Motorola StarMax

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A Motorola StarMax 3000/160MT

The Motorola StarMax was a line of Macintosh clones produced by Motorola in 1996 and 1997. They used versions of Apple's Tanzania motherboard, which was designed to use standard IBM PC compatible components in addition to Apple-proprietary components then in common use in the Power Macintosh family. StarMax computers featured SVGA video ports rather than the proprietary port Apple used at the time, and PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports in addition to ADB. The motherboard was also capable of using manual-eject floppy drives, though Motorola disabled this functionality and shipped the computers with software-eject drives.

The StarMax line was discontinued after Apple terminated the Macintosh clone license program in 1997.

Product line[edit]

The StarMax was sold in four different product lines. In addition, the StarMax 6000, based on the PowerPC 750 processor was announced, but never shipped due to the termination of the Macintosh clone program. It would have been available several months before Apple released the Power Macintosh G3.

StarMax models numbers were derived using a standard system: (product line)/(CPU speed)(case type)

  • product line was 3000, 4000, 5000, or 5500 and designated the CPU used in the machine
  • cpu speed was the processor's clock speed, in megahertz
  • case type was either DT or MT and designated the type of case used
    • DT was a desktop case suitable for placing under a monitor
    • MT was a minitower case

5000 and 5500 models used an upgraded "Tanzania II" logic board featuring faster system bus speeds and improved integrated graphics based on the ATI 3D RAGE II+ chip.


Further reading[edit]

  • Girard, Kim (15 September 1997). "Apple Clone Makers Shut Out". ComputerWorld.
  • Linzmayer, Owen W. (2004). "The Clone Quandary". Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company. No Starch Press. pp. 245–262. ISBN 978-1-59327-010-0.

External links[edit]