Aug 052002
 

GENERATIONS

last updated May 2005

These three tech notes explain the various generations of G3, G4, and G5, when they were released, and the names associated with each. You can find much of this information at AppleSpec (below), but it is provided here as an easy-to-use note for quickly identifying which generation a machine is. Please refer to the AppleSpec for detailed information.

This reference does not go back further than the G3 processor.

APPLE SPEC
http://www.info.apple.com/info.apple.com/applespec/applespec.taf?ql=ri&name=g3

*** KEY ***

A =ADB
S =Serial
C =SCSI
C* =may have shipped with SCSI card
U =USB
F =Firewire
R =Airport Ready

*** OPTICAL DRIVES ***
CD only = play CDs
DVD-ROM = play CDs, play DVDs
CDRW = play CDs, burn CDs & CD-RWs
Combo = CDRW + DVD-ROM (play DVDs & CDs, burn CDs & CD-RWs)
SuperDrive = CDRW + DVD-R (play DVDs & CDs, burn DVDs & CDs & CD-RWs)

*Note about iBook drives: during this time, differnet iBooks were shipped with different configurations of CD, DVD-ROM, Combo, and SuperDrives. Some where BTO (Built to Order), so don’t rely on the information above coorelating to the generation of iBook.

*** ABOUT THE CHART ***
Each generation is listed with a PLUS “+” symbol to indicate the new generation. A dash “-” symbol is used to indicate when different models released at the same time with different specs (such as the varrying sizes of PB G3 Series displays). These can be considered a “Sub-generation” or the “siblings” of the generation noted with the PLUS symbol.

(L) indicates a late remarket, usually “last year’s” model remarketed 6 months later. For the purpose of this chart, these have been listed on a separate line below the model they actually are. Note the different release date.

Aug 052002
 

************************************************  POWERBOOKS

THE G3 Origional aka the 3500

+ PowerBook G3 Origional, 250 mhz {SCA} ; looks like a PB3400; Nov 1997

THE MAIN STREEET & WALL STREET GENERATION – main street refers to the lower end models (cheaper); wall street refers to the higher end models (more expensive, faster processors)
+ PowerBook G3 Series, 233 mhz {SCA}; 12.1″ display ; Oct 1998
                  – 233, 250 mhz {SCA}; 12.1″ display ; Oct 1998
                  – 233, 250, 292 mhz {SCA} ; 13.3″ display ; Sept 1998
                  – 233, 250, 292 mhz {SCA}; 14.1″ display ; Sept 1998
                  – 233, 266, 300 mhz {SCA}; 14.1″ display; Sept 1998

THE LOMBARD GENERATION   (the only laptop mac with both Serial, SCSI, and USB)
+ PowerBook G3 Series, 333 mhz {SUC}; bronze keyboard ; May 1999
                 – 400 mhz {SUC}; bronze keyboard ; May 1999

THE PISMO OR FIREWIRE GENERATION  (no more SCSI or serial, all USB & Firewire)
+ PowerBook G3 Series Firewire, 400, 500 mhz {RUF} ; bronze keyboard; Feb 2000

TITANIUM G4s
+ PowerBook G4 Titanium 400, 500 mhz {RUF}; February 2001

+ PowerBook G4 Titanium 550, 667 mhz {RUF}; October 2001

************************************************  iBOOK

CLAM SHELL iBOOKS
+ iBook G3 300, 366 mhz G3 {RU} (Tangerine, Blueberry), Clam shell; July 1999

+ iBook G3 Firewire 366, 466 mhz G3 {RUF} (Lime, Indigo, Graphite), Clam shell; Sept 2000

WHITE RECTANGLE iBOOKS
+ iBook Dual USB with 66 mhz system bus, 500 mhz G3 (CD,CDRW,DVD-ROM, or Combo *see note) {RUF} ; white rectangle, 12.1″ display; May 2001
    (L)      500 mhz (CD only, CDRW or DVD-ROM *see note) {RUF} ; white rectangle, 12.1″ display; October 2001

+ iBook Dual USB with 100mhz system bus, 600 mhz G3 (Combo drive *see note) {RUF}; white rectangle, 12.1″ display; October 2001

+ iBook 14.1″ DISPLAY 600 mhz G3 {RUF} SuperDrive, white rectangle, 14.1″ display; announced January 2002

+  iBook 12 display; 600 mHz or 700 mhz G3 processor; May 2002
+  iBook 14.1 display; 700 mHz G3 processor; May 2002
(L)  iBook 12 display (Opaque) 700 mHz (with 16 VRAM) or 800 mHz (with 32 VRAM), G3 processor; released Nov 2002
(L) iBook 14.1 DISPLAY; released Nov 2002

+ iBook G3 (Early 2003); released April 2003

+ iBook G4 12 display 1.25 GHz – released Oct 2003

+ iBook G4 14 display 1.33 GHz – released Oct 2003

************************************************  iMACS
“frosted” and “iridescent” are used to distinguish the look of the plastic

+ iMac Bondi Blue, 233 mhz {U}; tray loading, frosted ; Aug 1998

+ iMac 5 Flavors G3 (Strawberry, Blueberry, Grape, Lime, or Tangerine) 266 mhz {U};
tray loading, frosted ; Jan 1999

+ iMac 5 Flavors G3 (Strawberry, Blueberry, Grape, Lime, or Tangerine) 333 mhz {U};
tray loading, frosted ; Apr 1999

+ iMac/iMac DV G3 (Strawberry, Blueberry, Grape, Lime, Tangerine, Snow, or Graphite) 350, 400 mhz {UF};
slot loading, iridescent ; Oct 1999

+ iMac/iMac DV G3 (Ruby, Indigo, Sage, Snow, or Graphite) 350, 400, 450, 500 mhz {UFR};
slot loading, iridescent ; July 2000

+ iMac G3 (Flower Power, Blue Dalmation) 400, 500, 600 {UFR} ;
slot loading, iridescent ; Feb 2001

+ iMac G3 500 (Ingigo, Snow), 600 (Graphite, Snow), 700 (Graphite, snow) {UFR};
slot loading; iridescent; July 2001

*********************
G4 iMACS – SUNFLOWER
*********************
This popular form-factor had many nicknames due to its unusual shape: a round white half-dome base with a metal neck sticking how to hold either 15 or 17 flat panel display. It is often referred to as the sunflower. The shiny metal neck allows for piviting the display up, down, left, and right as well as forward and backward.

+ iMac Flat-Panel G4 700, 800 (white); LCD display with a sunflower-like neck and white half-dome base, January 2002

L iMac Flat-Panel G4 700, 800 (15) or 800 (17); LCD display with a sunflower-like neck and a white base, July 2002

L iMac Flat-Panel G4 800 (15) or 1Ghz (17); LCD display with a sunflower-like neck and white half-dome base, Feb 2003

+ iMac Flat-Panel USB 2.0 G4 1Ghz (15) or 1.25Ghz (17); LCD display with a sunflower-like neck and white half-dome base, Feb 2003

*****************************
G4 iMACS – UPRIGHT ALL-IN-ONE
*****************************
Wheres the machine? people were said to have joked when this form-factor was released. An upright LCD display on top of a 2-inch rectanle holds the entire comuter, drives, ports, and display.

A sleek metalic foot holds the machine/display up, and allows it to pivot forward and backward only.

+ G5 iMac 1.8 Ghz, 2 Ghz (17) or 2 Ghz (20); SATA, built-in airport extreem & bluetooth

+ eMac

Aug 052002
 

G4, Cube

****************
PowerMac G4, CUBE
****************

+ G4 Cube 450, 500 mhz {UF}; 1 AGP slot; Sept 1999

****************
POWERMAC G3s & G4s
****************

BEIGE GENERATIONS
+ G3 Mini Tower 266, 300 mhz {SCA}; 3 PCI, 1 Comm slot, beige; Nov 1997

+ G3 Desktop 266, 300 mhz {SCA}; 3 PCI slots, 1 comm, beige; Nov 1997

+ G3 Server 233, 266, 300 mhz {UA}; 3 PCI slots, beige; March 1998

+ G3 All-In-One 233, 266 mhz {SCA}; 3 PCI slots, beige; April 1998

G3 BLUE & WHITE GENERATION
+ G3 Blue-and-white 350, 400, 350 mhz {SUFA C*}; 4 PCI slots, codename “Yosemite”; Jan 1999

############ 
POWERMAC G4 
############

The G4 Generations are broken down into five categories (1999-2002), the first three machines all with grey & light grey casing and clear plastic handles, the fourth with silver casing and a prominent speaker on the center of the unit appears like a belly button, and the fifth mirrors appear over the drive doors. In order to identify a G4 Minitower (which all of these are, but some of them shipped under than exact name and some didn’t), first classify its category based on the outside casing.

You can identify a machine if it falls into the PCI/AGP Generation, really two different logic boards sold at the same time, by noting the design on the rear panel of the machine where the ports plug in. Gigabit Ethernet (“GigE”) represents a split in the line halfway through the GREY-LIGHT GREY machines, and you find a clear white plastic rear panel. Both the AGP and PCI generations have a BLUEISH HOLOGRAPHIC CRISS-CROSS.

You can distingust the PCI Graphics machine from the AGP Graphics machine by one of two ways. (1) Opening the machine, you will see an AGP connector or a PCI connector. If you cannot open the machine, (2) notice the sound in and sound out ports on the rear panel of the machine. If they sit on a vertical line, it is an AGP Graphics G4. If the sound out and sound in ports are horizontal, it is a PCI Grapics G4. (Additionally, on the AGP machine the modem port is adjacent to the sound in & sound out ports; on the PCI machine the modem port is adjacent to the ethernet port further up on the rear port panel.)

The GigE and Server machines sold in Late 2000 fall into this category during which time several “BTO” or “built to order” machines were configured using these parts. The entire server line was based on the GigE design.

The fourth form factor, QuickSilver, can be identified very easily by the 1-inch speaker on the face of the machine resembling a belley-button.

Finally, the fifth G4 form factor is known as Mirrored Dirve, appropiately for its mirror-like facing which appears over the drive doors on the front of the unit.

THE PCI & AGP GENERATION (*see note)
+ G4 PCI Graphics 350, 400 mhz {UF C*};
3 regular PCI slots + 1 PCI video slot, VGA & DVI, grey/light grey casing, criss-cross rear panel, sound-in-out ports are horizontal, codename “Yikes”; Sept 1999

+ G4 AGP Graphics 350, 400, 450, 500 mhz {UFR C*};
3 regular PCI slots + 1 AGP video slot, DVI & VGA, grey/light grey casing, criss-cross rear panel, sound-in-out ports are vertical, codename “Sawtooth”; Sept 1999

GIGE & BTO CONFIGURATIONS (*see note)
+ G4 Gigabit Ethernet 400, 450, 500, Dual 500 mhz {UFR C*};
3 regular PCI slots + 1 AGP video slot, VGA & ADC, grey/light grey casing, clear white rear panel, codename “Mystic”; July 2000

+ G4 Server 450, 500 mhz {UFR C*};
3 regular PCI slots + 1 PCI video slot, grey/light grey casing, clear white rear panel; July 2000

DIGITAL AUDIO
+ G4 Digial Audio 466, 533, 667, 733 mhz {UFR C*};
4 regular PCI slots + 1 AGP video slot, VGA & ADC, digital audio port, grey/light grey casing, clear white rear panel, codenames “Clockwork” and “Tangent”; Jan 2001

BELLY BUTTONS
+ G4 Quick Silver 733, 867, Dual 800 {UFR C*};
4 regular PCI slots + 1 AGP video slot, SILVER casing, belly-button, codenames “Titan” and “Nichrome”; July 2001

+ G4 Quick SIlver (2002) 800, 933, Dial 1Gig {UFR}; belly-button; Feb 2002

MIRRORED DRIVE DOORS
+ G4 Mirrored Drive Doors; Dual 867, Dual 1Gig, Dual 1.25 GIg {UFR}; mirrored facing over the drive doors; Aug 2002

+ G4 Mirrored Drive Doors; 1.25 Gig {UFR}; mirrored facing over the drive doors; Jun 2003

+ G4 Mirrored Drive Doors 1 Gig, Dual 1.25 Gig, Dual 1.42 Gig {UFR}; mirrored facing over the drive doors; Feb 2003

**************************
THE G5 POWERMAC
**************************

Physically huge, a powerhouse of a machine, the form-factor for the G5 Powermac is markedly different from its predecessors: for one, the entire casing is made out of metal. The front and and rear panel, also metal, are punctured with tiny holes making a grill-like facing for the machine (the holes allow for optimal cooling of the G5 processor, something that was rumored to be a challenging part of the design process).

The PowerMac G5 has on its front panel a power button, a headphones jack, one USB and one Firewire port each, and a retracting disk drive (combo drive or superdrive)

notes:

POWERMAC G5

notes:
some models shipped with DVI, some not
“AGP” means “Advanced Graphics Processing,” and is a special type of video slot. DVI (“digital video interface”) connectors was a proprietary technology Apple used for connecting to some of the early flat panel displays. Begining with Gigabit Ethernet, this was replaced with ADC (“Apple Display Connection”) technology, which is now in use.

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