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When EveryMac.com was founded in 1996, it wasn't necessary to help one identify which Mac they had because each Mac had a unique name on the front. If someone needed information on the Performa 6400/180, for example, it was simply a matter of locating the Performa section of the site and clicking on the applicable computer.
Starting with the iMac line, however, and continuing with subsequently introduced lines, Apple began to provide less and less information on the hardware itself and it has become more of a challenge to identify different models.
This page provides information on identifiers that can be used to spotlight a particular Mac, where to find these identifiers on different Macs, and the strengths and weaknesses of each identifier for precise identification and differentiation.
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Identify Your Mac Using EveryMac.com's "Quick Specs"
EveryMac.com's flip down "Quick Specs" on all G3 and later "By Series" and 1998 and later "By Year" pages provide the Introduction Date, Discontinued Date, Order Number, Model Number, EMC Number, Subfamily, Model Identifier, the Standard RAM, Standard VRAM, Standard Hard Drive, and Standard Optical Drive.
For those who know quite a bit about their Mac -- when it was purchased new and/or at least one or two secondary pieces of information -- these "Quick Specs" generally are sufficient to identify a particular Mac.
Identify Your Mac Using EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup
For those with less information -- without physical access to the Mac (trying to buy a used model from a third-party online with incomplete information, for example) or with a friend's or customer's Mac (particularly if it won't boot) -- EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup can help to track down a particular Mac using whatever limited information is available.
EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature allows one to quickly display all models that match a particular Order Number, Model Number (referred to as the Family Number on some older Macs), EMC Number, Model Identifier, Serial Number "Snippet" (the last three characters of eleven character Serial Numbers and the last four characters of twelve character Serial Numbers), or Intel processor number.
Given the option, Order Numbers (MB467LL/A) are the best identifier to distribute as they are almost always precise enough to identify the exact Mac and much safer to share than Serial Numbers.
For highly experienced users, this likely is all the info needed on these identifiers and all the instructions needed to use EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature:
|Identifier||Looks Like||Found On||Type In|
|Model Number||A1278 or M8493||Hardware||A1278 or M8493|
|EMC Number||2254||Some Hardware||2254|
|Model Identifier||MacBook5,1||About This Mac||MacBook5,1|
||About This Mac
|C02CG123DC79||About This Mac
|Intel Processor||P8600||Intel Documentation||P8600|
If you cannot retrieve applicable Macs using any one of the above identifiers, but are able to track it down using another one, please share any missing information with EveryMac.com. The Ultimate Mac Lookup feature already is quite comprehensive, but it will become more and more so with your additions. Thank you.
For much more detailed information regarding limitations of each identifier and more specific information about how to locate these identifiers, you also may find the following Q&As helpful:
You additionally may find complete lists of G3 and later Macs By Identifier helpful:
It is hoped that by having as many possible ways to identify Macs available, you will have enough information to pinpoint exactly which Mac you have or intend to purchase.