August 13, 2002: Apple introduces the final design of its Power Mac G4, the so-called “Mirrored Drive Doors” model.
The distinctive computer borrows visually from the previous “QuickSilver” G4, released a year earlier. However, it adds a different front panel, with a mirrorlike finish for the media drive doors. It’s the last visual redesign of Apple’s Power Mac G4.
Power Mac G4 Mirrored Drive Doors: Faster, better, louder
The Mirror Drive Doors G4 boasted much faster components than previous G4 computers. Unlike the QuickSilver models, all Mirrored Drive Doors machines came with dual processors, regardless of the price point. At entry level, there was a dual 867 MHz machine, followed by dual 1 GHz and dual 1.25 GHz models.
The new Macs also offered support for up to 2GB of double data rate RAM at 333 MHz, the industry’s first ATI Radeon 9000 Pro graphics card, and storage of up to nearly half a terabyte. The computers shipped with Mac OS X 10.2, although they also could run OS 9.
According to Apple’s press release, the Mirrored Drive Models were able to run “professional applications like Adobe Photoshop up to 90 percent faster than a 2.53GHz Pentium 4-based PC.”
These impressive specs came at a cost, though. Macs previously earned a reputation for running incredibly quietly. Not so with the Power Mac G4. Instead, some observers called it “the Wind Tunnel” due to noise generated by its variable fan speeds.
After several months of complaints about fan noise, Apple introduced a firmware update in November 2002 that improved the computer’s fan speed behavior. The update also reduced high-speed fan cycling when users ran Mac OS 9.
The end of the line for the Power Mac G4
Apple upgraded the Power Mac G4 line once more, in 2003, although it kept the same mirrored design. Cupertino ultimately replaced the Power Mac G4 with the Power Mac G5 in June 2003.
Were you a proud owner of the Mirrored Drive Doors Power Mac G4? Let us know in the comments below.