iMac G5 sound capabilities?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 22, 2002
San Francisco, CA
I'm aware that my iMac G5 has optical out and such - that's not what I'm talking about. What's I'm curious about is the iMac's internal sound capabilities - since it doesn't have a real sound card (which I beleive is true for ALL Macs) does it hurt the sound output quality? What does it output, 16bit, 24bit, or ...?

Also, does my iMac have any major disadvantages to a Mac with a real sound card installed?


macrumors 68000
Dec 4, 2002
My house!
Macs don't exactly have a sound card that you can change, but they do have a chip on the logicboard that controls the sound on all Macs. On the PowerMac G5, it is possible to add a seperate sound card.

My iMac G5 has incredible sound through my Harmon Kardon Sound Sticks w/iSub. I don't see a difference between that and a PC with a normal sound card in it.

This link should answer your question:


macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2004
if your looking for superior sound quality, go with an external sound card via USB. Do a google search for one and look at reviews.


macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
San Francisco
If you open the System Profiler (Apple Menu>About this Mac>More info) you can select the Audio tab and it will tell you the sound output specs. My G3 has 44khz output. I connect a stereo to the sound out port and it sounds great.