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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:19 PM   #1
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21.5" iMac Has No User-Upgradable RAM; 27" Has Four Accessible RAM Slots




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:
Quote:
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.

Article Link: 21.5" iMac Has No User-Upgradable RAM; 27" Has Four Accessible RAM Slots
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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It also has a slower hard drive - 5400rpm rather than 7200 previously.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:24 PM   #3
The Phazer
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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.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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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.
***** also HDD is 5400, what the ***********k this is total rip off, why they coudn;t put 7200 hdd so if you get base imac 21 2012, you pretty screwed up.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 03:26 PM   #5
Mike Oxard
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It also has a slower hard drive - 5400rpm rather than 7200 previously.
They still make 5400 rpm drives?
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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Really dissapointing, makes me think of keeping mine upgrading the RAM and chucking in a big fat SSD more appealing
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 03:35 PM   #7
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Really dissapointing, makes me think of keeping mine upgrading the RAM and chucking in a big fat SSD more appealing
Me too. How do-able is the SSD? I seem to remember reading that the HD used some custom cable with a heat sensor or something?
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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Me too. How do-able is the SSD? I seem to remember reading that the HD used some custom cable with a heat sensor or something?
Not as bad as you think, lots of guides on YouTube
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 03:20 AM   #9
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Lacie Rugged 128GB SSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by afd View Post
Me too. How do-able is the SSD? I seem to remember reading that the HD used some custom cable with a heat sensor or something?

this seems a nice options for us 2011 iMac owners:

http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10599

199$ for a 128gb ssd connected through TB (supplied with the drive) isn't bad for a fast external boot drive (and it doesn't harm your extended warranty if you have one).

peace
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 03:42 PM   #10
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 05:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oxard View Post
They still make 5400 rpm drives?
It's a common speed for 2.5" drives. Laptop manufacturers will use them to get better battery life. Now why you'd ever use it in a desktop is beyond me.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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It's a common speed for 2.5" drives. Laptop manufacturers will use them to get better battery life. Now why you'd ever use it in a desktop is beyond me.
To make a slimmer desktop?
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 11:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by flopticalcube View Post
To make a slimmer desktop?
If your main concern is how thin it is wouldn't you buy a MacBook Air? Now I can understand why being thin and light is important in a notebook, but for a desktop? I understand that they are aiming for the crowd that puts style above everything else, but still it is not like the last generation iMac was ugly.

Apple has been blamed before for putting style ahead of function, but I'd say this is the most egregious example yet.

I will happily continue to use my 2011 iMac and I wonder if maybe we would have been better served by Apple just refreshing that line with updated specs. At least they would have been more functional and with the additional space they could have made a real powerhouse out of it.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 03:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
It's a common speed for 2.5" drives. Laptop manufacturers will use them to get better battery life. Now why you'd ever use it in a desktop is beyond me.
Well, given the same storage capacity and platter count, a 5400 rpm 2.5" drive actually has slightly *faster* access times than a 7200 rpm 3.5" drive. This has to do with the combination of increased data density (the same amount of data stored in a smaller space), and the shorter distance the read heads have to move to seek from one extreme to the other. So, if they're using a 5400 rpm 2.5" drive in the 21.5" iMac, it's actually a slight step up from a 7200 rpm 3.5" drive in the old one in that regard.

The most noticeable difference will be the maximum internal storage space. (Currently 1TB for a 2.5" drive vs. 3TB for a 3.5" drive.) Given the suggestion earlier in the thread that they should have put a 128GB SSD in it and let people use external storage, that doesn't seem to be a universal concern, even from people complaining about this particular decision.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgk.emu View Post
Configurable = at checkout
Upgradeable = user serviceable
Almost. In this context it's actually:

Configurable = at checkout
Upgradable = Apple considers it a user-serviceable part.

The open question is whether it's not considered a user-serviceable part because it's past a certain threshold of 'easy to get to', or because it's not something you can do without expensive, specialized equipment and raw, unmounted chips.

IOW: Is it only upgradable if you're willing to go through the hassle of getting inside where Apple doesn't expect normal people to be comfortable, or is it actually *not* upgradable once it's been built? Given the fact that, as others have pointed out, they mention the dimm-count for the 21.5" iMac, where they *don't* for the Air or Retina MBPs, its quite likely that it is upgradable, but not 'user accessible'.


----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by stiligFox View Post
It more than likely has to do with where the RAM has to be on the motherboard. With the 27 inch there was more room to put the RAM in an accessible place, but not so with the 21 inch.

Question though -- any ideas why the 27 inch is almost exactly twice the weight of the 21 inch?
My guess is that the weight difference is largely a matter of the extra weight in the 'foot' to ensure the system is stable. That and the larger pane of glass on the front.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:23 PM   #15
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The 21.5" iMac's also are limited to 5,400 RPM HDDs.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:24 PM   #16
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Oh well, cross it off my list now too.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by azentropy View Post
Oh well, cross it off my list now too.
Yeah, considering there are several attractive All-in-One PCs now ... Apple should really make the iMac more powerful not less!


Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
Why in the world would you need more than 16GB of RAM? That's a sh**load of RAM.
True, but as a power user I often run 2 VMs at the same time along with several other apps - that gobbles memory.

Yes, not every needs this much memory, considering the Mac Pro is so expensive, the iMac is really the only option and therefore should cater somewhat to (economy) power users.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:24 PM   #18
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You don't say?
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:26 PM   #19
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YES this is going to save me a couple hundred dollars, thanks Apple! Hey December hurry the FFFFFFFFF up.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:28 PM   #20
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The 21.5" iMac's also are limited to 5,400 RPM HDDs.
Apple clearly wants to make the iMac a "consumer" machine again, forcing pros to buy a mac pro. I think this new iMac update almost certainly means that we will see a revived mac pro, rather than a discontinuation
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:30 PM   #21
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Has anyone found out if the new iMacs use 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives?

I keep thinking they might have switched to 2.5" drives to make them thinner...
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:32 PM   #22
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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.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 07:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by AcesHigh87 View Post
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.
By removing the drive...
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 08:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by AcesHigh87 View Post
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.
WOW, I TOTALLY AGREE! I have been screaming that for 6 months now. Who cares if they make a Macbook Pro 3/16 of inch thinner and trade that for productivity, reliability, and the ability to do basic upgrades like memory and drives yourself. Now they roll out an iMac that is not really an upgrade (more a downgrade) but a different look.

Apple seems to be a one trick pony. Make it thinner and then roll out a presentation that says how great it is using the same clichés. Rinse and repeat.

I am glad they still are providing the option of standard Macbook Pro lines.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 12:34 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by AcesHigh87 View Post
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.
I would never notice the thinness of a new iMac. When I use my desktop I'm looking straight on, and I don't move it around, so what difference does it make if it is thinner and lighter?

I think Apple has the technological equivalent of a body perception disorder. I can understand a thinner iPad and iPhone (to a point) since you are holding them in your hand. But, a thinner desktop makes no sense.

And while I think getting rid of the optical drive is great for laptops (I almost never use discs on my laptop), but I use my optical drive quite often on my iMac, sometimes sharing with my MBA when I do need it. Seems unnecessary to take it off the iMac just to make it thin.
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