Power Macintosh G3 Desktop Power Macintosh G3 Desktop

Power Macintosh G3 Desktop Datasheet

In the ever-evolving landscape of personal computers, one groundbreaking release captured the hearts of tech enthusiasts and left an indelible mark on the industry. The Power Macintosh G3 Desktop, unveiled by Apple in 1997, wasn’t just a computer; it was a game-changer that redefined the standards of power and performance.

On November 10, 1997, Apple unleashed the Power Macintosh G3 Desktop, captivating the tech world with its sleek design and cutting-edge features. Priced at $2,399, it was more than just a computer; it was a technological marvel. Boasting a PowerPC 750 G3 processor, running at speeds of 233 MHz, 266 MHz, or 300 MHz, and featuring 32 MB or 64 MB of RAM, the G3 Desktop was a powerhouse from the get-go.

The base model included a 4 GB or 6 GB hard drive, a 24x CD-ROM drive, a 1.44 MB floppy drive, and 2 MB ATI 3D Rage II+ graphics. These specifications were revolutionary for their time, setting the G3 Desktop apart as a formidable force in the world of personal computing.

At its core, the Power Macintosh G3 Desktop was the pioneer of Apple’s use of the “Third-Generation” (G3) PowerPC 750 processor. This marked a significant leap forward, introducing a new “backside” level 2 cache that delivered a substantial performance boost compared to earlier systems with a “lookaside” level 2 cache. The result? Unmatched speed and efficiency.

Customization options further elevated the G3 Desktop’s appeal. Users could opt for an Ultra/Wide SCSI hard drive, internal DVD-ROM drive, internal Zip drive, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, superior graphics, and even a Firewire card. This level of flexibility allowed users to tailor the G3 Desktop to their specific needs, setting a standard for user-centric personal computing.

The Desktop model inherited its enclosure directly from the Power Macintosh 7300, offering a seamless blend of design continuity and innovation. The 233 and 266 MHz desktop models shipped with 4 GB hard drives, while the 300 MHz model featured a 6 GB drive, all spinning at 5400 RPM. Notably, this model affectionately dubbed the “Outrigger Macintosh” for its ease of access, marked the culmination of horizontally oriented desktop models until the advent of the Mac mini in 2005.

An update in August 1998 brought changes to the lineup, with the discontinuation of the 233 MHz model. Unlike the Mini Tower model, the Desktop variant did not receive updates with 333 MHz or 366 MHz CPUs. However, its remarkable journey didn’t end there.

Although the Power Macintosh G3 Desktop had a relatively short stint on the market—discontinued on December 14, 1998—its impact was profound and enduring. The legacy of the G3 Desktop lives on, etched in the annals of Apple’s history. It remains a beloved and respected part of the tech giant’s evolution, continuing to inspire future generations of Macs.

Even today, 26 years after its initial release, the Power Macintosh G3 Desktop holds a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. Its powerful processor and impressive graphics capabilities were ahead of their time, making it a preferred choice for demanding tasks such as video editing and graphic design.

The Power Macintosh G3 Desktop wasn’t just a computer; it was a revolutionary force that shaped the trajectory of personal computing. Its sleek design, powerful specifications, and lasting impact make it a timeless marvel in the rich tapestry of Apple’s history. As we celebrate the G3 Desktop’s legacy, we can’t help but marvel at the enduring influence it had on the tech world—a testament to the visionary spirit that defines Apple’s ethos.

Power Mac G3 Desktop
Source: etsy.com – Power Mac G3 Desktop

Power Macintosh G3 Desktop Details

IntroducedNovember 10, 1997 (233 MHz & 266 MHz)
March 17, 1998 (300 MHz)
DiscontinuedAugust 12, 1998 (233 MHz)
December 14, 1998 (266 MHz & 300 MHz)
Model Identifier510
Model NumberM3979
Order NumberM6141LL/A
Original Price$1,999 (From August 12, 1998)
Weight22 Ibs.
9.979 KG
Dimensions6.3” H x 14.4” W x 16.9” D
16 cm H x 36.57 cm W x 42.92 cm D

Power Mac G3 Tech Specs


ProcessorPowerPC 750 G3
Processor Speed233 MHz
266 MHz
300 MHz
Number of Cores1
System Bus66 MHz
Cache64 KB L1
512 KB or 1 MB backside L2
CoprocessorBuilt-in FPU

Storage & Media

Storage4 GB
6 GB
Media1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
1 – 12x CD-ROM
1 – Zip (Optional)


Built-in Memory32 MB
Maximum Memory192 MB (Apple)
768 MB (Actual)
Memory Slots3 – PC66 3.3v 168-pin SDRAM Low Profile
Minimum Speed10 ns
Interleaving SupportNo


Built-in DisplayNone


Graphics CardATI 3D Rage II+
ATI 3D Rage Pro
Graphics Memory2 MB
6 MB
Display Connection1 – DB-15
Display ModesSingle display only


Expansion Slots3 – PCI
Bays2 – 3.5-inch SCSI devices
Hard Drive InterfaceATA-2 and SCSI


Ethernet10BASE-T (RJ-45)
Modem56k (Optional)
SCSI1 – DB-25
Floppy PortNone
Audio In1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack
1 – RCA input (Optional)
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
1 – RCA output (Optional)
1 – Built-in speaker
Display1 – DB-15


Original OSMac OS 8
Maximum OSMac OS X 10.2.8
FirmwareMacintosh ROM

Keyboard and Mouse

PeripheralsAppleDesign Keyboard
ADB Mouse II


Backup Battery3.6-3.9 V Lithium (922-4542)
Maximum Continuous Power230 W
Line Voltage100-240 V AC

Further Reading and References

Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: December 17, 2023