15″ iMac G4 (Early 2002)

The 2002 iMac is definitely different with its 10.5″ hemispherical base and 15″ flat panel display. Definitely different. Steve Jobs says the design was inspired by a sunflower.

15" iMac G4

15-inch iMac G4

All three versions feature a G4 processor and can burn CDs. The less expensive models have a 700 MHz G4, and the middle of the line has a Combo drive. The top-end iMac runs an 800 MHz G4 and has a SuperDrive so you can burn DVDs.

Although Jobs didn’t mention it at the January 2002 Macworld Expo, the G4 iMac has a new keyboard, one with white keys and gray letters, not the old harder-to-read, lower contrast black keys with gray letters.

The new iMac is also about 35% lighter than the old one and draws less power.

These are also the first iMacs with Nvidia graphics – the GeForce2 MX with 2x AGP and 32 MB video RAM is standard across the line.

Beware Apple’s specs, which claims the G4 iMac has 5 USB ports. They get this number by adding the three ports on the iMac to the two on the keyboard, nicely ignoring the fact that the computer itself has only 3 ports and the keyboard ties up a port when it’s connected.

Some Leopard users have reported problems with G4 iMacs that have GeForce2 or GeForce4 graphics. When the system wakes from sleep, the screen will be completely white, making the computer unusable. This is fixed by Leopard Graphics Update 1.0, which requires OS X 10.5.2 or later.


  • introduced 2002.01.07 at US$1,299 (700 MHz, CD-RW), $1,499 (700 MHz, Combo), and $1,799 (800 MHz, SuperDrive); replaced by a single 800 MHz model 2003.02.04
  • Part no.: M8672 (CD-RW), M7677 (Combo), M8535 (SuperDrive)
  • Model identifier: PowerMac4,2

Mac OS

  • Requires Mac OS 9.2.2 or later, OS X 10.1.2 through 10.5.x, 10.5 not officially supported

Core System

  • CPU: 700/800 MHz G4
  • L2 cache: 256 KB on-chip cache running at full CPU speed
  • Bus: 100 MHz
  • RAM: 128/256 MB, expandable to 1 GB using one user accessible 144-pin PC133 SODIMM (up to 512 MB) and one 168-pin PC133 DIMM (also up to 512 MB)
  • Performance:
    • Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 348 (700 MHz), 414 (800 MHz)


  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 2 MX with AGP 2x support
  • VRAM: 32 MB
  • Display: 15″ 1024 x 768 flat panel display


  • Hard drive: 40/60 GB Ultra ATA drive
  • CD-RW (24/10/32x), Combo drive (12/8/32x), or SuperDrive (8/8/24x)


  • USB: 3 USB 1.1 ports
  • FireWire 400: 2 ports
  • Modem: built-in v.90 56k modem
  • Ethernet: 10/100Base-T
  • WiFi: 802.11b AirPort optional
  • Microphone: internal


  • Power supply: 130W
  • PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
  • Height: 12.95-20.0 in/32.9-50.9 cm
  • Width: 15.1 in/38.3 cm
  • Depth: 10.6-16.3 in/27.0-41.5 cm
  • Weight: 21.3 lb/9.7 kg


  • 8x SuperDrive DVD±RW upgrade, MCE Technologies, $149. 8x4x12x DVD, 24x24x40x CD. 2 MB buffer. Must be installed by MCE or an MCE authorized upgrade center.

Online Resources

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