iMac G5

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iMac G5
The iMac G5
The original iMac G5 with an
Apple Wireless Mouse
DeveloperApple Computer, Inc.
Release dateAugust 31, 2004; 17 years ago (2004-08-31) (original models)
May 3, 2005 (Ambient Light Sensor model)
October 12, 2005 (iSight model)
DiscontinuedJanuary 10, 2006 (17" model)
March 20, 2006 (20" model)
CPUPowerPC G5, 1.6–2.1 GHz
iMac G4
SuccessorIntel iMac at the Wayback Machine (archived September 1, 2004)

The iMac G5 is an all-in-one personal computer that was designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from August 2004 to March 2006. It is the final iMac to use a PowerPC processor, making it the last model that could natively run Mac OS 9 (Classic) applications. It was replaced in January 2006 by the Intel-based iMac, which retained the features, price, and case design of the iMac G5.


Inside an iMac G5 20" Rev. A

In August 2004, the iMac design was overhauled. By this time, the PowerPC 970 (G5) processor had been released and was being used in the Power Mac G5. Famously, the Power Mac G5 needed multiple fans in a large casing (or else liquid cooling, an innovative solution Apple adopted for the highest-end Power Mac G5s) because of the high heat output from those CPUs.

Apple's new iMac managed to incorporate the PowerPC 970 into an all-in-one design with a distinctive form factor. The computer used the same 17 and 20-inch widescreen LCDs found in the iMac G4, with the main logic board and optical drive now mounted directly behind the LCD panel; this gave the appearance of a thickened desktop LCD monitor. The approximately two inches deep enclosure is suspended above the desk by an aluminum arm that can be replaced by a VESA mounting plate. The iMac G5 uses an advanced cooling system controlled by the operating system; at low CPU loads this rendered the iMac G5 virtually silent. Apple boasted that it was the slimmest desktop computer on the market.

The iMac G5 was updated in March 2005 to the Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) revision. It included a handful of configuration differences – more RAM, a larger hard drive, improved graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, and standard AirPort Extreme (802.11g) and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.

In October 2005, the final revision was released, adding an integrated iSight webcam mounted above the LCD and Apple's Front Row media interface. Other improvements included faster processors, more RAM, larger hard drives, and improved graphics. Notably this became the first Apple computer to use the PCI Express expansion bus and DDR2 SDRAM, with these features appearing shortly before they were incorporated into the Power Mac G5. It was declared "The Gold Standard of desktop PCs" by Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal.[1]

Although the iMac G5 iSight looked outwardly similar to the two previous revisions, it had a slimmer, internally new design. Improvements included superior cooling and performance increases. The stand could no longer be replaced with a VESA mount. This case, unlike the previous models, opened only from the front and requires the LCD screen to be removed before internal components can be accessed. Apple recommend no user serviceable items other than RAM, which is accessible through a small door at the base of the housing. In the intervening years, many guides have been posted on the internet to support replacing other components including the hard drive and optical drive, though doing so voids any remaining Apple warranty.

The iMac G5 was succeeded by the Intel-based iMac on January 10, 2006, beginning the 6-month transition of Apple's entire line of computers to the Intel architecture.

Revision history[edit]

Component iMac G5 (August 2004) iMac G5 Ambient Light Sensor (May 2005) iMac G5 iSight (October 2005)
Codename "Hero"[2] "Q45C", "Q45D" "Q87"
Model identifier PowerMac8,1 PowerMac8,2 PowerMac12,1
Enclosure White polycarbonate
Display 17", 1440 × 900 20", 1680 × 1050 17", 1440 × 900 20", 1680 × 1050 17", 1440 × 900 20", 1680 × 1050
widescreen 16:10, matte display
Processor 1.6 or 1.8 GHz 1.8 GHz 1.8 or 2.0 GHz 2.0 GHz 1.9 GHz 2.1 GHz
PowerPC G5 970FX
Cache 64 KB (instruction), 32 KB (data) L1,512 KB L2 (1:1)
Front side bus 533 MHz or 600 MHz (3:1) 600 MHz or 667 MHz (3:1) 633 MHz (3:1) 700 MHz (3:1)
Memory 256 MB of 400 MHz PC-3200 DDR SDRAM
Expandable to 2 GB
512 MB of 533 MHz PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM
Expandable to 2.5 GB
Graphics nVidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM
nVidia GeForce 4 MX graphics processor with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM (Education Only)[3]
ATI Radeon 9600 graphics processor with 128 MB of DDR SDRAM ATI Radeon X600 Pro with 128 MB of DDR SDRAM ATI Radeon X600 XT with 128 MB of DDR SDRAM
AGP 8x PCI Express
HDD 80 GB 160 GB 250 GB 160 GB
Optional: 250 or 500 GB
250 GB
Optional: 500 GB
Serial ATA 7200-rpm
Parallel ATA 5400-rpm (Education Only)
Optical drive
17-inch models (1.6 GHz and 1.8 GHz, without iSight): Combo drive
All other models: SuperDrive
Connectivity Optional AirPort Extreme 802.11b/g
10/100BASE-T Ethernet
56k V.92 Modem
Optional Bluetooth 1.1
In addition to prior:
Airport Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR integrated
Gigabit Ethernet
No built-in modem (Apple Modem or third-party modem sold separately)
In addition to prior:
Built-in infrared (IR) receiver for Apple Remote
Peripherals 3x USB 2.0
2x FireWire 400
Audio input/audio output
In addition to prior:
Ambient Light Sensor
Camera None (iSight Camera or third-party camera sold separately) Integrated iSight Camera (640 × 480 0.3 MP)
Video out Mini-VGA
Original Operating System Mac OS X 10.3.5 "Panther" Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" Mac OS X 10.4.2 "Tiger"
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.5.8 "Leopard"
Weight 27,55778 lb / 12.5 kg (17"), 30,2 lb / 13,7 kg (20") 15.5 lb / 7 kg (17"), 22 lb / 10 kg (20")

Timeline of iMac models[edit]

iPadMacBook AiriPhoneMacBookMac MiniPower Mac G5iPodG4 CubeiBookPower Mac G3Intel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMacIntel iMaciMac G5iMac G5eMaciMac G4iMac G4iMac G4iMac G3iMac G3


  1. ^ [1], The Mossberg Solution, November 30, 2005.
  2. ^ "Apple Unveils the New iMac G5".
  3. ^ "For schools, Apple offers special iMac G5, eMac". MacWorld. September 28, 2004.