Do you know about the PowerExpress, also known as the Power Macintosh 9700? This machine was intended to be the ‘high-end’ version of the Power Mac G3, notably featuring six PCI slots, whereas the Power Mac G3 had only three.
You can find a lot of information about this machine, and it was designed to accommodate either a 275 MHz PowerPC G3 or a card with two 350 MHz PowerPC 604e processors. It could be loaded with RAM and PCI cards, of course.
The machine included SCSI (apparently Fast SCSI) and IDE, along with a connector for a video card enabling acquisition. It’s worth noting there was also a connector for a PC floppy drive, which is quite rare.
There was also a variant called ‘Manhattan,’ planned with only three PCI slots, under the name Power Macintosh 7300.
You can also find numerous photos of a PowerExpress here, featuring a model equipped with a 275 MHz PowerPC G3.
Surprisingly, the sounds contained in the ROM were quite unusual, and some have been retrieved.
The only information we don’t really have is why it never made it to market. Did Steve want to eliminate this machine when he streamlined the lineup (this dates back to 1997 when he returned)? Did the machine have reliability issues? I also know that the G3 (PowerPC 750) was a surprise to some because initially, it was an entry-level PowerPC core, yet it outperformed the PowerPC 604e, which might have expedited the transition.