Power Mac G5 (Dual Core, 2.3 GHz, 2005)

The Power Mac G5 tower represented a major design departure from the four previous Mac “pro” tower designs. The Power Mac G5 used an anodized aluminum alloy case design with a removable side panel that replaced the hinged door on previous Mac towers.

The sides of the Power Mac G5 were solid aluminum with a light gray Apple logo printed on center. The front and back used a pattern of aluminum perforations as design elements, structure, and as part of the ventilation for the internal systems.

This model is a Power Mac G5 Dual Core running at 2.3 GHz. The same design was available in a G5 Dual Core (2.0 GHz) and a G5 Quad Core (2.5 GHz) variation, with all models using 970MP G5 processors with two independent cores on a single chip. This tower included 512 MB or 1 GB RAM (SDRAM), a 250 GB (Serial ATA) hard drive, a 16x dual-layer SuperDrive, and a NVIDIA GeForce 6600 video card.

The front of the tower included a single optical drive, the power button, and three ports: one 3.5 mm headphone jack, one USB port, and a FireWire 400 port.

The back of the tower included four slots. Slot 1 includes two DVI ports (one single-link DVI and one dual-link DVI port), while slots 2–4 are unused. Rear ports include two independent Gigabit Ethernet ports, one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port, optical digital audio in/out ports, a 3.5 mm line-out audio jack, a 3.5 mm line-in audio jack, and three USB 2.0 ports.

Internally, the tower supports AirPort Extreme (802.11g) and Bluetooth 2.0 wireless protocols. Everymac reports that the inside of Power Mac G5 models were divided into “four different thermal zones with nine computer-controlled fans for optimum cooling.” Also, this Power Mac G5 has two internal hard drives.

The case design with its front and back aluminum perforations and handles is, indeed, reminiscent of a cheese grater—albeit a beautiful one.

Source: Everymac

Power Mac G4 (1.25 GHz, “mirrored drive doors,” 2003)

The Power Macintosh G4/1.25 GHz “Mirrored Drive Doors” tower used a 1.25 GHz PowerPC 7455 G4 processor, 256 MB RAM, an 80 GB hard drive, a 12X DVD-ROM/CD-RW “Combo” drive, and allowed wireless using an optional AirPort (802.11b) card. This model was released along with new Power Macintosh G5 models to provide a lower-cost alternative for users who did not need the power of the G5 and still wanted to boot with the MacOS 9 operating system.

While similar to the previous “Quicksilver” model, the front of this tower retains the silver opaque color, but adds a mirror-finished plate over the two available optical drive doors in the center. Although two drive spaces are available, this example only uses one “Combo” (CD/DVD reader/writer) drive in the top position. The prominent drive doors also include the power button at the top-center and an “interrupt” button off to the right. A single speaker is placed above the doors. Four conspicuous ventilation holes span the bottom of the front of this tower.

The back of the tower was flipped compared to previous similar tower designs (G3 blue and white, G4 graphite, and G4 Quicksilver), in that the expansion slots are placed at the top. This tower has spaces for five slots, but only uses slot 1 (at the bottom) to house a VGA port and ADC (proprietary Apple Display Connector) port; slots 2–5 are unused. Ports are included below with two USB, two FireWire (400), one ethernet, a space for a modem port, and side-by-side microphone (line-in)/speaker (audio-out) 3.5 mm jacks. A dedicated Apple speaker port is included to allow Apple’s crystal-clear spherical speakers to be used.

The right side of the tower included a latch with a circular rubberized grip that allowed the entire side of the tower to be opened on a hinge, revealing and providing relatively easy access to all internal components. Plug-in slots (such as video, memory, and wireless) were attached to the hinged side, while components such as drives and fans remained attached to the internal metal frame of the tower.

A design concept worth noting in this tower is its two-layer round-hole pattern on the back. The internal layer features smaller, closely spaced holes in silver metal, while the larger outer holes are spaced further apart in light-silver plastic. The concept is similar to the somewhat-maligned “cheese grater” design used in the 2019 Mac Pro tower. The 2019 Mac Pro uses a “machined spherical array” of ventilation holes in a distinctive design—”The lattice pattern on the Mac Pro is based on a naturally occurring phenomenon in molecular crystal structures.” To be clear, the 2019 design is a single piece of machined metal—not two separate layers—but the designs are related visually. In both the 2003 and 2019 towers, the holes are used simultaneously as design, structure, and ventilation.

Source: Everymac, Apple

Power Mac G4 (1.0 GHz, “Quicksilver,” 2002)

The Power Macintosh G4/1.0 GHz was nicknamed “Quicksilver” because of its new silver color and its significant speed upgrades from the previous graphite G4 model. Internally, it included dual 1.0 GHz PowerPC 7450 (or 7455) G4 processors, 512 MB RAM, an 80 GB hard drive, and a wireless connection was available with the addition of an optional AirPort (802.11b) card. A few Quicksilver models were available with different levels of processors, drive capacities, and RAM options.

The front of the Power Macintosh G4 “Quicksilver” was opaque silver (replacing translucent plastics of previous designs). The top included spaces for two optical drives. This example includes a DVD-ROM drive in the top space and no device in the lower space. Below the optical drives was the power button, and two additional smaller buttons—reset and “interrupt” buttons—both used to recover from system-level issues. The bottom-center features a prominent chrome-finished speaker (without a protective grille).

The ports on the back included stacked headphone and line-out speaker 3.5 mm jacks; a modem (telephone) port; one ethernet port; two FireWire (400) ports; and two USB ports. Five slots were also available. This model included slot 1 with a standard VGA port and a proprietary ADC (Apple Display Connector) port, while slots 2–5 are unused.

The right side of the tower included a latch with a circular rubberized grip that allowed the entire side of the tower to be opened on a hinge, revealing and providing relatively easy access to all internal components. Plug-in slots (such as video, memory, and wireless) were attached to the hinged side, while components such as drives and fans remained attached to the internal metal frame of the tower.

The four corners of this tower serve as feet and/or handles. They are cast in crystal clear acrylic.

Source: Everymac

Macintosh Server G4 (500 MHz, 1999)

The Macintosh Server G4/500 was designed similarly as its G3 blue and white predecessor, but used a translucent graphite and white case. Internally, it had a 500 MHz PowerPC 7400 G4 processor, 256 MB RAM (512 GB RAM maximum), an 18.0 GB (or 36.0 GB) hard drive, a 5X DVD-ROM drive, and a Rage 128 Pro graphics card. This server is identical to the Power Macintosh G4 series tower, but included faster hard drives, more RAM, and shipped with a server operating system. The two Apple server operating systems of the time included MacOS 8.6 with AppleShare IP 6.3.1 and MacOS X Server.

The front of the Macintosh Server G4 was translucent graphite (gray) with an underlying pinstripe pattern. The top included spaces for two optical drives. This example includes a DVD-ROM drive and no device in the lower available space. Below the optical drives was a speaker, the power button, and two additional smaller buttons—reset and “interrupt” buttons—both used to recover from system-level issues.

The back of the tower included all ports: two FireWire (400) ports, one ethernet port, two USB ports, and stacked 3.5 mm microphone (audio-in) and audio-out jacks. A space for a modem port is included, but unused in this example. Four slots were also available. This model includes slot 1 with a standard VGA port and a DVI port; slot 2 with a high-speed SCSI (LVD/SE) port; while slots 3 and 4 are unused.

The right side of the tower included a latch with a circular rubberized grip that allowed the entire side of the tower to be opened on a hinge, revealing and providing relatively easy access to all internal components. Plug-in slots (such as video, memory, and wireless) were attached to the hinged side, while components such as drives and fans remained attached to the internal metal frame of the tower.

This Macintosh Server G4 includes three internal hard drives.

Source: Everymac

Power Macintosh G3 (300 MHz, “Blue & White,” 1999)

The Power Macintosh G3 was the first new tower desktop to be released after the original iMac in 1998. The iMac at the time was originally released in “Bondi” blue—a translucent blue-green hue reminiscent of the waters off Bondi beach in Australia—that was replaced in 1999 with a brighter translucent set of colors including a shade of blue called “blueberry.” The Power Macintosh G3 was closer in color to the blueberry iMac, but it was not an exact match.

The Power Macintosh G3 was known as the “blue and white” tower. The tower used a translucent white outer case on both sides and featured both a glossy, translucent blue Apple logo and the characters G3 boldy printed under the frosted white translucent plastic to achieve a blurred, shadowy effect.

The front of the Power Macintosh G3 was translucent blue with an underlying pinstripe pattern. The top of the front included spaces for two optical drives. This example includes a CD-ROM and a Zip drive (from the company Iomega). Below the media drives was a speaker, the power button, and two additional smaller buttons—reset and “interrupt” buttons—both used to recover from system-level issues.

The back of the tower included ports, including two FireWire (400) ports, one ADB port, one ethernet port, two USB ports, and side-by-side 3.5 mm microphone (audio-in) and audio-out ports. A space for a modem port is included, but unused in this example. Four slots were also available. This model includes slot 1 with a standard VGA port, slot 2 with AV ports including a DB-15 (“Mac Video”) port, two S-video, and one yellow video-in RCA port. Slots 3 and 4 are unused.

The port choices represent an interesting mix of legacy and brand new technology. While the desktop was the first to include FireWire 400 ports, it also included the then-new USB standard, but curiously included one then-outdated ADB port. The slots below show a similar mix of old and new: VGA and the old-style “Mac Video” DB-15 port. Thus, while the iMac was only looking forward, this tower allowed old and new peripherals to be used.

The right side of the tower included a latch with a circular rubberized grip that allowed the entire side of the tower to be opened on a hinge, revealing and providing relatively easy access to all internal components. Plug-in slots (such as video and memory) were attached to the hinged side, while components such as drives and fans remained attached to the internal metal frame of the tower.

Internally, this Power Macintosh G3 uses a 300 MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, 64 MB of RAM, a 6 GB hard drive, a 32X CD-ROM drive, and an ATI Rage graphics card. The hard drive was a faster, server-grade Ultra ATA/33 model when iMac computers of the time included IDE/ATA hard drives.

A highly specious rumor of the time noted that the design of this tower included a Disney reference. When viewed sideways, a Mickey Mouse ears shape can be seen in the negative space between the “bite” in the Apple logo and the inside of the Helvetica Bold “3” in the “G3” logo on the sides of this tower. The conspiracy theory speculated that Disney was contemplating the purchase of Apple.

I used versions of this blue and white tower in two of my educational technology leadership positions. In both cases, I used this tower to create videos and other multimedia using early versions of iMovie and other multimedia creation software.

Source: Everymac

MacBook Pro 15-inch (Core 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz, early 2008)

This MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop was released in early 2008 with an identical case design as its predecessor. It shipped with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (Penryn) processor and 2 GB of 667 MHz SDRAM. It contained a 200 GB hard drive and 8X DVD RW/CD-RW SuperDrive. The display was an LED-backlit 15.4-inch widescreen at 1440×900 resolution.

Although the external case did not change from the “Santa Rosa” processor version of the laptop that preceded it, the keyboard design removed the numeric keypad accessed using the fn (function) key and replaced the right-side enter key with an additional option key, the same laptop keyboard layout still in use now (as of February 2020). This MacBook Pro also used the same trackpad design as the MacBook Air of the time, adding multi-touch gestures.

Ports on this MacBook Pro included an ExpressCard slot, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 400, Firewire 800, two USB 2.0 ports, optical digital audio in/out, and DVI out. Wireless connections included AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1. It also included an iSight video camera and MagSafe power connector, both standard at the time.

When I acquired this laptop, its battery had burst while installed in the laptop. The battery failure caused the battery to bow in the center and it was lodged in the case. Using a few iFixIt spatula tools, I was able to extract it safely and then properly dispose of the ruptured battery.

Source: EveryMac

iMac G5 2.0 20-inch (2005)

The iMac G5 featured a 2.0 GHz PowerPC 970 (G5) processor, 512 MB of 400 MHz PC3200 DDR SDRAM, a 250 GB (7200 RPM) Serial ATA hard drive, a vertically-mounted slot-loading 8X DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive, and built-in stereo speakers at the bottom of the display. The screen was a 20-inch TFT Active Matrix LCD at 1680×1050. Wired ports included FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. Wireless connections included AirPort Extreme (802.11g) and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.

Like its predecessors, the iMac G5 rested on an aluminum stand with an adjustable hinge. It also supported the VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) mounting interface standard which allowed the iMac to be mounted directly on a kiosk, wall, or arm. The iMac G5 also had an Ambient Light Sensor under the edge of the display that dims the sleep indicator light when the room is dark.

Source: EveryMac.com

iMac Core 2 Duo 2.0 17-inch (2006)

The iMac Core 2 Duo 2.0 was the second iMac design to use a flat-panel display. It featured a 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (T7200) (with two independent processor cores on a single chip), 1 GB of RAM (667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, PC2-5300), a 160 GB (7200 RPM) Serial ATA hard drive, a vertically-mounted slot-loading DVD+R DL SuperDrive, a built-in iSight video camera, and built-in stereo speakers. The flat panel display was a 17-inch TFT Active Matrix LCD at 1440×900 pixels.

Ports on this iMac included three USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire 400 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and mini-DVI supporting an external display in extended desktop mode (rather than only supporting mirrored mode). This iMac also included built-in AirPort Extreme support.

Source: EveryMac.com

iMac G3/500 DV SE (Summer 2000, graphite)

The iMac G3/500 DV Special Edition (Summer 2000) featured a 500 MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 30.0 GB Ultra ATA hard drive, a slot loading 4X DVD-ROM drive, a Harmon-Kardon designed sound system, and two FireWire 400 ports. The screen was a 15-inch CRT display.

The iMac G3/500 DV Special Edition (Summer 2000) is similar to the iMac G3/450 DV+ (Summer 2000) released at the same time, but was offered in graphite and snow rather than indigo, ruby, and sage. It was referred to as a “Special Edition” model because it had a faster processor, twice the RAM, and a larger hard drive (30.0 GB instead of 20.0 GB).

This iMac model also replaced the Apple USB Keyboard and round Apple USB Mouse with the Apple Pro Keyboard and Mouse.

Source: EveryMac.com

iMac G3/600 (Summer 2001, snow)

The iMac G3/600 (Summer 2001) featured a 600 MHz PowerPC 750cx (G3) processor, 256 MB of RAM, a 40.0 GB Ultra ATA hard drive, a slot loading 8X/4X/24X CD-RW drive, a Harmon-Kardon designed sound system, and two FireWire 400 ports. This model was available in graphite or snow. Its screen was a 15-inch CRT display.

This iMac model represented a major default operating system switch for Apple. As of January 7, 2002, this iMac shipped with MacOS X 10.2 as the default operating system along with MacOS 9 pre-installed.

The color of this iMac is “snow.” At the time, other iMac colors were transparent, but Apple’s version of “snow” is opaque white.

Source: EveryMac.com