Can I DIY RAM for the 2012 21.5-inch iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Saku, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Saku macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2012
    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
  2. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    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.
  3. mushroomtip macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2012
    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.
  4. seanm9 macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2007
    Cape Cod, MA
    That is why I plan on buying the 27" one... and it will look cool with a 2nd 27" TB display next to it...
  5. Deathwish86 macrumors member

    May 1, 2012
    Probably, if the screen is not glued to the case like on the idevices...
  6. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    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.
  7. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    I disagree. It's officially classified as "not user replaceable" by Apple, which probably means soldered RAM like in the Air.
  8. jediDev macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2012
    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.
  9. MojoRisinSD macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    100% this!
  10. THOPMedia macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2012
    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.
  11. Saku thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2012
  12. Deathwish86 macrumors member

    May 1, 2012
    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 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...
  13. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    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.
  14. jediDev macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2012
    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.
  15. jediDev macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2012
    I'm nearly 100% sure the 21.5 iMac will have SO-DIMM memory based on this:

    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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