The iMac G5 was a series of desktop Macintosh computers designed and built by Apple Inc. using the PowerPC chip architecture. It was the last line of iMac computers that used a PowerPC chip, making it the last of the iMacs that could run Mac OS 9 Classic applications. In August 2004, the iMac design was overhauled. By this time, the PowerPC 970 chip had been released and was being used in the Power Macintosh G5 line. Famously, the Power Macintosh G5 needed multiple fans in a large casing because of the larger heat output from the PowerPC 970. Apple's new iMac design managed to incorporate the PowerPC 970 into an all-in-one design with a distinctive form factor that echoed the Netpliance i-Opener internet appliance. The new design of the iMac used the same 17 and 20-inch widescreen LCDs, with all of the main logic board and optical drive mounted directly behind the LCD panel; this gave the appearance of a thickened desktop LCD monitor.
The iMac G5 was updated in October 2005 with a thinner design, an iSight webcam mounted above the LCD, and Apple's Front Row media interface. This version had a slightly bowed back and lacked the VESA Flat Display Mounting Interface of the earlier iMac G5s.
This was the final all-in-one computer manufacutered by Apple to use a PowerPC CPU.
- August 31, 2004 — Apple releases an all-new iMac line, with both the LCD screen (17 or 20-inch widescreen) and computer (including power supply) contained in a 2-inch thick flat-panel housing. Its specifications include:
- A PowerPC G5 processor at 1.6 or 1.8 GHz
- Serial ATA hard drive (Advanced Technology Attachment) in the Education Model)
- An NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra GPU
- USB 2.0 and FireWire 400
- 10/100BASE-T Ethernet port
- A V.92 modem
- A video-out port, an analogue audio-in jack, and a combination analogue/mini-TOSLINK audio-out jack (like the one in the AirPort Express units)
The enclosure is suspended above the desk by an aluminum arm that can be replaced by a VESA mounting plate, allowing the unit to be mounted using any VESA-standard mount. Apple boasts that it is the slimmest desktop computer on the market. The iMac G5 is available in three retail models (17-inch, 1.6 GHz is M9363LL/A; 17-inch, 1.8 GHz is M9249LL/A; 20-inch, 1.8 GHz is M9250LL/A) plus one education-only model that has no optical drive, no modem, and a more modest GeForce MX4000 graphics system.
Here was the ad campaign.
iMac G5 (Ambient Light Sensor)
- May 3, 2005 — Apple releases "Rev. B", or the "Ambient Light Sensor" line (the name refers to a new light sensor on the bottom of the iMac that adjusts the glow intensity of the white pulsating sleep indicator light according to the ambient light).
- The entry model is now 17-inch, 1.8 GHz (M9843LL/A).
- The mid-model is 17-inch, 2.0 GHz (M9844LL/A).
- The top model is 20-inch, 2.0 GHz (M9845LL/A). All models utilized the PowerPC 970FX, re-fabricated at 90nm.
- All models now feature 512 MB of DDR-400 RAM standard;
- The hard drive capacity is increased to 250 GB on the top model, with an option of 400 GB.
- Optional upgrades now include a double-layered 8× SuperDrive. All models now feature AirPort Extreme wireless, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and an ATI Radeon 9600 graphics chip with 128 MB of VRAM as standard. Also the 10/100 network interface has been upgraded to 10/100/1000. All models shipped with iLife '05 and Apple's then-new Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger.
iMac G5 (iSight)
- October 12, 2005 — At the "One More Thing" event, Apple released new iMac G5s (the "Rev. C", or the "iSight" line); a 17-inch display running at 1.9 GHz (MA063L/A) and 20-inch display model running at 2.1 GHz (MA064L/A) with:
- A built-in USB 2.0 iSight camera
- A remote control called Apple Remote
- Horizontal input ports rather than vertical configuration.
- Thinner 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) flat panel housing with a curved rear housing
- 512 MB PC2-4300 (533 MHz) DDR2; expandable to 2.5 GB total memory
- Slot-loading 8× double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
- Mighty Mouse
- A PCI-Express ATI Radeon X600 (Pro for the 17-inch model and XT for the 20-inch model) graphics chip with 128 MB DDR VRAM
- Built-in media center software called Front Row
- Note: the built-in V.92 modem was removed and is now offered as the optional Apple USB Modem. The USB modem is available on the Apple Store website and also in Apple retail stores.
The iMac G5 (iSight) also used a slightly slimmer case that would be used until August 7, 2007 when Apple used the same shape but used an aluminum and glass aesthetic. A downside of this case compared to its predecessor is that the stand can no longer be replaced with a VESA mount.
Alinium Body iMac
On October 20, 2009 Apple unviled an all new iMac called the alinium body iMac. Apple also released a 27 version of this iMac. The Alinium Body iMac replaced all older iMacs.
Timeline of iMac models