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Sonnet Doubles Bus Speed with Fortissimo
New technology brings G4 upgrade compatibility to Power Computing machines

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

Sonnet Technologies today announced it's developed a new technology that doubles the bus speed for upgrading older Macs to take advantage of faster processors. According to Sonnet, the new technology, Fortissimo, allows owners of older Macs to take full advantage of these new chips. Fortissimo versions of Sonnet's Crescendo G3 and G4 upgrades for NuBus and PCI Power Macs take advantage of the fastest of these processors for the first time.

In PCI Macs, Fortissimo adds compatibility between the G4 processor and Power Computing PowerCenter, PowerCenterPro, PowerCurve and PowerTower computers, according to Sonnet. The buses in these machines are not natively compatible with a G4 processor.

According to Sonnet: "The PowerPC G3 and G4 operating speeds are limited to 10 times and nine times the computer's bus speed, respectively. For example, a Macintosh with an original bus speed of 33.3 MHz would previously have supported a G3 running only up to 333 MHz or a G4 running only up to 300 MHz. With Fortissimo, Sonnet has designed a separate bus on the upgrade card that runs at twice the speed of the host motherboard. In this example, G3 or G4 processors would operate based on a Fortissimo bus speed of 66.6 MHz and would have the potential to run up to 666 MHz or 600 MHz, respectively, depending on the processor."

First off the block with this new technology are the Crescendo G3 400/1M PowerBook 1400 upgrade, introduced earlier, and the Crescendo G3 400/1M and Crescendo G3 500/1M for NuBus Macs.

Sonnet has also announced a Crescendo G4/PCI 500/1M for shipment later this year. It offers the first G4 upgrade for users of Power Computing PowerCenter, PowerCenterPro, PowerCurve and PowerTower.

The Crescendo G3/PB 400/1M currently sells for $399.95. The Crescendo G3/NuBus 400/1M will be available in October and is expected to sell for $399.95. The G3/NuBus 500/1M will also be available in October and is expected to sell for $499.95. And the Crescendo G4/PCI 500/1M should ship in the fourth quarter for $799.95. For more information, visit

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