17″ 1.83 GHz iMac (Late 2006)

Industry watchers had been anticipating Apple moving the iMac to Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, which is “up to 50% more powerful” (according to Apple) than the Core Duo used in the Early 2006 iMac. As if that wasn’t enough, Apple added the biggest iMac to date to the line, a whopping 24″ model with a 1920 x 1200 pixel display.

White flat panel iMacAll four models (17″ 1.83 and 2.0 GHz, 20″ and 24″ 2.16 GHz) have a 667 MHz system bus, three USB 2.0 ports and at least one FireWire 400 port, gigabit ethernet, and AirPort Extreme.

There are two distinct 17″ models: This version has a 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, uses Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics (just like the Mid 2006 education model), includes a Combo drive, ships with 512 MB of RAM with a 2 GB ceiling (the only Core 2 Duo iMac with such a low memory ceiling), a 160 GB hard drive, two FireWire 400 ports, and Apple’s USB keyboard and Mighty Mouse. Because this model uses 80 MB of system memory for video, we strongly recommend upgrading to at least 1 GB of RAM.

The 2.0 GHz 17″ iMac ships with 1 GB of RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, an 8x SuperDrive, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth 2.0, and Apple’s USB keyboard and Mighty Mouse. It uses the ATI Radeon X1600 graphics processor with 128 MB of dedicated video memory.

This was the last time Apple had a 17″ iMac.

This iMac ships with Mac OS X 10.4.7 and iLife ’06.

What You Need to Know

While 512 MB of system memory is adequate for OS X 10.4 Tiger, upgrading to 1 GB of RAM makes a big difference, and going to 2 GB further improves things. Base memory is barely enough to run OS X 10.5 Leopard, and you should upgrade to at least 1 GB for good performance, again with 2 GB really improving things. OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard can run on a 1 GB Mac but really cries out for 2 GB of memory. OS X 10.7 Lion wants 2 GB minimum and is much happier with 4 GB installed.

The CPU is mounted in Socket M, allowing upgrades as high as 2.33 GHz (see CPU Upgrade Options for 2006 iMacs).

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. PowerPC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.


  • introduced 2006.09.06 at US$999
  • Model identifier: iMac5,2
  • Model no.: A1195
  • Part no.: MA710
  • Latest EFI Boot ROM: EFI 1.2

Mac OS

Core System

  • CPU: 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Merom, Socket M makes upgrades possible (see CPU Upgrade Options for 2006 iMacs)
  • L2 cache: 2 MB shared cache on CPU
  • Bus: 667 MHz
  • Performance, Geekbench 2:
    • Leopard: 2373
    • Tiger: 2392
  • RAM: 512 MB, expandable to 2 GB using two PC2-5300 DDR2 SODIMMs


  • Graphics: Intel GMA 950, supports up to 1920 x 1200 external digital display, 2048 x 1536 analog display, and monitor spanning
  • Display: 17″ 1440 x 900 flat panel display
  • Video out: mini-DVI, VGA, S-video, composite (requires adapter)


  • Hard drive bus: 1.5 Gbps SATA Rev. 1
  • Hard drive: 160 GB 7200 rpm SATA drive
  • Optical drive bus: Ultra ATA/100 (operates at ATA/33)
  • Combo drive: reads DVD at up to 8x speed, writes CD-R at 24x, CD-RW at 16x; reads CDs at 24x
  • 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, 8W shared output
  • Modem: optional 56 kbps USB modem supports v.92
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • WiFi: 802.11g AirPort Extreme included
  • Bluetooth 2.0: optional
  • IR receiver: supports Apple Remote (included)
  • Microphone: internal


  • H x W x D: 16.9 x 16.8 x 6.8 in/43 x 42.6 x 17.3 cm
  • Weight: 15.5 lb/7 kg
  • Power supply: 180W

CPU Upgrades

  • CPU can be replaced with faster Socket M Core 2 Duo.

Online Resources

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