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Don’t Overpay, Get Third Party RAM Upgrades for the Retina iMac

Posted by Jim Tanous on October 17, 2014
RAM Prices

Are you planning to pick up a new iMac with Retina 5K Display? With only 8GB of RAM standard, that’s one area you’ll almost certainly want to upgrade. But don’t waste money on Apple’s memory upgrades; third party options are now available for much less.

Related: Upgrading RAM in your iMac is a great idea, but if you’re buying a new Mac mini you might be out of luck.

The Apple Store upgrade prices for RAM are thankfully now much more reasonable than they used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best value. Apple currently charges $200 to upgrade your new Retina iMac from 8GB to 16GB of RAM, and an astounding $600 to go from 8GB to the maximum 32GB.

By contrast, a third party retailer like Other World Computing, which has just announced RAM upgrades for Apple’s latest Retina iMac (to be fair, the RAM specifications haven’t changed between the 2013 iMac and the Retina iMac), charges $100 to upgrade from 8GB to 16GB (via the purchase of an additional 8GB) and $400 to go from 8GB to 32GB (with the purchase of four new 8GB modules). There’s also a $200 16GB option from OWC, which when added to your iMac’s stock 8GB gives you a total of 24GB of memory.

iMac RAM Upgrade

Third party RAM is usually the best bet (at least, for the Macs you can still upgrade), and as long as you purchase RAM with the correct specifications for your Mac, it won’t void your warranty. Upgrading RAM on the 27-inch iMac, including the new Retina iMac, is also a very quick and easy operation.

So, by all means, max out the RAM in that shiny new iMac. But don’t overpay Apple to do it.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Overpay, Get Third Party RAM Upgrades for the Retina iMac”

Brian Peixinho says:
Got mine Tuesday maxed out (Minus the RAM) and it is great! Photoshop and LR are super nice to use. Non Apple users… WHY ARE YOU HERE??
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Citizen Trudge says:
Or just buy or build a PC (takes about 60-90 minutes the first time) with better specs and get 32GB of the very fastest RAM from Crucial or another reputable company for as little as $350.00 and buy any monitor, keyboard, mutli-button wireless mouse, etc. etc. etc. you please. Then with the savings make a couple payments on your Lexus, Mercedes or BMW or four payments on a US branded car.
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DogShitFrosting says:
Except that the closest thing to Apple’s 27 inch Retina display is a $2,500 Dell monitor, so now you have to return your car because you spent more than the cost of the better iMac, and the Dell Monitor won’t look or work as good since Windows doesn’t understand how to use Retina displays well, and you need two DisplayPort connectors to get the same resolution and still have to hack together a solution for Windows to work with dual connectors at that resolution on your PC, which also didn’t come with Yosemite, Unix, Thunderbolt, a Fusion drive, or have the same build quality, ease of use, customer satisfaction or retain as much value.

Or you can just buy the new best desktop PC in the world , the Retina iMac because it only has to make you 1% more productive to pay for itself.

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Samuel Winchester says:
I can get a brand-new AOC 32 imch 1080P touch display for $230.00 or the none touch model for $165.00 with free shipping. I for one have always been shocked at how mich money some people are welling to spend on crap made in China but because its a Mac. It’s like people who wast money buyi Intel over an AMD CPU the only difference between the two is the price and where they are manufactured . Everything Intel sells comes out of China AMD on the other hand has manufacturing plants all over the world
sgarbatello says:
i think it’s better if you check your eyesight…
Brian Peixinho says:
I hope you are kidding!! You are comparing a 1080p display with the iMac 5k Retina?? I just received my iMac Tuesday (5k with i7 and 4GB GPU) and it is blazing fast and just a gorgeous machine. What people do not realize is that a Windows PC is not a MAC! Specs don’t matter when you are comparing that lame system with the beautiful and very user friendly MAC OS X interface. I was one who hated Apple Fan boys until I purchased an iMac in 2010. It is sitting right here to the left and that display looks like a toy next to this display. Go into photoshop or LR and edit some RAW images and tell me the 1080P is just as good! LOL! You should learn how to spell also…
cryoburner says:
The screen may be nice, but unfortunately it can’t be used as an external display like some other iMacs, so you’ll need to replace it when you eventually upgrade to a new computer. And since the system isn’t very upgradable, that could easily be within a couple years if you’re using it for demanding 4k video production.

While the Dell screen (or any others that will soon follow) might require a pair of DisplayPorts to work, at least you can use it with whatever computer you want that meets those requirements. You might still be using the screen 10 years from now, since you can always connect it to a new computer, or upgrade all the components in the system it’s being used with. The iMac simply doesn’t offer that option. Like most Apple products, it’s designed to be non user serviceable or upgradable, in an effort to get you to replace the hardware sooner than you would otherwise. This “planned obsolescence” is one of the worst things about Apple’s hardware.

In any case, this new iMac seems to be a niche product being marketed as if it’s for everyone. If you’re editing 4k video, it might be useful, at least in the short term, but 4k video itself is still a niche product, and will remain so for some years into the future.

Brian Peixinho says:
4K is a NICHE product? LOL! See me in 18 months. An ignorant comment at best. Look into the 12 month business plans for Verizon and Comcast and see their investment in bandwidth increases. AND if you aren’t buying or have an iMac Retina, why are you here? I don’t get it!
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seavid says:
Absolutely – I had to upgrade to the max 32 GB RAM to edit a feature length documentary on FCP X and that was barely enough!
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