5K iMac - Upgrading RAM

Discussion in 'iMac' started by photogpab, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. photogpab macrumors 6502


    Jun 21, 2010
    Purchased the 27" 4.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 retina iMac and I know it comes with 8GB RAM but I want to upgrade it myself...

    It has 4 slots correct? So it comes with two 4GB cards installed? Can I only add additional 4GB cards? Or can I add two 8GB cards for a total of 24GB of RAM?

    I wasn't sure if all 4 slots needed to have the same GB of RAM for better performance? (four 4GB or four 8GB).

    Ideally I would want to go for the full 32GB, but if I buy four 8GB cards then what would I do with the cards the iMac already came with?
  2. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    You can add 2 8GB cards or put 4 8GB cards in. You can try selling the 2 4GB cards but my understanding is you won't get much for them. I kept mine, then put them back in when I sold my 27" iMac. I have 2 8GB sticks waiting for my riMac.
  3. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    You can send memory back for a rebate from OWC, but I don't know if you get much for it...


    OWC are excellent suppliers of memory and other peripherals.
  4. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Just put in two 8GB cards and call it a day. Many do it this way and 24GB is plenty for anything you would ever do.
  5. PBMB macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2015
    You keep them in case you ever need to send your iMac for service/repairs. In the past, after some repair Apple usually would restore the machine to its original factory configuration. Which means, you send it in with 32 GB, you take it back with 8 GB. Not sure if they still do this.
  6. blufrog macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2014
    I can't see how they can do that! Even if the memory is faulty, it's YOUR property, not Apple's, so they have no right to dispose of it!
  7. johnnyXcrane macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2013
    Is it possible to just put one more 8GB module in it? Or do I need to fill all 4 slots then?
  8. blufrog macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2014
    I think they need to be in pairs (all the standard memory options have either pairs or quads).
  9. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    Even though your Mac is warranted (or covered by AppleCare Protection Plan) it's covered as purchased. If you modify it, what you change is not covered. The system need RAM to function so if it's that, they'll only put back what was there on order.
    Always keep your old memory.
    However, that being said - you sure can get money for it... OEM memory in today's Macs is a high quality, low failure rate memory that is always going to reach high dollar prices, even selling second hand. Look at eBay... the evidence is there.
    I doubled my memory by buying someone else's OEM pull from eBay. Watched and waited for 2 months and it was still not cheap. In fact, I could have, at any time, purchased the same amount of RAM from 3rd party at al lower cost.
    Additionally, always put memory in in pairs. Apple documentation states it must be done in pairs as it is but that's standard practice today in any machine.
  10. N2bnfunn macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Go 32 and get it from Amazing that is what I did and it runs great.
  11. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    You would keep them in case you ever need to return your iMac to Apple for servicing, so you can put them back in to replace the 3rd party RAM you installed...
  12. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Ask yourself how much RAM you need. If you think you need more than 16GB, then buy the full 32GB and keep the old RAM for warranty purposes. RAM is cheap these days and there is no point 'dicking' around with different sized DIMMS to save a small amount of money.
  13. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    You're looking at $350 - $385 to get proper memory at 32GB (8x4)
    You can double yours to 16GB for less than $75 right now by buying someone else's OEM pull off eBay when they did the same thing.
    Obviously, the choice is yours but I'll share my opinion, anyway. If you can't fully quantify the need for more than 16GB, you're just throwing your money away on lesser quality memory. Granted, it's not infallible - but the OEM memory is better than most anything you'll find that's 'more memory for the money'.
    Today, your memory is your workhorse. If you're using multiple apps, etc. - that's memory working to let you listen to music in the background while your CPU just sits there idle or just above.
    I did exactly what I mentioned above and I really do use my Macs. Only you can determine your performance demand and need but I felt more confident in getting quality 4x4 than just saying I have 32GB. I have not regretted it since.
    The best part of all of this is that memory does always get cheaper... so, say you sink $75 today and a year later decide you have grown to need 32GB. You'll likely still come out ahead.
  14. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    Here's an example. I'm using just over 10GB actively. I can run all of the following with no trouble while also running Parallels with a VM up. I do not have that running currently for this example.

    I have open with dual displays:
    Picasa - importing
    iTunes (playing)
    Photoshop - 14MB file open

    Oh, and Plex is running at all times, among other things.
  15. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    Actually, 32GB of proper RAM for the riMac would be just under $230 now with free shipping (to the US) from Amazon.

    Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3/DDR3L-1600 MHz

    I paid a lot more for the same RAM last year. If you want 32GB, go for it. I often run VMs so I need the memory but I just like knowing it's there in general.
  16. Aggie83 macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2015
    I remember when my first laptop back around 1989 had a 20mb hard drive. My boss had a 40mb one and I was jealous. A few years later, I can remember paying around $100 for a 4mb stick of Ram. Crazy.
  17. johnnyXcrane macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2013
    Guys, is this true?
  18. johnnyXcrane macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2013
    This still not answers my question.
    Dual channel as far as I know just improves the performance, but the improvement is so small that its not even important.

    Anyone else knows about it?
  19. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Any advantage to using this Hyper X memory:

    Kingston HyperX Impact SODIMM

    Click Me
  20. UniDoubleU macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2014
    Nope, just because it's branded for gamers doesn't make it faster. Just use the standard version and be happy.
  21. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Or better still, avoid Kingston entirely :)

    Crucial seems to get the best reviews...
  22. aesc80 macrumors 6502


    Mar 24, 2015
    Plus there are way more MR members who have installed and successfully ran Crucial over Kingston. With the apparent finickiness of these iMacs and the type of memory, unless you don't mind spending time shipping memory back and waiting for replacements, you're best working with something confirmed to have worked.
  23. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Another company that is excellent for memory upgrades is OWC, but they're not the cheapest around.


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