Final Verdicts
Summing up what I found

All cards have their positive and negative aspects.
Some may work well with Mac OS 8.x, while others might prefer a system with version number 9 and up
. What they all have in common is the chip. A G4 500 from XLR8 has the same potential (as a single CPU) as the one from Sonnet, but it is a question of the software, how much of that power eventually gets exploited. There XLR8's latest software is the clear winner.

Best Software and Performance: XLR8 MAChSpeed G4z MPe

As for overclockability and ease of overclocking, the winner is also clear, with almost 10% of overclocking potential, easy use of jumpers at an easily accessible place, a lot of equipment that comes with it and with good jumper setting documentation, the winner is:

Best Overclocker: XLR8 MAChSpeed G4z MPe

Respecting lay persons who might find it difficult to tamper with bus ratios both the XLR8 and the Met@box cards have a few drawbacks. Here the winner is definitely the:

Easiest to use: Sonnet Encore G3 500

And last but not least, if you're after the best price performance, without respect to things like manuals, thought-through design and like to get a bargain from discounted and discontinued products, not worrying about a lack of support and not hesitating to use alien drivers:

Best price/performance: Met@box Joecard G4 466

I'd again like to thank all the people involved into making this review possible:

Big thanks to Eric Ferraz of XLR8 for tech support, Ralf Kratz of Sonnet for the patience, Edgar Heim for the Blue&White G3, Stan Smith for the Met@box card, Raymar Kuhnen of Met@box for trying to send me review units before they closed down, PowerLogix for ignoring my inquires, my brother for the camera and last but not least thanks to all the readers for reading this.

All trademarks are property of their respective owners. I do not guarantee the correctness of any material published. All text: © G-News, all images except the MacBench scores are © G-News as well.

Bensch Blaser, G-News 04/22/2001

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