Lets Compare Shall We, iMac vs. G4 Tower


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
Is Apple trying to eliminate G4 Tower sales???? Lets see..
G4 Tower (high end) with 15" Studio Display
vs New iMac G4 (high end)

iMac G4 Tower
$1799.00 vs. $4098.00

Display: 15" built-in vs. 15" external
Processor: 800Mhz vs. 800Mhz x 2
Ram: 256mb PC100 vs. 256mb PC 133
Hard Drive: 60GB vs. 80 GB
Ethernet: 10/100 vs. gigabit
Superdrive: Yes vs. Yes
Video: GeForce 2 vs. GeForce 2 w/ TwinView
Pro Speakers: Yes vs. N O !!
FireWire: 2 vs. 2
USB: 5 (actual 3) vs. 2

Ok so the G4 tower gives you 1 extra processor with a larger cache, slightly faster ram, slightly larger HD, slightly faster ethernet (which is only good if the other computers have gigabit ethernet), same video card with support for 2nd display (which still doesnt accomadate ADC), and 1 less usb port and NO Pro Speakers.

Is this worth $2300.00 for a slightly faster, slightly more upgradable computer? For me it is because they are no so ugly. But just a thought... now you can buy a G4 Tower because they cost too much and you cannot buy an iMac because they look horible. Is Apple going to lose business?? hmm...


macrumors 68040
Feb 24, 2001
Apple will clearly have a major upgrade for Towers at MWTKY. The processors must not have been ready in time. iMac sales will soar for the next 3 months because they are so feature packed compared to the towers. BTW Apple isn't going to lose business because you don't like how the iMac looks.


macrumors 68040
Dec 29, 2001



macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2001
Los Angeles

so whats a fair price for a faster bus, upgradeable HDs, second G4, ability to put in 1.5 gb of ram... I say...

200 dollars....

I say this because I want to steal a DP 800 when the new ones are released.


macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2001
Portland, OR
A better comparison is...

...1800 dollar iMac vs. PowerMac 867 (2500 dollars)

Advantages of the tower (iMac vs. tower)
800 vs. 867 ---67Mhz difference
100mhz system bus vs. 133 ---slightly faster system bus
PC100 vs. PC133 ---faster RAM to go along with the bus
no bays/pci slots vs. quite a few ---the biggest advantage
10/100 ethernet vs. gigabit ---somewhat useful

Advantages of the iMac (iMac vs. tower)
10" footprint vs. minitower+monitor footprint --much smaller
speakers vs. none ---extra stuff
15" LCD monitor vs. none ---normally costs $99 w/ rebate
256MBs of RAM vs. 128MBs of RAM ---double the ram

Difference in price --- 700 dollars

The tower is definetely better... but not by 700 dollars worth. Maybe by 100 dollars.


macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2002
california, usa
re: a better comparison

you are right that $700 dollars is too much but if i had the choice betwwen the entry level tower and the high end imac, it would be a very hard choice

the tower is definitely created with the pro user in mind and the imac with the consumer in mind, but the consumer mac models are becoming more and more like a professional machine

it is possible some professional graphic designers are planning to use the imac as their main machine since it does have the altivec g4 which is known to be the best for graphics applications


macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2001
San Francisco Bay Area
So true...

Okay, everything mentioned here so far is very true. The new iMac at the top end is... awsome. I have to admit that while it took me a while to get over the new look. At first, I thought it was... well, weird. That's before I saw how it looks at various angles with its swivel screen in different positions.

So, the very powerful iMac forces Apple to power up the tower line. Yes, the iMac will cut into tower sales, so I don't think it will be long before everyone gets their wish and produces a G5 tower. My guess is that they may still make the low end tower a fast G4.

As for comparisons, I can see offices equipped with iMacs. They are, in fact, ideally suited with their small footprint and adjustable screen. In fact, the low end iMacs are perfect for that since most users don't need DVD-R capability. The towers will still definitely be the production machines and I think we will absolutely see newer faster towers REALLY soon.

In any case, the lo


macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
a few more G4 vs iMac differences.

Advantages of the tower (iMac vs. tower)

800 vs. 867 - With the extra 2Mb of cache it's more than just the extra 67Mhz that make the G4 tower faster that mere Mhz can tell you. Obviously with the faster FSB (100Mhz vs 133Mhz) The extra memory bandwidth will add even more kick to the Tower.

60Gb 5400rpm Hard drive vs 60Gb 7200rpm Hard drive - I'll boot faster, day to day disk operations will be faster and audio applications will have a higher track count.

Video Mirroring vs Multiple displays/video cards - speaks for itself. you're not gonna be able to have high res monitors on the iMac, you could have 2 or more displays of completely different sizes/resolutions on the Tower.

okay, it's still overpriced, underpowered and a definate sign that power users are in for a real treat later this (I certainly hope so anyway!)


macrumors newbie
Jul 25, 2001

comparing a newly introduced product with an existing line is always difficult. the expandability of the tower is maybe not important to you now but in 2,5 years the imac will be degraded to a router (ooops you cant install a second network card so....) or an icq / msn messenger machine whereas the tower may get a second youth because we can get accelerators (cpu and graphics) for a reasonable price.
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