Innovation has come back to the iMac. Just as the original iMac introduced USB to the Macintosh and eliminated the floppy drive, the October 2005 iMac G5 introduces the PCI-Express bus for video, DDR2 memory, and an integrated iSight webcam while eliminating the internal modem.
Apple took the popular iMac G5, built in iSight, made it thinner and lighter, boosted speed by 100 MHz, put a SuperDrive in the entry level model, and gave it a remote control. Throw in ATI Radeon X600 graphics on a PCI-Express bus and Apple’s Mighty Mouse, and you’ve got the Late 2005 iMac G5.
As with the May 2005 revision, Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme are standard features. There is no internal modem; it has been replaced by an optional external USB modem.
Who would have expected so many changes in the five months since the last revision?
Is there anything to be disappointed about? The only thing that seems to be missing is FireWire 800, which Apple still reserves for its “pro” models.
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- Our Tiger Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.4.
- Our Leopard Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6.
- introduced 2005.10.12 at US$1,299 (17″ 1.9 GHz) and US$1,699 (20″ 2.1 GHz); 20″ reduced to US$1,499 2006.01.31; replaced by Intel Core Duo-based iMac 2006.01.10
- requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 Tiger through 10.5 Leopard
- CPU: 1.9/2.1 GHz G5
- Bus: 633/700 MHz
- Geekbench 2 (Leopard): 1112 (2.1 GHz), 1009 (1.9 GHz)
- Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 1233 (2.1 GHz), 1137 (1.9 GHz)
- RAM: 512 MB, expandable to 2.5 GB using a single PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM
- Graphics: ATI Radeon X600 Pro (17″) or XT (20″) with PCI-Express support
- VRAM: 128 MB DDR SDRAM
- 17″ 1440 x 900 flat panel display
- 20″ 1680 x 1050 flat panel display
- Video out: VGA, S-video (requires adapter)
- L2 cache: 512 KB on CPU
- Hard drive bus: 1.5 Mbps SATA I
- Hard drive: 160/250 GB 7200 rpm Serial ATA drive
- Optical drive bus: UltraATA
- SuperDrive: writes DVD±R discs at up to 8x speed, dual layer at up to 2.4x; DVD±RW at up to 4x; reads DVDs at up to 8x, writes CD-R discs at up to 24x, writes CD-RW discs at up to 8x, reads CDs at up to 24x
- USB: 3 USB 2.0 ports
- FireWire 400: 2 ports
- Modem: optional 56 kbps USB modem supports v.92
- Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
- WiFi: 802.11g AirPort Extreme included
- Bluetooth: included
- IR receiver: supports Apple Remote (included)
- Microphone: internal
- Power supply: 180W
- H x W x D (17″): 16.9 x 16.8 x 6.8 in/43 x 42.6 x 17.3 cm
- H x W x D (20″): 18.6 x 19.4 x 7.4 in/47.2 x 49.3 x 18.9 cm
- weight (17″): 15.5 lb/7 kg
- weight (20″): 22 lb/10 kg
- Part no.: MA063 (17″), MA064 (20″)
- Model identifier: PowerMac12,1
- Best iMac G5 deals.
- Best Classic Mac OS Deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Best Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.4.
- Best Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.5.
- What’s the Best Version of OS X for My Mac?, Ian R Campbell, The Sensible Mac, 2008.02.28. Which version of Mac OS X is best for your hardware depends on several factors.
- The iMac Legacy: After the G3, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.08.15. The G3 iMac influenced the whole industry, but Apple continued to move forward with innovative designs using G4, G5, and Intel processors.
- Know Your Mac’s Upgrade Options, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.08.26. Any Mac can be upgraded, but it’s a question of what can be upgraded – RAM, hard drive, video, CPU – and how far it can be upgraded.
- The best desktop Mac for gaming and 3 runners up, Dan Bashur, Apple, Tech, and Gaming, 2009.09.10. The ultimate desktop gaming Mac for under $700 plus three low-end budget contenders.
- The Future of Up-to-Date Browsers for PowerPC Macs, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.08.31. With Intel-only “Snow Leopard” shipping, software support for PPC Macs will continue its decline. Also, a look at SeaMonkey 2 and Camino 1.6.9.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Tips for Installing or Reinstalling Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2009.06.10. Mac OS X 10.4 uses less memory than Leopard, supports Classic Mode on PowerPC Macs, and, unlike Leopard, is supported on G3 Macs.
- PowerPC Architecture Was Not a Failure, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.02.16. CNET’s Brooke Crothers calls PowerPC a failed architecture, but 12 years of PowerPC Macs, IBM’s blade servers, and three game consoles tell a different story.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Will Snow Leopard Support Some PowerPC Macs?, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.11.26. It just doesn’t make sense that Apple would ship a new OS that won’t support Macs sold less than three years ago.
- Leopard runs very nicely on PowerPC Macs, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.11.19. Some claim that Mac OS X 10.5 is so optimized for Intel Macs that it runs poorly on PowerPC hardware. That’s simply not the case.
- The future of PowerPC Macs and software as ‘Snow Leopard’ approaches, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.11.13. Apple phased out Classic Mode and G3 support with ‘Leopard’ last year, and next year’s OS X 10.6 won’t support any PowerPC Macs. Will other developers abandon PowerPC as well?
- How to clone Mac OS X to a new hard drive, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.10.07. Whether you want to put a bigger, faster drive in your Mac or clone OS X for use in another Mac, here’s the simple process.
- Tiger vs. Leopard: Which is best for you?, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.09.22. Two great versions of Mac OS X, but unless your Mac is well above the minimum spec for Leopard and has lots of RAM, stick with Tiger.
- Apple Trumps Microsoft in Making the 64-bit Transition Transparent to Users, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.18. To use more than 4 GB of RAM under Windows, you need a 64-bit PC and the 64-bit version of Windows. On the Mac, OS X 10.4 and later already support it.
- SATA, SATA II, SATA 600, and Product Confusion Fatigue, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.08. In addition to the original SATA specification and the current 3 Gb/s specification, SATA revision 3.0 is just around the corner.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly – but can’t if your Mac is off or asleep.
- Unreliable Macs, future Apple CPUs, replacing a Mac Plus mouse, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.08.12. Also Windows Media Player content that doesn’t work on Macs, Leopard on a 700 MHz iMac G4, Apple’s $99 Pro Care service, and CPU options.
- The Compressed Air Keyboard Repair, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn’t working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- How to upgrade your eMac without cracking the case, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.07.14. Some people like to replace the components inside their computers, but with FireWire and USB 2.0, Apple has made it easy to upgrade using external drives.
- PowerPC’s last chance: The Mac’s history with the G5 CPU, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.06.24. The introduction of the G5 Power Mac in June 2003 promised a bright 3 GHz future, and failure to achieve that paved the way to today’s Intel Macs.
- Virtual PC works with Leopard, Intel vs. PowerPC performance, beyond the Mac mini, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.20. Also upgrading Intel iMacs, Compact Flash in a PowerBook 2400, and thoughts on low-end Macs.
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn’t support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- External $100 Sony DVD burner likes Macs, Brian Gray, Fruitful Editing, 2007.10.10. The box and manual say nothing about Mac compatibility, but this 18x USB 2.0 DVD burner is plug-and-play (at least with Tiger).
- FastMac 8x SuperDrive and BurnAgain DVD: Fast and easy multisession disc burning, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.10.08. FastMac’s 8x SuperDrive upgrade is remarkably fast compared with older PowerBook burners, and BurnAgain DVD makes it easy to append files to a previously burned CD or DVD.
- New Macs expected August 7, Apple keyboard repair tutorial, Linux vs. Mac vs. Widows, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.08.03. Also new Apple keyboard inspired by MacBook?, Logitech’s new Wave keyboard, iNeck lets G5 and Intel iMacs pivot, TechTool Pro updated for latest Macs, and more.
- Software to darken iMac display, columnist returns iPhone, Logitech introduces air mouse, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.07.20. Also a USB turntable for turning your record albums into MP3s, a retractable flash drive, iPhone: The Missing Manual, Parallels Desktop 3 a major update, and more.
- 11 No Cost Tips for Optimizing Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Performance, Ed Eubanks Jr, The Efficient Mac User, 2007.03.12. If your Mac is getting sluggish, here are 11 tips that can help restore its original performance.
- The annoying white iMac, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2007.02.15. From a design standpoint, the iMac is brilliant, but the massive amounts of white plastic can distract you from what’s on the display.
- Region Free DVD Viewing Options for Intel and PowerPC Macs, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.09.12. Several hardware and software options that will let your view ‘wrong region’ DVDs on your PowerPC or Intel Mac.
- Macs take away Microsoft pain, Macs revive James Bond, iMac king of all media, iWoofer, and more, Mac News Review, 2006.06.16. Also Windows users guide to switching to the Mac, Bluetooth firmware update for PPC Macs, universal USB 2.0 drive adapter, waterproof case for video iPod, and more.
- Drive matters, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.06.14. There’s more to picking the right hard drive than size, spindle speed, buffer size, and price. But how can a 5400 rpm drive ever outperform a 7200 rpm drive?
- The October 2005 iMac G5 value equation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2005.10.13. More iMac value than ever, but how do close-out and refurbished prices compare?
- Do matching pairs of memory make the iMac G5 go faster?, Bare Feats, 2004.10.27. Although matching pairs benchmark up to 29% faster, real world tests show no significant difference in performance.
- The iMac List, an email list iMac users
- Apple Specs for iMac G5 (iSight)