About this Computer

About this Computer
Mac Tip#27/31-Oct-2001

There’s some information every Mac user should have at their fingertips — how much RAM is installed, which version of the Operating System they are running, how big the hard drive is and exactly which machine they have.

The first thing to figure out is exactly which computer you have. Now on older Macs this used to be easy: if you looked at the front of the computer you’d see a “sticker” which would proudly proclaim something like: Performa 5260 or maybe LCIII or perhaps Powerbook 190.

By the way: in general terms, if the model number had 3 digits (Performa 580 for example) then it was a machine using the original set of computer chips — a Macintosh. If the model number had 4 digits (Performa 5200 for example) it was using the newer chip — the PowerMac.

When Apple started using the 3rd generation of computer chips (the G3 chips) it started naming its computers differently. Now you would buy an iMac or a Powerbook G3 and each year the name would remain the same but what was inside the case would change significantly.

Now the machines would be differentiated in some other way: A “Flower Power” iMac, or a “Grape iMac” for example. But there is also a secret model number. To find it go to the Apple menu and look at the Apple System Profiler (note: it can be a bit slow opening if you have a powerful machine full of data).

Make sure you’re looking at the System Profile and click on the small triangle beside Hardware Overview.

The number you want will be something like 406. You’ll also see information about the specific model of Mac and how fast it runs.

Why do you care? Well, if you want to buy more RAM or other things to add to your computer that information is crucial.

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