Umax Supermac J710


Developed at the very end of the Macintosh Clone era, the SuperMac J710 was the clone that never was. Announced at MacWorld in January 1998, the J710 was to feature a low-end PowerPC 604e or a high-end PowerPC G3 (AKA PowerPC 750) processor. As Apple was not approving any G3-based clone designs, there was a plan to ship J710s without a processor installed, leaving the “final assembly” of installing the included G3 processor and “J710” sticker up to the customer. Unfortunately, the J710 never made it past the final production verification stage and never shipped. It was decided that the low-end clone market would be unprofitable for Umax and the computer division was dissolved.

According to the MacWorld 1998 product sheet, the SuperMac J710 was to include a 200 MHz PowerPC 604e or 250 MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 32 MB EDO RAM, 3 GB IDE hard disk drive, 4 MB Matrox Mystique video card, 24x CD-ROM drive, floppy disk drive, 10/100 Base-T ethernet, internal 50-pin SCSI and two PCI slots inside the slim, desktop case originally used by the SuperMac C500. The processor card sits on a ZIF adapter to make G3 processor upgrades simple.

This SuperMac J710 is a pre-production, production verification unit that was owned by a Umax employee. 250 such units were produced for testing. More than 50 of them were stolen from a truck in the Umax parking lot and most of the remaining units were destroyed with a few being given to employees. This J710 features a 250 MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 96 MB RAM, 6 MB VRAM and a 3GB hard disk drive. It boots to a Umax internal, Gold Master build of Mac OS 8.1 – possibly one of the only Mac OS 8 builds for Macintosh clones. This very unique machine made it’s way to me as a gift from a very generous member of the 68k Macintosh Liberation Army.