Macintosh, officially known as the "Power Macintosh." Power Macs were introduced in 1994 and superseded the Motorola-based Macintoshes, the first Mac platform. Power Mac models were designated initially with numbers (6100, 7100, etc.), but later used the G nomenclature (G3, G4, G5). Apple later migrated its laptops to the PowerPC architecture.

The First Power Macs
What seems paltry today, the first Power Macs came with 8MB of RAM and used the 601 PowerPC CPU chip with clock speeds from 60 to 80 MHz. Over the years, the Power Macs dramatically increased in speed and capability. See PowerPC.

From Motorola to PowerPC
To support the transition from Motorola 68K CPUs to the PowerPC RISC chip, Apple created a "fat binary" disk that allowed applications to be distributed in both 68K and PowerPC formats.

Emulated applications typically run slower in the foreign machine. However, Power Macs could emulate and run 68K applications faster, because the QuickDraw graphics engine ran native in the Power Mac (see QuickDraw).

From PowerPC to Intel x86
Introduced in 2003, the last Power Mac to use the PowerPC chip was the Power Mac G5. In 2006, Apple switched to Intel x86-based chips, long ago chosen by IBM for its first PC in 1981. See G5, Mac Pro, MacTel, Macintosh and Apple.


An Early Power Mac
This early 6100/66 model ran at 66 MHz and used the 601, the first PowerPC chip. It came with 8MB of RAM. (Image courtesy of Apple Inc.)
References in periodicals archive ?
* An Apple PowerMac Dual-Processor 2.7 GHz PowerPC G5 running OS 10 and using the Firefox browser with Flash Player 9.0.115.0 and Silverlight Player 1.0.30401.0.
As representative single-processor systems, we did benchmarks on a 450 MHz AMD K6-3 running SuSe Linux 6.1, and an Apple PowerMac G4 running at 450 MHz.
No.(%) Type of Computer Hardware Using Hardware IBM-compatible desktop computer 95 (72.0) Hospital-based computer system 47 (35.6) (laboratory results, test results, admission data, etc) IBM-compatible laptop computer 18 (13.6) Apple Macintosh computer (desktop or laptop) 9 (6.9) HP 95, HP100 or HP200 handheld computer 3 (2.3) Sharp Wizard or Casio BOSS organizer 3 (2.3) Pen-based tablet computer 3 (2.3) Franklin Pocket Physicians' Desk Reference 3 (2.3) Apple PowerMac 2 (1.5) Apple Newton MessagePad handheld computer 1 (0.8) Psion handheld computer 1 (0.8) Sony MagicLink handheld computer 0 (0.0)
Well, if you plan on doing a fairly large amount of desktop publishing (print or Web site design), video or or music editing the choice is clear--an Apple PowerMac. Generally more expensive than PCs, Power Macs are the best choice.