iMac G4

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iMac G4
The iMac G4 with a 15" screen
The iMac G4 with a 15" screen
Developer Apple Inc.
Product family iMac
Type Desktop computer
Release date January 7, 2002 (2002-01-07)
Discontinued August 31, 2004 (2004-08-31)
Media Up to 4x SuperDrive
Operating system Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X
CPU 700 MHz to 1.25 GHz PowerPC G4
Memory 128 MB to 256 MB SDRAM
Storage Up to 80 GB
Display 15" TFT LCD
17" TFT Widescreen LCD
Graphics Up to nVidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM
Input 3x USB 1.1 (USB 2.0 on later editions)
2x Firewire 400
Apple Pro Speakers mini-jack
Connectivity Optional 54 Mbit/s AirPort Extreme 802.11b (b/g on later models)
10/100Base-T Ethernet
56k V.92 modem
Optional Bluetooth 1.1 on later models
Predecessor iMac G3 (1999)
Successor iMac G5 (2004)

The iMac G4 is an all-in-one desktop computer produced and sold by Apple Inc. from 2002 to mid-2004, succeeding the egg-shaped iMac G3 and being succeeded by the iMac G5.

Design and Marketing[edit]

Different generations of the iMac G4.

The iMac G4 features an LCD display mounted on an adjustable arm above a hemisphere containing a full-size, tray-loading optical drive and a sixteenth-generation PowerPC G4 74xx-series processor. The arm allowed the display to hold almost any angle around the dome-shaped bottom. The iMac G4 was sold only in white, and was not translucent like the iMac G3. The machine was sold with the Apple Pro Keyboard and Apple Pro Mouse, which would be later redesigned and renamed the Apple Keyboard and Apple Mouse, respectively. Optional Apple Pro Speakers, which were of better quality than the internal speakers, were also available. The Apple Pro Speakers use a unique adapter, designed to work only with a select few Apple Macintosh models.

The iMac G4 originally included both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, due to the machine being released the year Mac OS 9 was discontinued. When running newer versions of Mac OS X (Tiger and Leopard), the iMac G4's GeForce4 MX GPU is not capable of Core Image rendering. This causes some minor graphical issues. One such issue would be the lack of the Dashboard ripple effect when a widget is introduced. Another would be an opaque menu bar in Mac OS X Leopard.

It was originally known as the The New iMac, while the existing iMac G3 continued to be sold for several months. During this time, Apple had all but eliminated CRT displays from its product line. However, the LCD iMacs were unable to match the low price point of the iMac G3, largely due to the higher cost of the LCD technology at the time. The iMac G3 was obsolete by this point, but low-cost machines were particularly important for the education market. Because of this affordability issue, Apple created the eMac in April 2002 and ended production of the iMac G3. The iMac G4 was then marketed as the "iMac" until its discontinuation, then was retroactively labeled iMac G4 to distinguish itself from the succeeding iMac G5 in August 2004.

An iMac G4 with Apple Pro Speakers.

Apple advertised the iMac G4 as having the adjustability of a desk lamp, and was nicknamed the "iLamp", similar to "Luxo Jr.", who was featured in a short film produced by Pixar, another venture of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. One of the advertisements for the machine featured it sitting in a store window "reacting" to every move made by a passer-by on the street. At the end, when the man sticks out his tongue, the iMac responds by opening its optical drive.[1] It was also known as the "Sunflower".

The Gateway Profile was one of the few Wintel competitors to the iMac G4 in the all-in-one LCD computer market. A reviewer noted that the Profile had better processing power, due to its Intel Pentium 4, whereas the iMac was hampered because its G4 chip lacked the 1 MB L2 cache found on the higher-end Power Mac. The iMac had clear advantages in LCD screen quality (it uses a digital LCD as opposed to an analog LCD), ergonomics (particularly the flexible monitor arm), and multimedia. The reviewer concluded that the iMac worked well as an introduction to the Macintosh ecosystem, but noted that their relatively high prices were approaching that of laptops, which are portable and have higher resolution LCD screens.[2]

Revision history[edit]

Component iMac G4[3] iMac G4 (Mac OS X Only) iMac G4 (1 GHz, DDR)[4] iMac G4 (USB 2.0)
Release Date January 7, 2002 (15"), July 17, 2002 (17") February 4, 2003 September 8, 2003 (15 & 17"), November 18, 2003 (20")
Model Identifier PowerMac4,2 (15")
PowerMac4,5 (17")
PowerMac6,1
Display
15" TFT LCD, 1024 × 768 N/A 15" TFT LCD, 1024 × 768
17" TFT Widescreen LCD, 1440 × 900 N/A 17" TFT Widescreen LCD, 1440 × 900
N/A 20" TFT Widescreen LCD, 1680 x 1050
Processor 700 MHz or 800 MHz PowerPC G4 (7450) 800 MHz PowerPC G4 (7450) 1.0 GHz PowerPC G4 (7445) 1.0 GHz (15"), 1.25 GHz (17 & 20") PowerPC G4 (7445)
Cache 64 KB L1, 256 KB L2 (1:1)
Front Side Bus 100 MHz 133 MHz 167 MHz
Memory 128 MB, 256 MB of PC133 SDRAM
Expandable up to 1 GB via one factory installed memory module in a 168-pin DIMM slot and one 144-pin user-accessible SO-DIMM slot.
256 MB of PC133 SDRAM
Expandable up to 1 GB via one factory installed memory module in a 168-pin DIMM slot and one 144-pin user-accessible SO-DIMM slot.
256 MB of PC2100 (266 MHz) DDR SDRAM
Expandable up to 2 GB via one factory installed memory module in a 184-pin DIMM slot and one 200-pin user-accessible SO-DIMM slot (officially only 1 GB is supported)
256 MB of PC2700 (333 MHz) DDR SDRAM
Expandable up to 2 GB via one factory installed memory module in a 184-pin DIMM slot and one 200-pin user-accessible SO-DIMM slot. (officially only 1 GB is supported)
Graphics nVidia GeForce 2 MX with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM (15"). nVidia GeForce 4 MX with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM (17") nVidia GeForce 2 MX with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM nVidia GeForce 4 MX with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM nVidia GeForce 4 MX with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM (15"). nVidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM (17 & 20")
Hard drive 40 GB, 60 GB, 80 GB 60 GB 80 GB
Supports Hard Drives larger than 128 GB
80 GB
Supports Hard Drives larger than 128 GB
Optical drive 8x DVD and 32x CD read Combo drive or 32x CD-R and 10x CD-RW write CD-RW Drive (700 MHz) 32x Combo drive N/A 32x Combo drive (15")
6x DVD and 24x CD read; 2x DVD-R, 8x CD-R, and 4x CD-RW write SuperDrive (800 MHz) N/A 4x SuperDrive 4x SuperDrive (17" and 20")
Connectivity Optional 11 Mbit/s AirPort 802.11b
10/100Base-T Ethernet
56k V.90 modem
Optional 11 Mbit/s AirPort 802.11b
10/100Base-T Ethernet
56k V.92 modem
Optional 54 Mbit/s AirPort Extreme 802.11b/g
10/100Base-T Ethernet
56k V.92 modem
Optional Bluetooth 1.1
Peripherals 3x USB 1.1
2x Firewire 400
Built-in microphone
Audio out
Apple Pro Speakers mini-jack
3x USB 2.0
2x Firewire 400
Built-in microphone
Audio out
Apple Pro Speakers mini-jack
Video out Mini-VGA
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” and Mac OS 9.2.2
Unofficially, can run Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard”
Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”.
Unofficially, can run Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard”
Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard”
Weight 15": 21.3 lb. / 9.7 kg, 17": 22.8 lb. / 10.4 kg 21.3 lbs. / 9.7 kg 22.8 lbs. / 10.4 kg 15": 21.3 lb. / 9.7 kg, 17": 22.8 lb. / 10.4 kg, 20": 40.1 lb. / 18.2 kg

Timeline of iMac models

Power Mac G3 Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac iMac G5 iMac G5 eMac iMac G4 iMac G4 iMac G4 iMac G3 iMac G3


In popular culture[edit]

A computer very similar to the iMac G4 is shown on the desk in Rallo's Bedroom on "The Cleveland Show".

In George Lopez, the family is shown to have an iMac G4. In the episode "Weekend at Benny's", the kids pull it off the desk during an argument.

References[edit]

  1. ^ iMac G4 TV commercial from 2001
  2. ^ http://www.betanews.com/article/1037064105
  3. ^ "Apple Unveils the New iMac". January 7, 2002. Retrieved February 26, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Apple Announces Faster iMacs". September 8, 2003. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
iMac G3
iMac G4
January 7, 2002
Succeeded by
iMac G5