Comparing the First Mac to Computers Today

Apple computers and laptops have certainly come a long way since their initial inception. Today, Apple continues to launch not only the freshest updates on the market, but it also brings with it innovative designs – a drastic change from the first Mac. 

Despite its initial setbacks and challenges, Apple stays at the top of its game not only by providing some of the best phones in the market but also by making some of the most impeccable laptops and computers today. 

To further appreciate the technologies we experience today, let’s take a walk down memory lane and see the humble beginnings of the first Mac and how it compares to the computers of today. Take a look. 

Comparing the First Mac to Computers Today
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Looking Back at the First Mac

The first Mac, short for Macintosh, was unveiled in 1984 during the Super Bowl XVII commercial which aired on January 22 of the same year. A few days after, it was sold and released to the public. 

Retailing for $2,465, valued today at approximately $6,000, the Apple Macintosh was a massive chunk of machine that was fitted with a Motorola 68000 microprocessor. The first Mac also operated with 8 MHz with a then-massive 128K RAM, as well as a 400K internal floppy drive and 64K of ROM. 


It was a 13.5 x 9.7 x 10.9-inch computer that weighed 16.5 pounds. It was designed to be placed on a desk — with options to plug in an additional keyboard and mouse for easier navigation. The computer also came with built-in applications. Because of its capacity, the computer was later renamed to the 128K. 

The whole computer was created in a still monochrome approach that would gladly be received today – all of which are made in beige, with the small and still colorful Apple logo catching the eye as it’s located on the lower right corner of the computer case. 

Back in the days, the Apple Macintosh 128K had a display resolution of 512 x 342 pixels, with the whole screen measuring just around nine inches. 

Although quite lower than the technologies and resolution we have and experience today, the company fitted the computer with a manual brightness knob for easier screen color and brightness adjustment. 

First Mac vs. 36 Years Later

Today, everyone can see just how far Apple has come from its first Mac. 36 years later, apart from having a line of supercomputers with its iMacs, the company now has an extensive range of laptops under its name.

For comparison purposes, the iMac today is made with 27 inches of screen size and has a resolution of 5120 x 2880, a drastic change from the initial 128K model. It now comes with a more vibrant range of colors

Also gone are the days of the beige plastic covering, and instead, the iMac is now housed in a cool, sleek aluminum exterior with lots of glass.

Although much bigger in size, the weight of the new iMac today is quite similar to the first Mac – just at 21 pounds. The new 2020 creation now operates with full SSD storage capacity starting at 256GB starting at the $1,299 base model

The computers of today are much faster as well, with the processor operating at 10th Gen Intel with up to 3.6GHz 10-core i9 compared to the Motorola 68000. 

The software today is also more advanced, with iMac and Mac programs now being seamlessly integrated and saved into the system, rather than relying on saving data and progress on floppy disks, as was practiced during the time. 

Today, word processing and document creation can be done via Pages, editing spreadsheets on Numbers, and even organizing photos via Photo is possible. 

Experts say the only downside to the new iMac is that its price comes relatively higher than the all-in-one creation in the past. The starting price alone can be enough to deter even current Mac and Apple users, what with the abundance of Windows and Microsoft PC creations available for even less than $1,000.

Comparing the First Mac to Computers Today

The Bottom Line

The first Mac is certainly different from the computers Apple has released over time. Their monumental feats in the field, however, paved the way for where the company is today, showing that they are, indeed, ahead of their time.