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The Power Macintosh (later Power Mac) is a family of personal computers that were designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer as part of its Macintosh brand from March 1994 until August 2006.

Introduction[]

Described by Macworld magazine as "The most important technical evolution of the Macintosh since the Mac II debuted in 1987," the Power Macintosh was Apple's first computer to use a PowerPC RISC processor. Existing software written for 68k processors that were used in earlier Macintoshes would not run on the PowerPC natively, so a Mac 68k emulator was included, starting with System 7.1.2. While the emulator provided good compatibility with existing Macintosh software, initial performance was about one-third slower than comparable Macintosh Quadra systems. The Power Macintosh replaced the Quadra at the high end of Apple's lineup, and were initially sold in similar enclosures, but with 4-digit model numbers. As PowerPC-native software began to appear, significant performance improvements were realized.

Photoshop 3.0 was the first PowerPC-native application from Adobe.

PowerPC native software[]

Evolution and discontinuation[]

Over the next twelve years, the Power Macintosh evolved through a succession of enclosure designs, a rename to "Power Mac", five major generations of PowerPC chips, and a great deal of press coverage, design accolades, and controversy about performance claims. The Power Mac was discontinued as part of Apple's transition to Intel processors,[1] which occurred while Macromedia was being acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005.[2] Adobe Creative Suite 3 added support for multi-core Intel-based Macs, and Creative Suite 4 dropped support for PowerPC entirely.

References[]

  1. Four years later: Why did Apple drop PowerPC? by Brooke Crothers, CNET. 2009-06-15.
  2. Adobe Completes Acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe Systems. 2005-12-05. Archived 2005-12-07.

External links[]

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