Vaporware - Umax prototypes

Vaporware is best defined as those prodcuts you heard about, but never could go out and buy them because the company never officially releases the product. What remains are obscure press releases, random pictures, beta software, and demos of prototypes

Umax J710
Announced and demoed at MacWorld '98, the J710 was to be the new business computer from the clone maker. The J series sheds its expensive Tsunami roots in favor of an Alchemy based board. The case changed from a full sized desktop to the more slim line case used in the C500 series. Similar to the C500 was the ZIF socketed processor card but had a 604e processor. Planned speeds were an initial 200 Mhz 604e and a 225 Mhz 604e system shortly after introduction. Missing is Umax's Cache Doubler technology which is found on the C600x and the S910. A Matrox chip with 4 MB VRAM powered the video display which can be upgraded to 8 MB. Umax decided to wait until their licensing problems with Apple were solved before releasing them. By the time things were worked it, an introduction or a new model wouldn't have made since. So the J710 faded into oblivian despite being Apple approved hardware.

Umax S910
Umax had planned on updating their Tsunami based clone to improve performance and fix a few bugs. Gone is the integrated cache and memory. New is the 1 MB of inline cache found on the 604e processor card. In-line cache is a bit different than backside cache on G3/G4's and look side cache on traditional 601/603/604 based systems. The cache sits on the processors data bus like a look side cache but communicates at a faster rate than the data bus itself, much like a backside cache. The S910 still had the standard 50 Mhz bus speed while the in-line cache ran at 100 Mhz. Umax dubbed this technology as "CacheDoubler", and shipped the technology in the C600x line of machines. The base line processor of the S910 was to be the 250 Mhz 604e with faster versions to follow. The motherboard would have been able to accept G3 processor cards with ease which would have been the next logical step for Umax. Another improvement was made to the PCI controller to help fix the upper 3/lower 3 PCI slot problem. Just like the J710, only a handful were ever made. This machine was yet another victim of Apple axing the cloning era.

Motorola StarMax 6000 (604e)
The first machine to have a Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) board, at least if it ever shipped. The CHRP design centered around an open specification which used common, more PC centric parts. Parallel, PC style serial and eventually ISA slots were to become common place. Several Apple proprietary technologies were to be dropped along the way. The biggest thing missing was an Apple license for use of ROMs. It wouldn't be a Mac without a few familiar technologies. The base Starmax 6000 was to come with a 233 Mhz 604e and 32 MB of EDO memory as the base line. High end models would feature fast 8 MB video cards, SCSI cards and G3 processors (making the machine a StarMaxPro 6000). The flood gate for clones was on the horizon and Motorola was to license out the Cobra board found in StarMax 6000. When Apple stopped cloning, Motorola stopped plans for the release of the StarMax 6000.

Motorola StarMaxPro 6000 (G3)
Take the standard Cobra logic board of the StarMax 6000 and replace the ZIF 604e card with one featuring the G3. Only to make the masses more excited, give Macworld a few prototypes to test out. The speed crown was then passed from the PowerTowerPro G3/275 to the StarmaxPro 6000 G3/300. The 233 Mhz and 266 Mhz models were to have 512 KB of 1:2 speed L2 cache. The 300 Mhz version was to feature a full 1 MB of 2:3 speed cache. The high end model was to come standard with a SCSI card, hard drive and CD-ROM to round out performance. Apple never allowed a clone to ship with a G3 processor or a CHRP motherboard so that's two strikes against this machine.

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