PowerPC Microprocessor

The Power Macintosh 8500 and WS 8550 computers feature the PowerPC 604 RISC microprocessor. The PowerPC 604 microprocessor is installed via a card that plugs into the logic board, allowing for maximum flexibility with future upgrades.

Features of this microprocessor include

  • Full RISC processing architecture
  • Parallel processing units: one load-store unit, two integer units, one complex integer unit, and one floating point unit
  • Separate built-in caches for data and instructions, 16 KB each, four-way set associative
  • Advanced branching techniques for improved throughput

Peripheral Component Interconnect

The Power Macintosh 8200 Series, Power Macintosh 8500 Series, and WS 8550 computers offer a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) expansion bus. Because the PCI bus is an industry standard, most existing PCI 2.0-compliant cards (with the addition of a Mac OS-specific software driver) will work in these computers.

PCI offers significantly higher performance than the NuBus architecture used in previous Macintosh models. Running at 33 MHz, the PCI bus is up to three times faster than NuBus, offering overall enhanced system performance, particularly in the areas of video and networking.

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