C2, the Next iMac

1999: I think Apple surprised most of us by releasing the iMac Revision D at 333 MHz instead of 300 MHz. A lot of us had expected the lower speed, possibly coupled with a boost to 64 MB of RAM or the addition of a DVD player, neither of which happened.

Frankly, the iMac really should come with 64 MB. With very few exceptions, 32 MB simply isn’t enough memory these days, not even for an entry level computer.

My favorite Mac rumor mill, MacOS Rumors, has been discussing the next iMac: the C2, a second generation of iMac.

Blue and White Power Mac G3At the very least, it looks like C2 will have a new motherboard, one sharing more components with the Yosemite Blue & White Power Mac G3, possibly running at the same 100 MHz bus speed and using the same (less costly) PC-100 memory. And since the current iMac runs at 333 MHz, we should expect the C2 to be no slower. With a 100 MHz bus, that would mean 350 MHz at a minimum – and maybe even 400 MHz.

We should expect Apple to provide 64 MB of memory, along with an empty DIMM socket for adding even more RAM.

DVD? At this point, that would probably inflate the retail price by at least $100, so I don’t expect Apple to do it.

FireWire? I certainly hope so, since this would make it easy to add a DVD drive, backup tape drives, DVD-RAM and CD-R burners, huge external hard drives not crippled by USB 1.1, fast scanners, and so much more.

CPU upgradeable? I hope so, since the current iMac has the CPU on a card and the Yosemite G3 puts its CPU on a ZIF socket. With a 100 MHz motherboard, an upgradeable CPU could eventually mean an 800 MHz iMac C2 – or even a G4 running at 1-1.2 GHz! (It’s assumed the G4 will run at up to 10-12 times motherboard speed, meaning even older Power Macs may see 500-600 MHz G4 daughter cards.)

A bigger screen? Maybe Apple can put in a 16″ screen without making the iMac look any larger, but beyond that, it would be too large to have the look and feel of a real iMac.

Looking Back: The “Kihei” iMacs arrived in October 1999. The base model ran at 350 MHz on a 100 MHz system bus with a CD-ROM drive. Two additional models ran at 400 MHz and also added FireWire. Apple stuck with a 15″ display but made the iMac’s enclosure a bit smaller and the computer a bit lighter.

keywords: #imac #nextimac #imacc2 #kihei