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Power Mac G4 Cube Power Mac G4 Cube

Power Mac G4 Cube Datasheet

In the early 2000s, Apple revolutionized the personal computer industry with its groundbreaking design and technological prowess. Among its iconic creations, the Power Mac G4 Cube stood out as a bold statement challenging traditional computer design and setting a new standard for desktop computing. Launched in July 2000, this cube-shaped marvel was a fusion of power, elegance, and innovation that left a lasting impact on the tech world.

Apple introduced the Power Mac G4 Cube as a new class of computer, a mere eight-inch cube suspended in a crystal-clear enclosure. The compact size was less than one-fourth of most PCs, yet it housed a 450 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine, reaching supercomputer speeds of over three billion calculations per second (Gigaflops). Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO at the time, proudly declared it “simply the coolest computer ever.”

What set the G4 Cube apart was not just its power but its revolutionary cooling design. Unlike traditional computers with noisy fans, the Cube ran in virtual silence. The cooling was ingeniously provided by the air flowing through the Cube’s center vertical cooling channel. Additionally, the entire electronics assembly could be effortlessly lifted out of its enclosure, allowing easy access to major components for upgrades like memory or an AirPort Card.

The G4 Cube boasted impressive specifications for its time – a 450 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine (configurable to 500 MHz), 64MB of memory expandable to 1.5GB, 20GB of storage (configurable up to 40GB), a slot-loading DVD drive, two FireWire, and two USB ports, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, and a 56K V.90 modem. The package also included Apple’s new optical mouse, Pro keyboard, and Harman Kardon speakers, showcasing Apple’s commitment to delivering a complete and stylish user experience.

Power Mac G4 Cube with Studio Display and Pro Speakers
Source: sixcolors.com – Power Mac G4 Cube with Studio Display and Pro Speakers

The G4 Cube came preinstalled with Apple’s iMovie 2, the next version of the world’s most popular consumer digital video editing software. Boasting a refined user interface, improved audio editing capabilities, enhanced controls for titles and transitions, and new effects, iMovie 2 empowered users to explore their creativity with video editing.

Upon its release, the G4 Cube garnered awards and praise for its design. However, reviews also highlighted its high cost compared to its power, limited expandability, and cosmetic defects. Despite being a commercial failure, with only 150,000 units sold in its one-year lifespan, the G4 Cube left an indelible mark on Apple’s history. It became one of the rare failures for the company under Jobs but played a crucial role in influencing future Apple products, including the iPod and the Mac Mini.

Rumors of a cube-shaped Apple computer had leaked in advance, and the G4 Cube was finally unveiled at the Macworld Expo in July 2000. The design, featuring a transparent casing and a cube shape, immediately sparked debates. Some praised it as cutting-edge, comparing it to desk sculpture, while others made humorous comparisons to a Borg cube or a box of tissues.

Reviews were generally positive, with The New York Times calling it the most attractive computer on the market and PC Magazine Australia stating that the G4 Cube had raised the bar for competitors. However, criticisms surfaced, such as the touch-sensitive power button being too sensitive and the need to tip the entire machine for easy peripheral access.

The G4 Cube won several international design awards upon release and was named PC Magazine’s best desktop computer for its Technical Innovation Awards. Its design and peripherals were acquired and showcased by The Museum of Modern Art, solidifying its status as a work of art in the tech world.

Today, the Power Mac G4 Cube is 23 years old, but its legacy lives on. Its innovative design and technological advancements paved the way for modern desktop computers. Despite its brief existence, the G4 Cube serves as a reminder of Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of design and technology in the personal computer industry.

Whether you’re an Apple fan or a tech enthusiast, the Power Mac G4 Cube is a piece of history that transcends time. Its influence can be seen in the sleek and innovative products that define Apple’s reputation today. As we celebrate its 23-year anniversary, let’s look back at the cube that dared to be different, leaving an enduring mark on the ever-evolving landscape of personal computing.

Power Mac G4 Cub and Studio Display
Source: applemuzeumpolska.pl – Power Mac G4 Cub and Studio Display

Power Mac G4 Cube Details

IntroducedJuly 19, 2000
DiscontinuedJuly 3, 2001
Model IdentifierPowerMac5,1
Model NumberM7886
EMC1844
Order NumberM7642LL/A (450 MHz DVD)
M7642LL/A (500 MHz DVD)
Original Price$1,299 (From February 22, 2001)
$1,599
$1,799
$2,299
ColorsGraphite
Weight14 Ibs.
6.350 KG
Dimensions9.8” H x 7.7” W x 7.7” D
24.89 cm H x 19.55 cm W x 19.55 cm D

Power Mac G4 Cube Tech Specs

Processor

ProcessorPowerPC 7400 G4 (450 MHz)
PowerPC 7410 G4 (500 MHz)
Processor Speed450 MHz
500 MHz
Architecture32-bit
Number of Cores1
System Bus100 MHz (Up to 800 Mbps data throughput)
Cache64 KB L1
1 MB backside L2

Storage & Media

Storage20 GB
30 GB
40 GB
60 GB
Media1 – 5x DVD-ROM or CD-RW

Memory

Built-in Memory64 MB
128 MB
Maximum Memory1.5 GB
Memory Slots3 – PC-100 3.3v 168-pin SDRAM
Minimum Speed8 ns (125 MHz)
Interleaving SupportNo

Display

Built-in DisplayNone

Graphics

Graphics CardATI Rage 128 Pro
ATI Radeon
NVIDIA GeForce2 MX
Graphics Memory16 MB (Rage 128 Pro)
32 MB (Radeon/GeForce)
Display Connection1 – VGA
1 – ADC
Display ModesSingle display only

Expansion

Expansion Slots1 – 1x AGP
BaysNone
Hard Drive InterfaceUltra ATA/66 (ATA-5)
Optical Drive InterfaceEIDE (ATA-3)

Connections

Ethernet10/100BASE-T or 10/100/1000BASE-T
Modem56k
Wi-FiAirPort Card 802.11b (Optional)
BluetoothNone
ADBNone
USB2 – 12 Mbps
SerialNone
SCSINone
FireWire2 – 400 Mbps (15W total power)
Audio InNone
Audio Out1 – USB based output
Display1 – VGA
1 – ADC

Software

Original OSMac OS 9.0.4 (DVD)
Mac OS 9.1 (CD-RW)
Maximum OSMac OS X 10.4.11
FirmwareMac OS ROM 5.2.1
Bundled SoftwareMac OS 9.1
QuickTime
iMovie 2
iTunes
AppleWorks
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Microsoft Outlook Express
Netscape Communicator
FAXstf
Palm Desktop
Cro-Mag Rally
Bugdom
Nanosaur software
Apple Hardware Test CD

Keyboard and Mouse

PeripheralsApple Pro Keyboard
Apple Pro Mouse

Power

Backup Battery3.6 V 850 mAh Lithium (922-4028)
Maximum Continuous Power225 W (DVD)
205 W (CD-RW)
Line Voltage115 V AC (90-132 V AC) or 230 V AC (180-264 V AC)

Power Mac G4 Cube Introduction Video

Further Reading and References

Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: January 21, 2024