Apple Macintosh hardware pages.
A short description of some OSX based computers, circa early 2004. This was more to keep them straight in my own mind while considering which to buy. Detailed descriptions of current models are readily available on the Apple web site. Details of older Apple models are available on other web sites.
Apple computers fall into three types. Desktop, with servers as a specialised high end area. Laptop. Within the desktop and laptop areas, Apple maintain a distinction between their professional, high price, higher function PowerMac and PowerBook series, and the lower cost, lower function consumer iMac and iBook series. As at 2004, Power series were done in aluminium, while consumer models were done in white plastic.
- Server system. 1.33GHz G4 and up. Top of the Apple price range, and outside my price point and needs. Rack mount from A$5795, RAID servers from A$11,999.
- G5 PowerMac (early 2004)
- Elegant looking single and dual processor top of line tower case desktop computers, with 1.6GHz to 2GHz IBM built CPUs. Like the AMD Opteron in some Windows systems, it is a 64 bit chip. PCI slots for limited expansion. From A$3599 US$1995. Apple LCD display (17 inch, Cinema 20 inch, and Cinema HD 23 inch) is purchased separately, from A$1299.
- G4 PowerMac
- Previous version(s) of the G5 computer, using an older, slower Motorola version 32 bit G4 CPU. I think it was replaced by G5 around mid 2003.
- Very elegant looking white half hemisphere, topped by a moveable metal arm holding the LCD display. Various models available with 15, 17 and 20 inch displays. 1GHz G4, 256MB RAM, 80GB drive, Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW, 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, modem, Firewire, USB 2.0, Apple Pro speaker, from A$2299 US$1295. This model ceased being made in mid 2004.
- Low end all in one 1 GHz G4 computer, with 128MB RAM, 40GB hard drive, combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW, modem, 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, Firewire and USB, with 17 inch CRT display built in (only Apple without an LCD). Originally probably for cost sensitive educational market. Looks like good value, however I've heard comments about CRT reliability problems, and the RAM is inadequate. From A$1349. Looks very like an earlier model iMac. Appear to have disappeared from the range around September 2005.
Since I had spent 130 days away from home in 2004 by August, I figured I would have to go with a notebook computer, despite any cost premium.
- PowerBook 17 inch
- M9110 model has 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 CPU, 512K L2 cache, 167MHz system bus, 512MB DDR SRAM memory (2GB max), 80GB ATA/100 hard drive, 17 inch diagonal TFT 1440x900 pixel display, ATI Mobility Radon 9600 video using 64MB DDR SRAM, Built in Bluetooth, Built in Airport Extreme, 10/100/1000BaseT (Gigabit) Ethernet, 56K V92 modem. Firewire 800, Firewire 400, 2xUSB2.0, DVI, VGA, S-video, composite video out, audio in, headphone out, built in microphone. DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive, PC Card Cardbus slot for Type I and II cards. Illuminated keyboard. 4.5 hours battery life. 15.4x10.2x1.0 inches, 6.9 pound. From A$5499.
- PowerBook 15 inch Gbit (2003)
- M8980 model has 1 GHz PowerPC G4 CPU, 512K L2 cache, 167MHz system bus, 256MB DDR SRAM memory (2GB max), 60GB ATA/100 hard drive, 15.2 inch diagonal TFT 1280x854 pixel display, ATI Mobility Radon 9600 video using 64MB DDR SRAM, Built in Bluetooth, 10/100/1000BaseT (Gigabit) Ethernet, 56K V92 modem. Firewire 800, Firewire 400, 2xUSB2.0, DVI, VGA, S-video, composite video out, audio in, headphone out, built in microphone. DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive, PC Card Cardbus slot for Type I and II cards. 4.5 hours battery life. 13.7x9.5x1.1 inches 5.6 pound. From A$3699 US$1995. M8981 model has 1.25GHz CPU, 512MB DDR SRAM, 80GB hard drive, Built in Airport Extreme, DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive, illuminated keyboard. From A$4799 US$2599.
- Powerbook 12 inch
- M9007 model has 1 GHz PowerPC G4 CPU, 512K L2 cache, 133MHz system bus, 256MB DDR SRAM memory (1.25GB max), 40GB ATA/100 hard drive, 12.1 inch diagonal TFT 1024x768 pixel display, Nvidia GeForce FX Go 5200 video using 32MB DDR SRAM, Built in Bluetooth, 10/100BaseT Ethernet, 56K V92 modem. Firewire 400, 2xUSB2.0, DVI, VGA, (S-video, composite video out via additional adaptors), audio in, headphone out, built in microphone. DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive (M9008 model substitutes DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive). 5 hour battery life. 10.9x8.6x1.18 inches, 4.6 pounds. From A$2999.
- White case 800MHz G4 with 256MB RAM, 30GB hard drive, combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW, modem, Firewire and USB 2.0. 12 inch display. From A$1899. Other models with 14 inch display, up to 1GHz G4 and 60GB drive. From US$1499. Good value models, with some crimping of performance to avoid cutting too deeply into the Powerbook sales.
- Airport Express
- Ethernet cable network (or broadband connection) to 802.11g wireless (WiFi) 10 user base station. Has provides USB printer support. Major selling point is digital optical or analog cable audio link to music amplifier or powered loud speakers from iTunes software on Macintosh or Windows.
- AirPort Extreme
- 54Mbps 802.11g wireless (WiFi) network access point base station with USB printer support. Formerly AirPort was 11Mbps 802.11b standard. Connect to internet.
- Spare battery for portable computers.
- Flat Panel Display
- Various models up to 30 inches.
- Music player and Firewire connected hard drive.
- Camera with Firewire for video conferencing
- Keyboard and mouse
- Using Bluetooth wireless connection. Versions available from Apple, Logitech, Microsoft.
- Power Adaptor
- Custom power point cables which are basically unavailable (for portable computers only).