Apple's 'Then and Now' page compares original 1998 iMac with 2015 models

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To help market its latest iMacs, Apple on Tuesday posted a "Then and Now" page on its website, showcasing how far the product has come from 1998's original "gumdrop" iMac.

Scrolling through the page, Apple claims that its 2015 hardware can display 14 million more pixels, with graphics running a whopping 62,000 times faster. It's also said to have 366 times more processing speed, 1,000 times more RAM, and 750 times the storage capacity.

The exact system specifications used in the comparison aren't mentioned, but the page is linked from a section on the main iMac site talking about Retina displays.

The stock configuration of the 21.5-inch 4K iMac sports a 3.1-gigahertz Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, a 1-terabyte hard drive, and an integrated Intel Iris Pro 6200 graphics chip. 27-inch 5K iMacs are even more powerful, with customization enabling things like a 4-gigahertz Core i7 CPU, up to 32 gigabytes of RAM, and a Radeon R9 M395X video card with 4 gigabytes of VRAM.

The original iMac had a 233MHz PowerPC 750 processor, 32 megabytes of RAM, a 4-gigabyte hard drive, and a 13.8-inch 1024x768 display, with graphics powered by an ATI Rage IIc sporting 2 megabytes of memory.

The major significance of the computer though was its Internet-oriented design, incorporating an Ethernet port and a 56K modem. It was also the first computer to adopt USB as standard, and it upset some earlier Mac owners by completely abandoning floppy drives in favor of CD-ROMs. It was moreover the first major Apple product released after the return of Steve Jobs, and helped reinvigorate the company financially.


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