iMac and eMac Index

Slot-loading iMacs

Apple updated the iMac design in 1999 with the release of the "Kihei" iMacs. The tray-loading CD-ROM drive in earlier iMac was replaced by a slot-loading CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or CD-RW drive, depending on the model.

The slot-loading iMacs were smaller and lighter than their predecessors - and quieter, as the new design had no cooling fan. Apple also replaced the frosted colored plastics with transparent ones (exceptions: snow white, flower power, and blue Dalmatian).

The slot-loaders have a 100 MHz system bus and support up to 1 GB of RAM.

Most of the slot-loading iMacs have FireWire (exception: the 350 MHz iMacs), and they all support AirPort with an adapter.

Late 1999

Released in October 1999, the Kihei iMac came in three versions. The base 350 MHz iMac had 64 MB of RAM, a 6 GB hard drive, a 100 MHz system bus, and ATI Rage 128 video with 8 MB of dedicated video memory.

The 400 MHz iMac DV had a 10 GB hard drive and included two FireWire ports. It was available in blueberry, strawberry, grape, tangerine, and lime. The 400 MHz iMac DV SE had a 20 GB hard drive, DVD-ROM, and came in graphite.

Summer 2000

The iMac took a big step forward in July 2000. The Summer 2000 iMacs topped out at 500 MHz and included ATI Rage 128 Pro graphics. Available in four speeds, they showed Apple's commitment to DVD-ROM.

The iMac 350 came in indigo and had a 7 GB hard drive. It and the 400 MHz iMac DV had CD-ROM drive, while the 450 MHz and 500 MHz iMacs had DVD-ROM. FireWire was standard on all models except the 350.

Early 2001

The iMac took another step forward in February 2000, when the Early 2001 iMac reached 600 MHz. There were four models: a 400 MHz CD-ROM iMac and three CD-RW iMacs (replacing DVD-ROM, which was not even an option). Two of them, the 500 MHz North American model and the 600 MHz iMac used a new G3 CPU with an on-chip cache. They also used the ATI Rage 128 Ultra video and had 16 MB of dedicated video RAM. All models now had FireWire.

We also saw the most bizarre color schemes ever: blue Dalmatian and flower power. We're still not sure what Steve Jobs was thinking....

Summer 2001

The final revision of the G3 iMac was the Summer 2001 model, which ranged from 500 MHz to 700 MHz. All models had the improved G3 CPU, and base memory was boosted to 128 MB on most models, 256 MB on the 700 MHz iMac.

The G3 iMac was replaced by the flat panel iMac G4 in January 2002.

Mac OS X

While Apple claims early versions of OS X can run on 128 MB of memory, we recommend you have at least 256 MB for OS X 10.1 or 10.2, 384 MB for 10.3, and 512 MB for 10.4. For best performance, go to 1 GB of RAM and put in a 7200 rpm hard drive with an 8-16 MB buffer.

Models with 16 MB of video memory will have an advantage over ones with 8 MB when running OS X.

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