17″ 2.0 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 GHz 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’s more variety than ever before in the iMac line. 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. Although you can install two 2 GB modules to achieve 4 GB of system memory, the computer can only access 3 GB of RAM, making that a smarter, lower cost upgrade option.

Apple offered a 2.16 GHz CPU as a build-to-order option.

The entry-level 1.83 GHz model uses Intel GMA 950 graphics, carried over from the education iMac introduced in July 2006. Because this model dedicates 80 MB of RAM to video, we strongly recommend at least 1 GB of RAM.

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

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

What You Need to Know

With 1 GB of system memory, this iMac is well suited for OS X 10.4 Tiger, and going to 2-3 GB further improves things. Base memory is enough to run OS X 10.5 Leopard decently, and 2-3 GB really improves things. OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard can run on a 1 GB Mac but really cries out for 2 GB of memory and is unleashed with 3 GB. OS X 10.7 Lion wants 2 GB minimum and is much happier with 3 GB installed.

The CPU is mounted in Socket M, allowing upgrades as high as 2.33 GHz.

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$1,199
  • Model identifier: iMac5,1
  • Model no.: A1208
  • Part no.: MA590
  • Latest EFI Boot ROM: EFI 1.2

Mac OS

Core System

  • CPU: 2.0/2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Merom, Socket M makes upgrades possible
  • L2 cache: 4 MB shared cache on CPU
  • Bus: 667 MHz
  • Performance, Geekbench 2:
    • Leopard: 2596
    • Tiger: 2649
  • Performance, Geekbench 3:
    • 32-bit single core: 1075 (2.0 GHz)
    • 32-bit multicore: 1889 (2.0 GHz)
    • 64-bit single core: 1164 (2.0 GHz)
    • 64-bit multicore: 2054 (2.0 GHz)
  • RAM: 1 GB, expandable to 4 GB using two PC2-5300 DDR2 SODIMMs, but only 3 GB is recognized.


  • Graphics: ATI Radeon X1600 with 128 MB RAM (256 MB optional), 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)
  • 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: included on all but 17″ 1.83 GHz model
  • 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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