Considering an iMac -- Some Questions

bertie343

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 23, 2011
67
20
I've been doing Google searches, don't worry, but I would like actual users' inputs on my questions.

1. How easy is it to upgrade the HD, RAM, anything else on the iMac?
2. Is there anything I CAN'T upgrade either myself or have someone do for me should I need it?

Essentially, I'm between a Mac Mini and the iMac. I just got a MBP a month ago and I love it. My family loves it too, so we're looking for a family computer to replace our PC desktop that we have right now. Of course, as the head computer expert in the house, they are used to me being able to go in and upgrade a HD if they need more space, or stick in another stick of RAM if the computer is too slow for them.

If you guys could answer these questions, and offer any other advice to make my decision between the Mac Mini and iMac any easier, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
2,760
78
Winnipeg, MB
Check out ifixit.com for some good guides on how to repair/upgrade Macs. RAM is very simple, just a small door on the bottom of the screen. The hard drive is harder, and is the only other item besides RAM that is allowed to be serviced by the user without voiding the warranty.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
1. RAM is easy, HDD is not impossible, but quite difficult, especially with 2011 iMacs.

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2. Nothing else really, unless you really want to tinker.


The Mac mini is a bit easier to upgrade with another HDD.

Look at www.ifixit.com for guides.
 

BreakGuy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
818
0
NZ, South Pacific
Unless you are out of the warranty period on your iMac, the hardware warranty specifically states that any work/replacement has to be performed by an AASP (Apple Authorized Service Provider) or the warranty is voided. The ONLY user serviceable parts are RAM - you cannot upgrade the HDD yourself.
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,370
1,537
DFW, TX
Mac Mini is easier to change HDD and RAM.

Mac Mini is dual core vs iMac Quad Core.

You just need to figure out if you want an Apple All-in-one package or not.
Both have their advantages.
 

jwm2

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2012
231
0
Imo the quad core cpu + 512mb graphics + amazing display + mouse & keyboard make it a no brainer. Just one wire (110v power cord) is needed. I went to best buy with every intention of buying a mac mini with a new 23" widescreen monitor and ended up coming home with the 21.5" iMac and couldn't be happier. Just look at the difference in image quality between them and it'll make your decision very easy :)
 

zarf2007

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2010
222
16
London, UK
I've been doing Google searches, don't worry, but I would like actual users' inputs on my questions.

1. How easy is it to upgrade the HD, RAM, anything else on the iMac?
2. Is there anything I CAN'T upgrade either myself or have someone do for me should I need it?

Essentially, I'm between a Mac Mini and the iMac. I just got a MBP a month ago and I love it. My family loves it too, so we're looking for a family computer to replace our PC desktop that we have right now. Of course, as the head computer expert in the house, they are used to me being able to go in and upgrade a HD if they need more space, or stick in another stick of RAM if the computer is too slow for them.

If you guys could answer these questions, and offer any other advice to make my decision between the Mac Mini and iMac any easier, I would greatly appreciate it.

Buy aftermarket RAM from crucial etc, you would be better to maybe buy with an internal 1TB drive and get external drives either usb/firewire or thunderbolt(when their price reduces). If you can stretch to it get the 27" with SSD, the screen quality on both the 21 and 27 is well worth it and SSD makes you want to ditch loading apps from standard hard drives forever....
 

Applefan17

macrumors member
Jan 15, 2012
41
0
I believe that an iMac is probably going to be your best option due to the all-in-one package you get that shouldn't confuse even the newest tech novice. Now they are both quite difficult in terms of replacing a HD, however, the Mac Mini is a bit easier. I do believe that replacing a HD does void your warranty (I know for iMacs but not sure on the Mac Mini) so I just recommend having everything on external HD's that way if you ever reach capacity, you can purchase a new one rather than worrying about replacing your current HD and you can save your onboard HD for things like applications that you download from the Mac App Store

In terms of RAM, upgrades are fairly easy, however, I don't recommend buying RAM from Apple but rather from a 3rd party company like:

http://www.crucial.com

They offer RAM for a substantially cheaper price and Apple made installing RAM very easy for the iMac and the Mac Mini to the point where your local zoo animal can do it. Apple offers support information for such installations.

So, In the end your best option would probably be the iMac as it offers one big streamlined package to last your family for years to come.

Good luck!