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CRT based iMac?

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macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
Oh boy.



macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
CRTs are a thing of the past. Today's LCDs have surpassed them in almost every area, and 120 Hz + OLED displays will eventually give us the higher refresh rates + black blacks which are the only remaining advantages of CRTs.

Plus, CRTs are just too big and heavy at the sizes of today's iMacs. My Power Mac G4 is set up with a period-correct 21" Apple Studio Display CRT and it happens to be one of the biggest / heaviest Apple products ever made. I could barely fit that thing on my desk, let alone a 27" version of it.


macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
Even if you wanted a new CRT Mac - I don't think there are any companies (in the world) that still make any kind of CRT.

High voltage danger?
Danger from damage/drops? (implosion is exciting, but not if you are close.
Oh, and the hazardous coatings on the inside of those CRTs... another reason that manufacturing would not likely be feasible with CRTs of any size now.

"pretty" does not necessarily translate to "practical" or even, reasonable cost.


macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
You definitely definitely purchase an old G3 iMac, replace the monitor with a flat panel and the internal computer with a mac mini if you want macOS or even a Raspberry Pi 4.

While we are at it.

Give me a redo on the iMac G4.


macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
My immediate reaction was OMG, is this person crazy? But then thinking about it, the idea is not dependent on the CRT, which would be irresponsible given the phosphorous coating on the screen, but really the form factor, so a flat screen LCD or LED or OLED fits easily in that space and the processing elements go in behind, no big deal, it's just a retro look with state of the art innerds. One of those pictured was just this idea. I'm thinking that there are enough kids born after they were first introduced that Apple could probably sell quite a few.
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Jun 13, 2015
who makes CRTs anymore? Is the manufacturing process environmentally responsible? Is it truly worth trying to develop a manufacturing process that is?


macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2009
I remember seeing a 20" CRT in, oh, 1999, and thinking what a HUGE screen size (and monitor!) Now I have 32" 4k and 24 1080P monitors floating over my desk, and combined, they don't weigh or take up the space of that 20" CRT.
No thanks.


macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2019
Liverpool, UK
We used to use Large Eizo CRT monitors for DTP work...billions of colours and 2560x1600 resolution before HD was a thing.

Carting one around across the world on projects, along with the Quadra 840av computer, took 2 of us and a trolley.

A couple of years later we were told we were being given a new LCD monitors - all at a wonderful 15” and 1024x768 resolution.

It took a fair while for LCD/LED to catch up to the professional CRTs, and the Sony/Eizo monitors were still preferred for a long time.


macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
Hawaii, USA
They also put out a ton of heat. I remember my cat used to love to jump atop the monitor and then nap there; I'd have to occasionally move her tail aside when it would drift in front of the screen.

I'm all for nostalgia, but I don't think there's much favorable nostalgia for those displays. Modern displays are far superior. If you really want, I'm sure you can find a digital effects filter that induces scan lines, fuzziness, and that glassy distortion to make you feel as if you're sitting on front of one.


macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2018
You definitely definitely purchase an old G3 iMac, replace the monitor with a flat panel and the internal computer with a mac mini if you want macOS or even a Raspberry Pi 4.
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macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
I am wondering how many people think that apple should make a CRT based iMac like these

...sure, if that's what it takes to get our USB-A ports back :) (Joke - I do actually know the iMac still has USB-A).

...but, no, good riddance to the CRT - sometimes progress really is progress - but if you want a revival, how about the LCD-screened iMac: G4:

Only problem is that we know that today a cantilever monitor arm like that would cost at least $999 in modern money.


macrumors newbie
Nov 6, 2019
Wow... I know most people are ignorant when it comes to the advantages of CRT technology, but the attitudes here towards the OP's suggestion is really disappointing. CRTs are superior to LCDs in every way except size and weight. No, Apple won't make a CRT Mac again, for many reasons including the fact that no one manufactures CRTs anymore... but that doesn't mean it isn't extremely disappointing that this is the reality of the situation. People were such fools to abandon the superior technology of CRT just for the convenience of having a thin and lightweight display, and they will continue to be fools if they don't come to recognize the mistake we've made.

Fortunately, more and more people are coming around and realizing that mistake and acknowledging what we've lost by abandoning CRT technology. I wonder if we will ever reach a point where there is enough regret over this that the technology is revisited again. I really hope so. I believe if the technology had continued to be developed, we'd have some mind-blowing CRT displays on the market right now. Samsung had gotten CRT tubes pretty damn thin in their Slimfit TVs towards the end of the CRT era, it would have been really awesome if that kind of technology had made it into high resolution VGA monitors.

To anyone who laughs at my response, I suggest you read this article, and watch the video linked in the article...


macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
Perhaps it was the way I was reading it, but I thought the tone of the article was "novelty," not "realistic technology vector."

I do remember how excited I was to get my 20-inch Sony monitor, which if memory serves weighed 80 pounds. I also remember being amazed at how much better my first Dell 17-in LCD display looked. Built like a tank (still works), easier to look at for long periods of time, and sharp as a tack.

Then there was our 32in (?) Sony XBR TV. Had a cabinet built around the dimensions for it, but the cabinet maker forgot to account for the weight, and the 1-in-thick shelf bowed in the middle. The instruction manual clearly stated that it was not a 1-person job to move. I think it was 180 pounds.

Would probably have to reinforce the house to have the CRT equivalent to the 55-in Samsung we have now.
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