iMac and eMac Index

Tray-loading iMacs

Using up-to-date technology (this was 1997/8), Apple created a worthy successor to the original Macintosh as a fully integrated computer. No separate monitor, no rat's nest of power cords, and no external drives necessary.

The distinguishing feature of these four models is a tray-loading CD-ROM drive. Apple didn't offer any CD-RW or DVD-ROM options.

Bondi iMacThe original iMac was introduced in May 1998 and shipped in August. With a 233 MHz PowerPC 750 (the same G3 CPU used in the beige Power Mac G3), 32 MB of RAM (officially expandable to 256 MB - and possibly to 768 MB using a 512 MB SL2 module plus a low-profile 256 MB SL2 module), a 4 GB hard drive, a 24x CD-ROM, ethernet, stereo speakers, and an integrated 15" multiscan monitor, there wasn't much you'd need to add to the US$1,299 iMac.

Beyond recapturing a vision and providing the same usability other Macs do, the iMac broke new ground for an Apple desktop with its Bondi (pronounced bond-I) blue color, two USB (universal serial bus) ports and an infrared port - and no floppy drive, SCSI connector, serial ports, or plugs for ADB devices.

Revision B

Just two months after the iMac first shipped, Apple released the Rev. B iMac, which came with Mac OS 8.5. Video RAM was increased from 2 MB to 6 MB, and the power button could now be used as a reset switch.

The Rev. B looks just like the original iMac.

iMac G3/266

With the Rev. C iMac, Apple moved away from Bondi blue and adopted five fruity colors: tangerine, grape, lime, blueberry, and strawberry. The Janury 1999 model ran at 266 MHz and had a 6 GB hard drive - 50% larger than earlier iMacs.

The new iMac sold for US$1,199 and lacked the infrared port found on earlier revisions.

iMac G3/333

The Rev. D iMac, introduced in April 1999, had the same color options as the Rev. C, but it had a 333 MHz CPU for 25% more processing power at the same price.

The tray-loading iMacs were replaced by slot-loading models in Oct. 1999. These were not only faster, but in many ways they were far superior machines for running Mac OS X.

Mac OS X

If you have a hard drive over 8 GB in size, you must partition it, and the partition containing OS X must be completely within the first 8 GB of space or you will not be able to run OS X. (If you are creating the partition within OS X, it must be 7.45 GB or smaller as reported by Disk Utility, because sometimes a GB is billion bytes and sometimes it's 1,073,741,824 bytes.)

While Apple claims early versions of OS X can run on 128 MB of memory, we strongly recommend you go to at least 256 MB if you plan to run OS X on a tray-loading iMac.

Be sure to read and follow Apple's "Read Before You Install" install instructions to increase the likelihood of getting OS X installed and running on the first try.

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