21.5" iMac Has No User-Upgradable RAM; 27" Has Four Accessible RAM Slots

Tuesday October 23, 2012 1:18 PM PDT by Jordan Golson
Consistent with Apple's quest to make its new computers as thin as possible at the expense of expandability, the new 21.5" iMac contains no user-accessible RAM slots. Instead, it can be configured with 8GB or 16GB of RAM direct from the factory. This was first noticed by Cult of Mac.

The 27" model, on the other hand, can be equipped with up to 32GB of RAM, and has four user-accessible RAM slots via an "easy-to-access memory panel" on the rear of the machine.

From one of Apple's iMac marketing pages:
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.
The 21.5" model ships in November, while the 27" model will begin shipping in December.

Related roundup: iMac

Top Rated Comments

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27 months ago
I guess we now have truly disposable computers at much higher than disposable prices :(
Rating: 39 Votes
27 months ago
I'll keep my 2011 21.5" iMac thanks. I get a 7200 RPM drive and can upgrade the RAM myself up to 32GB. I don't care if my computer is thin, I care if it's functional. Apple is going too far with their drive for thinness.
Rating: 36 Votes
27 months ago
Apple, check ya self before ya wreck ya self.
Rating: 35 Votes
27 months ago
There are only 17 people in the world who need to custom hand-install 16 GB of RAM in the smaller iMac.

But all 17 of them are about to post :p And I feel your pain: you need what you need!
Rating: 34 Votes
27 months ago
The 21.5 model seems to have been made considerably worse in many ways.

At least the 27 inch hasn't been ruined to the same extent it seems.
Rating: 22 Votes
27 months ago
It also has a slower hard drive - 5400rpm rather than 7200 previously.
Rating: 20 Votes
27 months ago
Oh well, cross it off my list now too.
Rating: 15 Votes
27 months ago
RAM slots on the iMac? Is this what Tim Cook meant when he said he had something great in store for Mac Pro users?
Rating: 14 Votes
27 months ago
Picture by anandtech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6402/up-close-with-the-new-27inch-imacs-user-serviceable-memory-panel) of the slot:

Rating: 13 Votes
27 months ago

It also has a slower hard drive - 5400rpm rather than 7200 previously.

They still make 5400 rpm drives? :eek:
Rating: 12 Votes

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