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Computing News

Apple’s 17-inch iMac/G4

Note: This document has been revised since it was first published as a news article in July, 2002. The original article is here.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iMac 17-inch system on July 16, 2002 at Macworld Expo New York. The iMac 17-inch adds a high-resolution wide-screen 17-inch LCD and a few other enhancements to the iMac/G4 product line Apple introduced in January, 2002.

The iMac 17-inch's primary differentiating feature is a wide-screen LCD that is 2.4 inches wider than the 15-inch XGA screen that is on the other iMac/G4s and (at 1440 x 900) has 65% more pixels - approximately 100 pixels per inch. The display has the same aspect ratio (8:5) that Apple's $3,150 Cinema HD Display does.

  • 800 MHz PowerPC G4 on a 100 MHz system bus
  • 256 MB RAM with one open SO-DIMM slot, allowing up to 768 MB of RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • DVD-R/CD-RW "Superdrive"
  • 10/100BaseT Ethernet and 56 kbps V.90 modem
  • AirPort slot
  • Three 12 Mbps USB 1.1 ports for connecting low-speed devices
  • Two 400 Mbps FireWire ports for connecting high-speed devices
  • An NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM that provides internal video and VGA output
  • Two Apple Pro speakers
  • Mac OS X version 10.2 and Mac OS 9.2.2, a USB keyboard (the Pro Keyboard), and a USB mouse (the Pro Mouse)
What it doesn't have (compared to a Power Macintosh G4)
  • PCI card slots (this means that upgrades such as an internal SCSI card are unavailable)
  • Drive expansion slot (this means that an internal Zip drive is not an option)
Where to get it

The 17-inch iMac/G4 is offered at an educational discount at the Computer Connection.

Technical issues & recommendations

Information Systems & Computing (ISC) does not expect there to be significant hardware-related compatibility problems with the iMac 17-inch. However, the iMac 17-inch will have the same software-related conflicts that any Mac OS X version 10.2.x or Mac OS 9.2.x workstation would have.

ISC has tested the iMac 17-inch for compatibility with University supported hardware and software, including the PennConnect 2002 CD-ROM. As always, support providers should be aware of the potential technical issues associated with any new workstation design.

Except for a slight deficit in processor speed, this workstation meets ISC’s desktop recommendations for Macintoshes, with the addition of extra RAM and an external Zip drive. Thus, they may tough competition for low-end Power Macintosh G4s in some cases.

--John Mulhern III, Senior IT Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services

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