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Memory in New $1099 iMac is Soldered and Not Upgradable

The 8GB of memory in the new, cheaper 21.5-inch iMac introduced earlier today is permanently soldered to the motherboard and is not upgradable, according to a teardown of the new machine by Other World Computing.

The $1,099 machine includes a 1.4GHz Dual-Core i5 processor from the MacBook Air, but users are permanently locked to 8GB of RAM. There is no build-to-order option to increase it and it cannot be increased later.

iMac 21-inch
Now that we’ve had time to teardown the new iMac, unlike the $1,299 iMac, we found this iMac has the memory is soldered to the motherboard removing any possibility of adding additional memory. Users will be permanently locked in to the 8GB of memory, as there is no Apple factory upgrade option.
The other 21.5" iMacs, launched last fall, can be upgraded through the Apple Online Store from 8GB to 16GB. RAM can also be added after purchase, but it requires removal of the screen and is an extremely difficult upgrade.

The current 27" iMac, on the other hand, has a easily accessed door on the rear of the machine that allows for simple RAM upgrades.

Related roundup: iMac

Top Rated Comments

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11 weeks ago
Steve Jobs would have done this.
Rating: 103 Votes
11 weeks ago
What a slap in the face. This new iMac really just reinforces the perception that Apple's hardware is overpriced and underperforming. /smh
Rating: 78 Votes
11 weeks ago

Consumers don't want upgradeable parts. They don't care. This is a sensible move from Apple and I support it 100%.


That's a false assumption. There are lots of us who would like to be able to upgrade our Apple computers. Specially considering the kinda absurd premium prices Apple asks for if we want to upgrade them prior the purchase.

Edit: And what advantages did this move bring to the consumer, to deserve your 100% support?
Rating: 75 Votes
11 weeks ago
I'm assuming the people buying this model wouldn't be upgrading the memory and those complaining about it would never buy this model in the first place.
Rating: 65 Votes
11 weeks ago
This "Upgrade" only gets worse the more we know. Eddy's "best pipeline in 25 years" better have something exciting stuck in it.
Rating: 47 Votes
11 weeks ago
So lame. I Hate that they make it just about impossible to upgrade the HD in the iMac and charge a ridiculous premium on the initial upgrade. Now restricting memory? Maybe people can't afford the upfront cost and want to upgrade over time.... just lame...
Rating: 41 Votes
11 weeks ago
Consumers don't want upgradeable parts. They don't care. This is a sensible move from Apple and I support it 100%.
Rating: 35 Votes
11 weeks ago

I'm assuming the people buying this model wouldn't be upgrading the memory and those complaining about it would never buy this model in the first place.


I still don't see that as a reason to solder the ram in. I really don't.
Rating: 32 Votes
11 weeks ago
I accepted this in the rMbp cause of how thin it is and being a portable device. On and iMac this is unacceptable. I can't think of any legit reason for this.
Rating: 28 Votes
11 weeks ago
This sucks. Not cool at all Apple
Rating: 25 Votes

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