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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:31 AM   #1
Saku
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Can I DIY RAM for the 2012 21.5-inch iMac

I'm planning to buy the new 21.5-inch iMac but i don't really like the RAM (8GB) and wondering can i DIY myself because i don't like to pay extra when i can get it cheaper by myself..

Anyone ... Thank
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:43 AM   #2
OllyW
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It's classed as not user replaceable.

You'll have to wait until sites like iFixit get hold of one before we will know how difficult it will be to change the RAM.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 10:55 AM   #3
mushroomtip
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I think its a Big No. I also think once its figured out how to crack it open it will void the warranty when you do so.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saku View Post
I'm planning to buy the new 21.5-inch iMac but i don't really like the RAM (8GB) and wondering can i DIY myself because i don't like to pay extra when i can get it cheaper by myself..

Anyone ... Thank
That is why I plan on buying the 27" one... and it will look cool with a 2nd 27" TB display next to it...
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 12:13 PM   #5
Deathwish86
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Originally Posted by Saku View Post
I'm planning to buy the new 21.5-inch iMac but i don't really like the RAM (8GB) and wondering can i DIY myself because i don't like to pay extra when i can get it cheaper by myself..

Anyone ... Thank
Probably, if the screen is not glued to the case like on the idevices...
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 02:01 PM   #6
12dylan34
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Meh, we'll have to wait and see.

First, there's the question as to whether it's soldered to the motherboard or not. I think that if they can get non-soldered RAM into the classic MBP, they can get it into the much thicker 21.5 inch iMac.

Then there's the question as to whether or the case is all glued together (which is not likely IMO), then if Apple will be able to tell if you opened it to void your warranty because of some sticker or whatever.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Probably, if the screen is not glued to the case like on the idevices...
I disagree. It's officially classified as "not user replaceable" by Apple, which probably means soldered RAM like in the Air.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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I disagree. It's officially classified as "not user replaceable" by Apple, which probably means soldered RAM like in the Air.
Just speculation, obviously, but I doubt it's soldered on—there's sufficiently more room to work with inside the case, despite it's thin edges, that it just wouldn't make any sense to do design the mobo that way (unless it's literally reusing the same board that's in the 15" retina, which I doubt). Unlike the air or retina, a tiny bit more space for the battery just won't make a difference.

My bet is that the display/frontglass (which are glued together) can be removed. I can't think of a good reason that they would be glued to the case as opposed to using magnets. But I also can't imagine Apple telling people that the RAM is user replaceable—that would be terrible expectations management, since most people won't want to do that. But I'd bet enthusiasts will be able to—including the ability to swap out the SSD. And I suspect the whole thing will be easier than the current process of swapping out the SSD, because in the current process taking out the front glass and the display is a two-step process, and you're almost guranteed to get some dust between the glass and the display.

Assuming suction cups can removed the fused glass/display, the biggest challenge will be not ripping apart the displayport cable.

Anyway, those are my bets. But I wouldn't bet all that much.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 03:34 PM   #9
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Just speculation, obviously, but I doubt it's soldered on—there's sufficiently more room to work with inside the case, despite it's thin edges, that it just wouldn't make any sense to do design the mobo that way (unless it's literally reusing the same board that's in the 15" retina, which I doubt). Unlike the air or retina, a tiny bit more space for the battery just won't make a difference.

My bet is that the display/frontglass (which are glued together) can be removed. I can't think of a good reason that they would be glued to the case as opposed to using magnets. But I also can't imagine Apple telling people that the RAM is user replaceable—that would be terrible expectations management, since most people won't want to do that. But I'd bet enthusiasts will be able to—including the ability to swap out the SSD. And I suspect the whole thing will be easier than the current process of swapping out the SSD, because in the current process taking out the front glass and the display is a two-step process, and you're almost guranteed to get some dust between the glass and the display.

Assuming suction cups can removed the fused glass/display, the biggest challenge will be not ripping apart the displayport cable.

Anyway, those are my bets. But I wouldn't bet all that much.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 03:41 PM   #10
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Apple only calls it user replaceable if they have provided a sufficient level of access to the internals without a high risk of causing damage to the device. So it definitely does not mean that the ram is for sure soldered (though it very well could be).
Thankfully I have a spare Friction Stir Un-welder down stairs that I can use to get inside.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 03:43 PM   #11
Saku
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Thank for sharing guys.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jediDev View Post
Just speculation, obviously, but I doubt it's soldered on—there's sufficiently more room to work with inside the case, despite it's thin edges, that it just wouldn't make any sense to do design the mobo that way (unless it's literally reusing the same board that's in the 15" retina, which I doubt). Unlike the air or retina, a tiny bit more space for the battery just won't make a difference.

My bet is that the display/frontglass (which are glued together) can be removed. I can't think of a good reason that they would be glued to the case as opposed to using magnets. But I also can't imagine Apple telling people that the RAM is user replaceable—that would be terrible expectations management, since most people won't want to do that. But I'd bet enthusiasts will be able to—including the ability to swap out the SSD. And I suspect the whole thing will be easier than the current process of swapping out the SSD, because in the current process taking out the front glass and the display is a two-step process, and you're almost guranteed to get some dust between the glass and the display.

Assuming suction cups can removed the fused glass/display, the biggest challenge will be not ripping apart the displayport cable.

Anyway, those are my bets. But I wouldn't bet all that much.
I agree with you for the most part of your post but if i am not mistaking, only the glass on the older models is held with magnets. On the new model the glass and the display will form one assembly. I doubt that apple will hold this assembly together with the case only by using magnets. Imagine if by some accident( shock, vibration) the display assembly will fall off...it will tear apart all the connectivity of the display. I reeeeeaaaally hope I am wrong but this is how I see it at the moment...
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:25 PM   #13
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I'm so looking forward to the teardown for reasons spelt out in this thread. I predict a 2 or 3 on ifixit's level of repairability and non-soldered RAM. I'm prepared to be surprised in either case.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Deathwish86 View Post
I agree with you for the most part of your post but if i am not mistaking, only the glass on the older models is held with magnets. On the new model the glass and the display will form one assembly. I doubt that apple will hold this assembly together with the case only by using magnets. Imagine if by some accident( shock, vibration) the display assembly will fall off...it will tear apart all the connectivity of the display. I reeeeeaaaally hope I am wrong but this is how I see it at the moment...
You are right about the magnets being what holds it in place, but they are strong enough that there is basically no way for the display to fall off without either suction cups or something forcing the glass off (like really strong fingernails prying the glass off). I think the display is unlikely to be heavy enough to change that very much—but that's just a guess.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 10:05 PM   #15
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I'm nearly 100% sure the 21.5 iMac will have SO-DIMM memory based on this:

http://www.apple.com/imac/specs/

Note that it says there will be two 4GB sticks in the base configuration. Compare that to the MBPr which says 8GB onboard memory.

As long as the display and cover are held in place by magnets similar to the previous generation imac, I'm pretty sure this machine will be user replaceable.

Makes me lean towards getting 21.5" i7 with 8GB Ram and 1TB HD, planning to swap the HD for an SSD and adding in 16 GB RAM. I figure that'll cost $1699 + RAM + SSD.
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