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iMac Basics: Learn your A-B-C's - A Performance Comparison

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The iMac, first released August '98, is now in its third incarnation. Dubbed by the online community (ourselves included) Revision "A" "B" and "C" each new iMac introduced performance bumps and other modifications. Below we take a look at the performance and specifications of each model. 

iMac history 101: Apple released the "Rev. A" iMac mid August '98 amid much fanfare and a well run marketing campaign. Unlike other product releases (still waiting for that PowerBook you ordered last year?) Apple did a respectable job of keeping up with demand. And boy was there demand for this Bondi wonder. Despite its lack of a floppy drive and serial/SCSI ports, the iMac was the best selling home computer for the 4th quarter last year and was only bumped off the number one slot in December. A short 2 months later on October 17th, Apple released the "Rev. B" iMac. Still clocked at 233MHz, the Rev B machine shipped with OS 8.5, and sported an improved graphics system featuring 6MB of VRAM and the ATI Rage Pro TURBO chip set. This solidified the iMac's position as a respectable choice for gamers and home users alike. Just this month (January '99) Steve Jobs announced the "Rev. C" iMac at MacWorld San Francisco. This time around the processor got a slight speed bump up to 266MHz and came in five different color choices: Tangerine, Grape, Lime, Blueberry and Strawberry. Color and MHz aside, most of the specs remained the same with two notable exceptions, Apple axed the mezzanine slot and infrared networking. The missing mezzanine slot stings the most as several companies had announced "void-your-warranty" type upgrades that used this slot, everything from SCSI adapters to 3D graphics cards. Before you scrap your plans to buy that lime green iMac check out iMacWorld's page describing mezzanine upgrades and their possible future in the Rev. C iMac. As of January '99 there are both Revision B and C iMacs available with the Rev. B machines priced under the magic $1,000 mark. Which machine is right for you? The MacBench scores and

MacBench 5.0 Scores

MacBench Scores are relative to the Pre-Yosemite G3/300 Power Mac
which is assigned a score of 1000. Longer bars are better.
Click here for more information on MacBench 5.0
   


 
 




 
 


 
 

Graphics score for Rev. A iMac to follow soon.

 

Model/Mhz Bus Speed
(Mhz)
RAM Backside
Cache
VRAM Expansion
Slots

iMac G3/233 Revision A

66

32 SDRAM
256 MB Max

512K

2MB
SGRAM
6MB
Max

-

iMac G3/233 Revision B

66

32 SDRAM
256 MB Max

512K

6MB
SGRAM
6MB
Max

-

iMac G3/266 Revision C 

66

32 SDRAM
384 MB Max

512K @133Mhz

6MB
SGRAM
6MB
Max

-

Model/Mhz Hard
Drive
CDROM
Drive
 Networking
Modem 
 Aditional
Features
Reviews & Information

iMac G3/233 Revision A

4GB
IDE

24X

10/100 Ethernet
54K 

1

MacReviewZone
Time
Apple Tech
MacIntouch
Insanely Great
ABC News
PC World

iMac G3/233 Revision B

4GB
IDE

24X

10/100 Ethernet
54K 

15" Monitor

ATI RAGE PRO TURBO accelerated 2D/3D graphics controller

MacReviewZone
Apple Tech
Time
MacIntouch
Insanely Great
ABC News
PC World
Free Press
SF Examiner
Business Week
PCWeek
USA Today
Salon

iMac G3/266 Revision C 

6GB
IDE

24X

10/100 Ethernet
54Kbps 

15" Monitor

ATI RAGE PRO TURBO accelerated 2D/3D graphics controller

MacReviewZone
MacSpeedZone
Time
Apple Tech



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