If you're hoping to pick up one of the super-thin new iMacs and plan on upgrading the RAM in it yourself, you'll want to make sure you pick up the 27-inch model. Why? Well, the 21.5-inch version doesn't have an easy-access memory panel to allow you to get to the RAM. Take a look:
The 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory and can be configured online with 16GB. On the 27-inch iMac, 8GB of memory comes standard, and you can upgrade to 16GB or 32GB. Configure and buy your iMac at the Apple Online Store and it will arrive with the memory already installed. Or add more memory to the 27-inch model yourself by popping open the easy-to-access memory panel on the back.
So if you're in the market for the smaller machine, you'll want to make sure you buy the version that has all the RAM that you'll need.
Be sure to check out all the news from today's iPad mini event!
I make the Macs we use at Gear Live work pretty hard, and am always looking to squeeze out any extra performance that I can. I've used SSD drives for about three years now, long before they were as available and affordable as they are today, even in a Mac Pro. I recently downgraded from a 2009 Mac Pro to the 2011 iMac, and had to make a few concessions as it related to a bunch of things. I mean, the Pro was a beast with an SSD, 3 HDD drives, 16 GB RAM, 3 video cards, etc. Going from that to an iMac gave me some concern. Using the iMac, though, had been fine, with the exception of slowdowns once the computer was out of RAM. Even matching it with the 16GB RAM that was in the Mac Pro wasn't enough for what we do. Granted, right now I've got about 15 tabs open in Chrome and over 40 tabs open in Safari, while iMovie is exporting a 1080p video episode of Bleeding Edge TV, with 20 apps running in the dock. I may be an edge case, but I deserve a speedy computing experience just as much as the next guy! I recently maxed out the RAM in the iMac to a ridiculous 32GB, and now things are flying.
I took a chance on an unknown (to me) brand called KomputerBay that I found on Amazon, and they sell 8GB RAM modules in sets of two (so 16GB total) for less than I've seen anywhere else, by a substantial margin. After installing, performane was markedly improved, and I have yet to experience any of those "out of RAM" slowdowns that plagued me before. Not bad for inexpensive RAM. If you've got a 2011 iMac, your system has four RAM slots and can support up to 32GB RAM. Alternatively, if you're running a recent MacBook Pro, you have two slots and can bump it up to 16GB using these modules. Each 16GB set currently costs $139.
In this episode we teach you how to install RAM in your Apple iMac. The model we are using is the 27-inch 2011 iMac, which has a quad-core processor and supports up to 4 RAM chips. Installing your own RAM is an easy way to save a lot of money, rather than paying for the extra RAM with the iMac. In our case, we install 16 GB of RAM in under 5 minutes, saving ourselves over $500 in the process - and it is so easy that anyone can do it, and all you need is a Philips screwdriver and a little courage.
As you see in the video, all you need to do is unscrew the RAM cover, and pull on the tabs to remove the RAM that ships with the iMac. From there, you simple insert the new RAM, push it in until it clicks, and reinstall the cover. Turn it on, and go into About This Mac to get a look at the amount of RAM that your system is recognizing. If it is showing the amount you installed, you are done! Even better, you just saved yourself a bunch of cash as well. You can pick up the RAM at Amazon for a great price, and of course, the iMac is there as well.
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