Power Mac G4 Cube

Stunningly compact, the Power Mac (not Macintosh) G4 Cube came as a surprise, despite numerable contradictory rumors. Just 7.7″ square and a bit under 10″ tall – about the same height at the 2013 Mac Pro, but with a larger footprint – the Cube does everything the iMac DV does (except contain a monitor) – but with the same 450 MHz G4 processor as the Sawtooth Power Macintosh G4.

Power Mac G4 CubeLike the iMac, the Cube is a quiet fanless machine cooled by convection. The hard drive, ports, and AirPort antenna are all built into the Cube, but the power supply and twin Harman Kardon spherical speakers are external. The Cube supports both digital and VGA displays using the same ATI video subsystem as the Power Mac – and it’s on a 2x AGP slot, making it possible for serious gamers to replace the video card with something even better.

Best of all, the Cube shipped with Apple’s incredible optical mouse, where the entire mouse acts as a button, and the 108-key keyboard, eliminating the need to immediately buy a better mouse and keyboard (which many iMac and G4 owners had been doing).

All the ports are on the bottom of the computer, although the DVD drive is unique in loading from the top.

In the final analysis, the Cube may have been the most computing power available in such a small amount of space at the time – and various 1 GHz and faster single- and dual-processor upgrades offer far more power than the original G4. Apple wouldn’t provide a desktop with as small a footprint and G4 power until it introduced the Mac mini in 2005.

Approximately 150,000 Cubes were sold before Apple decided to “suspend production of the Power Mac G4 Cube indefinitely” in July 2001, just a year after it had been introduced. Apple VP Phil Schiller stated: “Cube owners love their Cubes, but most customers decided to buy our powerful Power Mac G4 minitowers instead.”

We consider the Cube a Limited Mac.

You should have the most recent firmware installed in your Power Mac G4. The newest version for the Power Mac G4 Cube is Power Mac G4 Cube Firmware Update 4.1.9, which is only for the Cube. To install this firmware update, you must boot into Mac OS 9.1-9.2.2 from a writable partition


  • Introduced 2000.07.19 at US$1,799 (450 MHz) and US$2,299 (500 MHz); began shipping 2000.08.12; discontinued 2001.07.03
  • Model identifier: PowerMac5,1
  • Model no.: M7886
  • Part no.: M7642 (450 MHz DVD), M7642 (500 MHz DVD)

Mac OS

Core System

  • CPU: single 450/500 MHz PPC 7400 (a.k.a. G4), in mid-April 2001 Apple switched the 500 MHz Cube  to the cooler running 7410
  • L2 cache: 1 MB 2:1 backside cache
  • Bus: 100 MHz
  • Performance:
    • Geekbench 2 (Leopard): 257 (450 MHz)
    • Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 282 (450 MHz), 325 (500 MHz)
    • Speedmark: 139
  • RAM: 64 MB standard, expandable to 1.5 GB using PC100 SDRAM (3.3V,unbuffered, 64-bit, 168-pin, 100 MHz) in 3 DIMM slots


  • Video: ATI Rage 128 Pro in AGP 2x slot (was Rage 128 prior to December 1999); supports resolutions to 1920 x 1200 with 32-bit support, VGA and ADC connectors, and digital video output
  • VRAM: 16 MB
  • Video, optional: ATI Radeon with 32 MB of VRAM; Nvidia GeForce2 MX with 32 MB VRAM



  • no PCI slots
  • internal v.90 56k modem
  • two 400 Mbps FireWire ports (one internal)
  • two 12 Mbps USB ports for keyboard, mouse, and peripherals
  • 10/100Base-T ethernet
  • antenna and connector for AirPort card


  • size (HxWxD): 9.8″ x 7.7″ x 7.7″
  • Weight: 14.0 lb. (6.6 kg)
  • PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
  • upgrade path: processor upgrades

Accelerators & Upgrades

Online Resources

Short link: http://goo.gl/vKgHyg

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