Apple has been creating computers since 1976 and the well-known Macintosh line since 1984. Mac products have grown to include desktops such as the Mac Mini, Mac Pro and iMac, and notebooks such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. While many do-it-yourself customizations will void a Mac’s warranty, users can customize their Macs directly through Apple when they buy them.
Apple gives Mac buyers several options to add accessories to their systems, turning them into custom out-of-the-box computers. Apple’s iMac computer comes with a mouse and keyboard, but users can select a glass trackpad instead of the laser mouse. Several custom keyboards for different languages and alphabets are also available. Users can add displays, adapters and external CD drives when they order Macs, giving the machines enhanced functionality when they’re booted up.
Macs come with CPU chips that include built-in graphics capabilities. However, these graphics processors are only suitable for day-to-day tasks such as web browsing and video playback. High-performance graphics chips, which users can add to customized high-end Mac models, bring dedicated graphics memory and faster performance for gaming and high frame-rate video rendering.
Storing digital files such as photos, videos, music and software all consume space on a computer. While Macs can connect to a wide range of external storage devices and services, internal storage is still important. Every Mac line has customization options for storage. Besides increasing capacity, Mac buyers can customize the type of storage, choosing from traditional magnetic hard drives, faster solid-state drives or combination Fusion drives, which bring high capacity and high speed together.
As a Mac runs software, it uses memory to keep data available for instant use. Mac users who customize their computers with additional memory will see faster performance, especially when they run multiple programs at once. As of 2013, some Macs come with just 4 GB of memory, but custom options allow users to increase memory to 32 GB with the iMac. Memory customization can be costly, but adding RAM is impossible on certain Macs once they’ve been manufactured, meaning customizing at the time of purchase is the only option.
A computer’s CPU is the source of its processing power and calculating ability. All Macs use processors from Intel, but processor speed and features vary by model. Mac buyers can customize their computers with faster processors or in some cases, additional processors that double the computing power. As of 2013, custom CPU options allow iMac users to get a computer with a 3.4 GHz processor, which is significantly faster than the 2.7 GHz variant available in a standard model.