iThink, Therefore iMac

By Steve Dorsey
  March 15, 2002

The prodigal Sun

What makes the new iMac so precious? What is it about Apple's products that make them the most coveted items in the electronic world? Where can I get one?

It appears that Apple has done it again. The new iMac is sporting a new look, a new processor, and a new mentality. The idea of having to settle for a big beige beast was thrown out with the inception of the first iMac. With this model, you don't even have to worry about it being bulky! With an 10.6" diameter footprint, the new iMac takes up less desk space than ever.

It'll Leave Skid Marks on Your Desk

The new iMac sports 700MHz and 800MHz Motorola G4 processors. This offering places the most computing power per dollar in the hands of the common user. Benchmarks place the speed of this processor at nearly double that of Pentium 4 processors which run twice the megahertz! The G4 architecture is much more efficient that competitors' chips, but that's a discussion for another time.

Mac of All Trades

The new iMac is one of the first Macs to ship with Mac OSX as the dominant OS. This heralds Apple's confidence in the new OS and signals a major shift for the common user. Most users are not willing to get under the hood and will be more likely to use whatever OS comes preinstalled on the computer when they take it out of the box. We will now see Mac OSX permeate into the mainstream.

Capable of more than ever before, the new iMac can act as a simple workstation, a graphics workhorse, a contributing member of any renderfarm, a network video server, a full-featured unix server/workstation and much more. OSX is able to do all of these things with relative ease.

Burn, Baby Burn

The Superdrive has finally trickled down to the entry-level machines. That means that you can burn CDs and DVDs for less overhead than ever before. Pair that with Apple's price drop in DVD-R media (from $10 to %5) and you've got a home video setup which is rivaled by no one.


What will they think of next?! All of the expansion ports are located on the back of the lower dome to give you a clean, wire-free desktop. Apple has also given the user three USB ports to alleviate some of the pains that come from having a lot of peripherals. Of course, there are still the two USB ports on the keyboard. It also has 2 firewire ports, a built-in 56k modem, and a 10/100Base-T Ethernet port.

Additionally, you will find a speaker minijack (for apple ApplePro speakers), a headphone jack, and a mini-VGA output port . The Mini-VGA allows you to connect an external monitor or LCD projector which will mirror the video which appears on the built-in screen. Perfect for presentations.

Seeing is Believing

The video capabilities on this machine are the best yet. Inside, you will find an NVidia GeForce 2 MX graphics processor which runs on an AGP 2X bus. Equipped with 32MB DDR video memory, this video card handles even the most complex games with ease even at 1024x768 in millions of colors.

The built-in screen features a 15-inch (viewable) TFT active-matrix LCD display. With excellent brightness and clarity, this is the brightest flat-screen technology available today.

The iMac is available in three configurations at three price-points. The $1,299 model features a CD-RW drive, a 700MHz processor, and a 40GB hard drive. The $1,499 model features a ComboDrive (CD RW and DVD ROM), a 700MHz processor, and a 40GB hard drive. The top of the line model sports the Apple Super Drive (CD RW and DVD-R), an 800 MHz processor, and a 60GB hard drive. All models ship with the new "Snow" white Apple keyboard and mouse.