The eMac (short for education Mac) is a discontinued all-in-one Mac desktop computer that was produced and designed by Apple Computer. Released in 2002, it was originally aimed at the education market but was later made available as a cheaper mass-market alternative to Apple's "Sunflower" iMac G4. The eMac was pulled from retail on October 12, 2005, and was again sold exclusively to educational institutions thereafter. It was discontinued by Apple on July 5, 2006, and replaced by a cheaper, low-end iMac G5 that, like the eMac, was exclusively sold to educational institutions.

Logo of eMac
Logo of eMac
The Apple eMac
DeveloperApple Computer
Release dateApril 29, 2002; 22 years ago (2002-04-29)
Introductory priceUS$1,099 (equivalent to $1,860 in 2023)
DiscontinuedJuly 5, 2006; 17 years ago (2006-07-05)
CPUPowerPC 7450, 700 MHz–1.42 GHz
Display17 in (43 cm) flat CRT,
1280 x 960
Mass55 lb (25 kg)
PredecessoriMac G3
SuccessoriMac G5

The eMac design closely resembles the Snow iMac G3, though the eMac was only available in white, slightly larger in size, did not include a carry handle, and was heavier than the preceding G3, weighing 50 lb (23 kg). The unique shape of the computer was also similar to Apple's last CRT-based 17-inch Studio Display, released in 2000 (the last standalone CRT monitor Apple made). The Apple eMac features a PowerPC 7450 (G4e) processor that is significantly faster than the previous-generation PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, as well as a 17-inch flat CRT display, which was aimed at the education market, as LCD screens would be expensive.



In 1998, Apple released the iMac G3, an all-in-one computer built around a cathode-ray tube display. The iMac was a major success for Apple, selling more than five million units; it also sold for as low as US$799, making it the most affordable Mac model Apple offered. In January 2002, Apple announced a successor to the iMac G3, the iMac G4. This iMac was built around a floating flat-panel display, and started at a higher price than the previous generation. While a few models of the iMac G3 remained at lower price points, they lacked power for educational tasks like video. Education customers made up nearly a quarter of Apple's sales,[1] and with Windows-based computers eating into Apple's market share of the sector, Apple consulted with educators to build a cheaper G4-powered successor for the price-conscious market.[2]

Apple announced the eMac on April 29, 2002,[3] to be sold only to education markets. Apple had previously created education-only computer models, including the iMac predecessor Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One. The machine's CRT screen made it cheaper than the iMac G4 (the most expensive configuration was still cheaper than the cheapest iMac G4), and its bulk was intended to make it more resilient to wear and tear in a school setting than the fragile hinge and flat screen of the iMac.


Side view. The right side of the computer houses the I/O ports.
Bottom view. The bottom features a service hatch for upgrading the computer's memory.

The eMac has a substantially similar design to the iMac G3, but features a larger 17-inch (430 mm) (16-inch viewable) flat-screen CRT monitor. The larger screen has 40 percent more viewing area than the iMac.[2] Thanks to the short-necked CRT, it takes up the same space as the iMac—in fact, it is a few millimeters shorter–but also is heavier, at 50 pounds (23 kg). The computer is powered by a PowerPC G4 processor much faster than the G3-powered iMacs. The machine's serial number and networking identification are printed on the front of the computer behind the optical drive door, intended to make it easier for schools to track purchases. RAM can be upgraded through a service hatch at the bottom of the computer. Apple sold a separate acrylic tilt-and-swivel stand to enable changing the viewing angle of the screen.[4]



After demand from consumers, Apple announced on June 4, 2002 that the eMac would be available through general retail.[5] Regular consumers did not get the same prices and configuration options as education customers; for example, education buyers could get a model without a modem.[6]

The eMac generally catered to the mass market, eventually taking over the entry-level (previously held by the iMac G3) Macintosh from 2003 to 2005, while the iMac G4 was positioned as a premium offering throughout the lifetime of the eMac line.[7] The eMac generally offered similar performance and features to the iMac G4 while they were sold side by side. The eMac was gradually supplanted by the iMac G5 in 2005 to 2006.

In October 2003, 800 MHz model was eliminated as a standard configuration and the 1 GHz model was brought down in price. This revision was the last in the line to officially run Apple's OS 9 operating system natively.

The next revision to the eMac line came in April 2004, with DDR SDRAM, a faster processor running at 1.25 GHz, and a better ATI Radeon 9200 video chipset. The most recent revision came in May 2005, with an even faster CPU running at 1.42 GHz, Radeon 9600 graphics, and larger standard hard disk.

On October 12, 2005, Apple once again restricted sales of the eMac to educational institutions and returned to its "E is for Education" marketing plan that had been attached to the product from the original restriction to education buyers. The company re-implemented this restrictive measure for unspecified reasons. Some analysts believe Apple wanted to force the general public to purchase the more expensive Mac Mini or iMac which had higher profit margins. Also, the eMac was the only CRT display product left in Apple's lineup, which made it somewhat bulky compared to new offerings which had compact form factors due to their LCD screens. The falling cost of LCD displays would also gradually bring down the prices of the iMac G5. However, the eMac was still available for sale to the general public through some third-party retailer websites.

On July 5, 2006, the entire eMac line was discontinued. An "educational configuration" of the iMac Core Duo was introduced that same day, which had a Combo drive rather than a SuperDrive and a smaller 80 GB hard disk.

Early eMac models natively boot Mac OS 9.2.2 and Mac OS X beginning with OS X 10.1.4, while later models only officially boot Mac OS X. 1 GHz and faster models cannot boot OS 9, while eMacs slower than 1 GHz do not officially support 10.5 (requirements are an 867 MHz G4 with 512 MB RAM).



The eMac was generally well-received. Macworld's Jason Snell wrote that the eMac served as a worthy successor to the iMac G3.[8] Criticism of the initial release version was that the low amount of installed RAM (128 MB) was not sufficient for Mac OS X.[9]

Technical problems


A number of early eMac machines have suffered from what was known as "Raster Shift", a phenomenon where the bottom third or half of the screen goes black, with the rest of image shifting upward and beyond the top boundary of the display. Serious static also accompanies the problem, rendering the viewable part of the screen virtually useless. In response to the problem, Apple offered a solution which involved the replacement of the video cable inside the eMac's case.[10][11] Certain models of eMac also suffered from capacitor plague, that caused video distortion or the computer to lock up.[12] Apple responded to these issues by implementing a warranty extension program.[13]

Technical specifications


All are standard configurations from Apple unless otherwise noted.

According to Apple, all of these models are obsolete.[a][14]

Model Formal name eMac[15] eMac (ATI Graphics)[16] eMac (USB 2.0)[17] eMac (2005)[18]
Codename "P69" "Northern Lights" "114P" "Q86J"
Timetable Released April 29, 2002 August 13, 2002 May 6, 2003 April 13, 2004 May 3, 2005
Discontinued May 6, 2003 October 22, 2003 April 13, 2004 May 3, 2005 October 12, 2005 (retail) / July 5, 2006 (education)
Identifier ID PowerMac4,4 PowerMac6,4
Model A1002 (EMC 1903) A1002 (EMC 1955) A1002 (EMC None)
Order info. M8655 M8892 M9150 M8950 M9425 M9834
Display 17-inch (16-inch viewable) 1280 x 960 flat CRT
Performance Processor PowerPC 7441 (G4) PowerPC 7445 (G4) PowerPC 7447A (G4) PowerPC 7447B (G4)
Clock speed 700 MHz 800 MHz 1.0 GHz 1.25 GHz
1.0 GHz for education only
1.42 GHz
1.25 GHz for education only
CPU cache 64 KB L1, 256 KB L2 (1:1) 64 KB L1, 512 KB L2 on chip (1:1)
Front side bus 100 MHz 133 MHz 167 MHz
Memory 128 MB PC133 SDRAM
Expandable up to 1 GB
256 MB of PC133 SDRAM
Expandable up to 1 GB
256 MB 333 MHz PC2700 DDR SDRAM (512 MB for 1.42 GHz SuperDrive model)
Expandable up to 2 GB (officially only 1 GB is supported)[19][b][20]
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX with 32 MB DDR SDRAM ATI Radeon 7500 with 32 MB DDR SDRAM ATI Radeon 9200 with 32 MB DDR SDRAM ATI Radeon 9600 with 64 MB DDR SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9200 with 32 MB DDR SDRAM for education only
AGP 2x AGP 4x
Storage Hard drive 40 GB 40 GB, 60 GB,[b] 80 GB[b] 40 GB, 80 GB[b] 40 GB, 80 GB,[b] 120 GB,[b] 160 GB[b]
Ultra ATA/66 Ultra ATA/100
Optical drive 32x CD-ROM 2X SuperDrive (DVD-RW) Combo Drive (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) standard or SuperDrive (DVD-RW)[b]
CD-RW Standard for initial 700 MHz model
CD-ROM Standard for 800 MHz refresh
SuperDrive Standard for initial 800 MHz model
Connections Wireless AirPort 802.11b[c] AirPort Extreme 802.11b/g[c]
Ethernet 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
Modem 56k V.90 modem 56k V.90 modem (optional on education 1.25 GHz models)
Bluetooth Optional Bluetooth 1.1
USB 3x USB 1.1 3x USB 2.0
FireWire 2x FireWire 400
Audio Built-in 18-watt stereo speakers Built-in 16-watt stereo speakers Built-in 18-watt stereo speakers
Video out Mini-VGA at up to 1280x960 (mirrored mode only).
Unofficially, can be altered to support extended display mode in models with ATI graphics using a tool called Screen Spanning Doctor.
Operating System Original Mac OS X 10.1.4 "Puma" and Mac OS 9.2.2 Mac OS X 10.2.6 "Jaguar"
Mac OS 9.2.2[b]
Mac OS X 10.2.6 "Jaguar" Mac OS X 10.3.3 "Panther" Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"
Maximum Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" and Mac OS 9.2.2 Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard"
Weight 50 lb / 22.7 kg

Timeline of eMac models

Timeline of iMac and eMac models (sorted by screen sizes)
Mac StudioApple WatchiPadiPhoneMacBookMac MiniPower Mac G5iPodPower Mac G4 CubeiBookPower Macintosh G3iMac (Apple silicon)iMac (Apple silicon)iMac ProiMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac (Intel-based)iMac G5iMac G5iMac G4iMac G3#2nd generation: Slot-loadingiMac G4eMaciMac G4iMac G3


  1. ^ Apple products that have been discontinued for 7 years and no longer receive hardware support nor spare parts
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Build to order option
  3. ^ a b Sold separately and had to be installed by end user


  1. ^ Hales, Linda (June 29, 2002). "At Awards, the I's Have It; The iMac and Three Other Apple Concepts Take Gold for Industrial Design". The Washington Post. p. C2.
  2. ^ a b Michaels & Cellini 2002, p. 16.
  3. ^ "Apple Unveils New eMac for Education". Apple Newsroom. April 29, 2002. Retrieved July 13, 2023.
  4. ^ Musilek 2002, p. 15.
  5. ^ "Apple To Offer Popular eMac to Consumers". Apple Newsroom. June 4, 2002. Retrieved July 13, 2023.
  6. ^ Snell 2002, p. 35.
  7. ^ Wood, Molly (January 14, 2005) [June 10, 2004]. "Apple eMac PPC Review". CNET. Archived from the original on April 16, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Snell 2002, p. 34.
  9. ^ Not just for learners: [1 - STATE Edition] The Advertiser; Adelaide, S. Aust. [Adelaide, S. Aust]. 27 July 2002: 85.
  10. ^ "ALERT: Fix for the eMac "raster shift" problem - CNET". September 2, 2009. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "Procedure to Replace the IVAD Cable". Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  12. ^ "eMac logic board failures (#2): AppleCare reminder; Blown capacitors". CNET. Archived from the original on September 27, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "Odds and Ends: Apple offers eMac Repair Extension Program for Video and Power Issues". CNET. Archived from the original on September 27, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  14. ^ "Obtaining service for your Apple product after an expired warranty". March 20, 2023. Retrieved March 23, 2023.
  15. ^ "eMac – Technical Specifications". Apple Support. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2008.
  16. ^ "eMac (ATI Graphics) – Technical Specifications". Apple Support. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2008.
  17. ^ "eMac (USB 2.0) – Technical Specifications". Apple Support. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2008.
  18. ^ "eMac (2005) – Technical Specifications". Apple Support. Archived from the original on September 15, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2008.
  19. ^ "Apple eMac G4/1.25 (USB 2.0) Specs (M9425LL/A) - Technical Specifications @". Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
  20. ^ "Apple eMac G4/1.42 (2005) Specs (M9834LL/A) @". Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2008.