Clever modder builds powerful M1 chip into aged iMac G4

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Clever modder builds powerful M1 chip into aged iMac G4
Yes, that’s an iMac G4 from 2002 running macOS Big Sur on an M1 processor.
Screenshot: Colby Sheets

That old iMac doesn’t have to gather dust on a shelf. One guy is drawing a crowd by showing off an iMac G4 that he upgraded by merging it with a Mac mini sporting Apple’s latest M1 processor.

Considering Colby Sheets started with little experience tinkering with hardware, his project is likely to leave many people looking speculatively at their old iMac.

M1 chip makes iMac G4 as powerful as a current Mac

Sheets talked about his “passion project” and showed off the M1-powered iMac G4 via Twitter on Thursday.

Essentially what he did was stuff a 2020 Mac mini into the casing for a 2002 iMac. He even briefly shows off the empty casing for the Mac mini in his Twitter video.

Sheets told Cult of Mac that the conversion “took a few weeks mainly because I work full time job and this was a side project I’ve slowly tinkered with.”

A work in progress

He’s not done with the mod yet but says he wanted to show it off now because of the 10th anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs. Sheets called Apple’s co-founder “a huge inspiration for me and one of the reasons I wanted to build this in the first place. I wanted to honor his legacy and one of the most iconic designs and prove great design can transcend decades.”

Future goals for his M1-powered iMac G4 included making the ports accessible. “I’m waiting for a couple more parts to come in for the ports,” said Sheets. He calls the device 97% complete but he wanted to test it. And once he had the iMac casing closed he just couldn’t resist posting about his mod on Twitter.

For anyone hesitating on a similar project because of a lack of modding experience, Sheets says he also had “no real extensive hardware knowledge background, but I got it done with help from some friends and some frustrating nights trying to rewire tiny pins.”