500 MHz iMac (Summer 2001)

The Summer 2001 iMac came in speeds of 500, 600, and 700 MHz, although the 700 wasn’t available until August.

All models included CD-RW drives and at least 128 MB of RAM. The $799 CD-ROM model was only available in indigo. The CD-RW model was available in indigo and snow white.

A special 64 MB/CD-ROM version was released at $799 in September 2001. This is the same as the education model Apple had been selling since July 2001.

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  • Our Mac OS 9 Group is for anyone using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
  • Our Puma Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.1.
  • Our Jaguar Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.2.
  • Our Panther List is for those using Mac OS X 10.3.
  • Our Tiger List and Tiger Forum are for those using Mac OS X 10.4.

Mac OS 9

  • If you are running Mac OS 9.1 or later, iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9 should be installed. If you are using Mac OS X, you must boot from a Mac OS 9.1-9.2.2 writeable partition (not a CD or network disk) prior to updating. You cannot update to OS X 10.3 or later unless you first install Firmware Update 4.1.9.
  • For more information on firmware updates, see iMac: When to Install Available Updaters.

Mac OS X

Non-Apple upgrades and peripherals (such as unsupported USB devices, replacement drives, and third-party memory) may cause problems when installing or booting into Mac OS X.

Be sure to read and follow Apple’s “Read Before You Install” install instructions to increase the likelihood of getting OS X installed and running on the first try.


  • introduced 2001.07.18 at US$999, CD-ROM version introduced 2001.09.29 at US$799, CD-RW model discontinued 2002.01.07, CD-ROM model revised to 128 MB at $799 on 2002.01.07, discontinued 2002.07.17
  • Requires Mac OS 9.1-9.2.2, OS X 10.0.4 to OS X 10.4.11 Tiger
  • CPU: 500 MHz PPC 750CXe (a.k.a. G3e)
  • Bus: 100 MHz
  • Performance: unknown
  • RAM: 128 MB (256 MB on 700 MHz model), expandable to 1,024 MB using two PC100 SDRAM (3.3 V, 64-bit, 168-pin, 100 MHz)
  • Video: supports resolutions of 640 x 480 at 117 Hz, 800 x 600 at 95 Hz, and 1024 x 768 at 75 Hz using ATI RAGE Ultra 128 chip set
  • Display: 15″ CRT (13.8″ viewable) multiscan to 1024 x 768
  • L2 cache: 256 KB on-chip cache running at full CPU speed
  • Hard drive: 20/40/60 GB Ultra ATA drive. Maximum IDE drive size is 128 GB without third-party support. See How Big a Hard Drive Can I Put in My iMac, eMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, or iBook? for your options.
  • CD-RW: 8x/4x/24x maximum throughput (24x on CD-ROM model)
  • USB: 2 separate USB 1.1 ports and controllers
  • FireWire 400: 2 ports
  • Modem: built-in v.90 56k modem
  • Ethernet: 10/100Base-T
  • WiFi: 802.11b AirPort Card, requires AirPort Card Adapter
  • Microphone: internal
  • Power supply: 150W
  • PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
  • Height: 15.0 in/38.1 cm
  • Width: 15.0 in/38.1 cm
  • Depth: 17.1 in/43.5 cm
  • Weight: 34.7 lb/15.8 kg
  • part numbers: M8534 (indigo, CD-ROM), M8582 (indigo, CD-RW), M8490 (snow)
  • family numbers: M5521
  • Model identifier: PowerMac4,1

Online Resources


  • G3 Macs may not be supported in Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard”, which is scheduled to ship in October. Apple has not spoken on the record, but the beta cannot be installed on any G3 Mac.
  • You cannot plug the iPod shuffle directly into the iMac’s USB port – it will not fit. It will not charge if plugged into a keyboard USB port or an unpowered USB hub. To charge it while using it with your iMac, you must us a USB extension cable, powered USB hub, iPod shuffle dock, or a USB power adapter.
  • iMacs released in February 2001 and July 2001 should have iMac Power Management Update 1.1 installed to solve a problem with losing PRAM settings when the computer is disconnected from power for an extended period of time. See Knowledge Base article 120048 for full details.
  • You must have the keyboard plugged directly into an iMac USB port to boot with the power key (Eject on the Apple Pro Keyboard); it will not work if the keyboard is attached to a hub.
  • The iMac loads the MacOS Toolbox into RAM, unlike earlier Macs which use it from ROM. You lose the use of 3 MB of memory but gain faster performance.