Max ram for iMac.

ImTheOne

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 12, 2008
49
3
Hi I have the 21.5" 2.5Ghz Quad Core i5 model of the iMac, I have seen 2 different options on Apple's website about this, and was just wondering if maybe you guys could clear it up. My iMac came with 4GB of ram, according to the Specs when I bought it, it said 8GB was max, however I just looked at Apple's instructions on replacing ram and it said the max ram for my iMac was 16GB. So which is it??
 

Sandman1969

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2007
684
0
I believe it is actually 32gb, but you have to buy 4 8gb chips. Which apple do not have as an option at their site. I think they have had 4 slots for a bit.

If you go to http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac and find your model that will be the max.

What year is it? I am guessing it is a 2011 based on 2.5 i5. That will max at 32gb with 4x8gb. I would recommend going 16gb with 4 x 4gb. Since the 8gb are MUCH more costly.
 
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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
767
You can find specs on all Apple products, including maximum RAM:
  • By visiting EveryMac.com: Actual Maximum RAM
  • By using Mactracker
  • By entering your serial number here to find specs for your model. (Be aware that some models can use more RAM than Apple shows. Check EveryMac or MacTracker to verify.)
 
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Applefan17

macrumors member
Jan 15, 2012
41
0
The known maximum for the model your speaking of (iMac mid-2011) is said to be 16GB of RAM. Going any higher may lead to some problems so I do recommend not adding any more past the limit. 16GB of RAM should be plenty for most people provided you don't plan on any large-scale 3D work or something of the like.
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
The known maximum for the model your speaking of (iMac mid-2011) is said to be 16GB of RAM. Going any higher may lead to some problems so I do recommend not adding any more past the limit. 16GB of RAM should be plenty for most people provided you don't plan on any large-scale 3D work or something of the like.
What problems?
 
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Applefan17

macrumors member
Jan 15, 2012
41
0
What problems?
Not so much problems with their machines, but rather complications with installing the RAM itself. Some people report the system doesn't pick up any new RAM they put in past the limit but this is just a case by case basis and doesn't usually affect most people.
 
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ImTheOne

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 12, 2008
49
3
Mine is the mid/late 2011 version. I just got it in December.
So according to the OWC website, I can technically have 32GB? See when I was ordering the iMac I thought that 8GB was max and that the benefit of upgrading the CPU to the 2.7Ghz was not only the increased speed but the ability to upgrade to 16GB of ram, I thought they maybe put a new mobo that had 2 additional slots, so basically they put that to make you THINK you need to upgrade to the next CPU up. That makes sense I guess.

I am actually an IT guy and I use my computer to run multiple virtual machines for multiple different things so, the massive amount of ram is nice, glad they have realized that some people need more then 4GB of ram.

Thanks all for the replies, I will most likely stick with 16GB of ram as it is only 100$ and 32GB is 600$ and not worth that to me!

Also I did have one other question, before spending my money, can you mix and match the ram like you can in a PC, for instance, as long as you have matching pairs will it function properly. Like, say I wanted to order 16GB of ram, but in 2x8GB and not 4x4GB, and I moved the 2 8GBs to the first two slots and moved my original 2x2GB to the other 2 slots, would it register and run as 20GB of ram? Or does it only recognize all the same size sticks?
 
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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
767
Going any higher may lead to some problems
That's not true. Unless the wrong RAM is used or not installed properly, installing the true max of 32GB does not cause problems.
Some people report the system doesn't pick up any new RAM they put in past the limit but this is just a case by case basis and doesn't usually affect most people.
That is due to either the wrong RAM or faulty installation, and does not have anything to do with the iMac being able to use more than 16GB.
I can technically have 32GB?
Yes, you can. Read my first post in this thread.
Also I did have one other question, before spending my money, can you mix and match the ram like you can in a PC, for instance, as long as you have matching pairs will it function properly. Like, say I wanted to order 16GB of ram, but in 2x8GB and not 4x4GB, and I moved the 2 8GBs to the first two slots and moved my original 2x2GB to the other 2 slots, would it register and run as 20GB of ram? Or does it only recognize all the same size sticks?
You can mix any size sticks. There is a slight performance boost from using matching pairs, but all pairs don't have to be matched.

MR Guide to Matched RAM on Intel Macs
 
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