It was officially launched as part of Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation in June 2003 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, and saw three revisions to the line before being retired in August 2006 to make way for its Intel replacement, the Mac Pro.
The Apple Mac G5 was introduced with three models, sharing the same physical case, but differing in features and performance. The physical case of the Power Mac G5 was very different and unusual compared to any other computer at that time. Although somewhat larger than the G4 tower it replaced, the G5 tower had room inside for only one optical, and two hard drives.
Steve Jobs stated during his keynote presentation that the Power Mac G5 would reach 3 GHz “within 12 months.” This would never come to pass; after three years, the G5 only reached 2.7 GHz and was able to support 16 GB of RAM before it was replaced by the Intel Xeon-based Mac Pro, which debuted with processors running at speeds of up to 3 GHz.
During the presentation, Apple also showed Virginia Tech’s Mac OS X computer cluster supercomputer (a.k.a. supercluster) known as System X, consisting of 1100 Power Mac G5s operating as processing nodes. The supercomputer managed to become one of the top 5 supercomputers that year. The computer was soon dismantled and replaced with a new cluster made of an equal number of Xserve G5 rack-mounted servers, which also use the G5 chip running at 2.3 GHz.