Brand New PurpleRAM VRAM Upgrades Bring a Little Bling to Your Classic Macintosh
Owners of classic Apple Macintosh systems looking for an upgrade have a new option, in the form of Siliconinsider's eye-catching PurpleRAM video memory boards — brand new upgrades for machines that are long out of production.
"68-pin VRAM [video RAM SIMMs] are used in many 68k-era Macintosh [systems]," Siliconinsider explains, "as well as on the original PowerBook Duo Dock, some NUBUS video cards, and early Power Macintosh PDS video card. Some Macintosh do not have integrated video, or use the main RAM as video memory, and do not use 68-pin VRAM SIMM."
For those that do, the newly-manufactured modules — built on a four-layer gold-plated board with internal power and ground plans too ensure data integrity and using new-old stock (NOS) period-appropriate memory chips — offer 256kB or 512kB of VRAM per SIMM, unlocking higher color modes and resolutions.
They won't, however, make anything any faster, despite Siliconinsider offering a selection of chips with latencies from 100ns to 70ns. "The system is unaware of the latency of the memory," the boards' creator explains. "The memory controller is pre-programmed with the appropriate wait states depending on the stock speed of the system bus. The system will run fine but without added benefit."
The memory modules are now available on Siliconinsider's Tindie store, priced at $20 for 256kB 80ns and $29 for 512kB 100ns. $5 more drops the 256kB modules down to 70ns and the 512kB modules to 80ns, while $16 over the 100ns module gets you a 70ns 512kB version.