Save the cash and do a DIY? Or go safe and spend?

juliancs

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 24, 2006
419
1
I want to upgrade the iMac I'll be getting to 8GB RAM, and a 2TB Harddrive. I've been looking around, and can get the HD for about 130 pounds (200 for apple upgrade - suppose I could sell the standard 1TB as well), and crucial has the memory for half price.
I've changed ram & HD's in a laptop, as well as built my own PC years ago, but never tinkered with an iMac. The main thing that mortifies me is getting dust behind the screen. What is the chance of this happening? As I understand it, I need some sort of suction holders to take the screen off. Where can I get these? And finally, on a side note, if I order with the standard 4GB kit, will I have space for a 2x2GB kit and will i affect performance having non-matched pairs?

I'm not sure whether I should save a few pounds and do it myself or play it safe - I'm not sure if it voids my warranty, putting my own stuff in. I'm buying this iMac out of necessity and am scraping the bottom of the bowl to come up with the funds, so every bit helps.

Thanks for your input!
 

spcdust

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
970
0
London, UK
......I'm not sure if it voids my warranty, putting my own stuff in
Putting your own RAM in won't void your warranty as this is designed as an easy and quick end user procedure - just unscrew the hatch lid on the bottom underside and pop it in the RAM ports. Upgrading your HDD will totally void your warranty (not a good idea).

Personally, if money is an issue, get the 1TB drive now with basic 4GB standard RAM, the configuration is 2 x 2GB giving you room to pop in a further 2 x 2GB sticks - performance won't be affected with that configuration (or if it is then totally negligible). As far as HDD, if you start filling up your internal 1TB HDD then purchase an external one as and when you need it (prices keep coming down) OR, once your iMac is out of Warranty then swap out the HDD with a larger one. As far as taking your iMac apart - I would say not for the faint hearted but people more proficient than myself do do it.
 

jonwd7

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2009
58
0
Upgrading your HDD will totally void your warranty (not a good idea).
False.

If you open up the iMac you do not void the warranty. If you touch any of the things that say "Warranty VOID if removed", you void your warranty. The HDD is not one of them. Your warranty IS void if you break something while doing it.

With that said, the $225/£200 upgrade is not that much of a premium over the cost of a 2TB hard drive. I would just play it safe and BTO the drive. I do realize with a DIY you "get an extra 1TB drive for free", but not everyone needs an extra 1TB drive, or would have anything to do with it.
 

itommyboy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2009
569
0
Titletown USA
I always say save the money and learn how to work on your imac - it's easy and makes you feel good when you DIY!

You can grab suction cups at most any hardware or even some box stores in the hardware section. For what it's worth (you may get many disagreeing on this but I assure you what I'm about to tell you is 100% legit) upgrading the RAM and/or the hard drive is perfectly within your rights and Apple will not void your warranty for doing either or both. It is at your own risk though and if you botch something up while in there well the mothersh:apple:p will indeed call you out on that. If you're feeling a bit queasy about dismantling your first iMac it's cake - and there are tons of videos around showing you how to do both.

As mentioned above there are 4 RAM slots now in the new iMacs so if you buy standard 4GB it will be 2x 2 GB leaving you 2 more banks for 2 more 2GB sticks and you would not lose performance at all as they would in fact be matching pairs (even if from different manufacturers). Good luck and let us know what way you end up going.
 

spcdust

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
970
0
London, UK
False.

If you open up the iMac you do not void the warranty. If you touch any of the things that say "Warranty VOID if removed", you void your warranty. The HDD is not one of them. Your warranty IS void if you break something while doing it.
Apologies for my mis-information and I stand corrected.

I have to say I assumed that the iMac would have warranty seals on the case and by changing the HDD you could be accused of affecting the power draw from the PSU.
 

53x12

macrumors 68000
Feb 16, 2009
1,544
4
I have to say I assumed that the iMac would have warranty seals on the case and by changing the HDD you could be accused of affecting the power draw from the PSU.
Not sure I really follow you on this. How would opening the iMac affect the "power draw from the PSU"???
 

spcdust

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
970
0
London, UK
Not sure I really follow you on this. How would opening the iMac affect the "power draw from the PSU"???
I was questioning that installing a replacement HDD may have a bearing on the power draw on the PSU which could subsequently affect other components in the iMac (just a theory of how you could possibly invalidate any warranty).

.....by changing the HDD you could be accused of affecting the power draw from the PSU.
Just as an aside, didn't I read that the new iMacs use the installed HDD's internal sensors to monitor temperature and, because of this, users would be tied to the same HDD (possibly manufacturer) when doing replacements?
 

juliancs

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 24, 2006
419
1
Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'll give it ago myself. Being a composer and living in a rough area, I have a VERY good house/contents insurance policy, including accidental. Worst comes to worst and I do manage to break something, I'll just claim it on the insurance saying I dropped it.

Anyway, this all depends on how much I can get for my 17" 2.93 C2D MBP and the generosity of my parents. :(
 

gjw4u

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2008
488
0
Switzerland
OP, I would go for the BTO HDD update & not have the hassle of installing the HDD youself. The RAM I would DIY, with SIMMs from a 3rd party.
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
why not just hang another 1TB drive off the back?

Why make it so complicated?

Do you have 1TB+ of data you need to keep internally at all times?

Throw a 1TB external USB 2 drive off the back and keep all of your photos, music and movies on it. iPhoto, iTunes and iMovie work perfectly fine that way.

Ive got about 300 gigs worth of that stuff on an external, keeps my 640 gig internal drive managable.
 

cmvsm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2004
784
0
I replaced a hard drive in my last iMac. I used to put computers together, and the iMac process was challenging as everything is so tight. One wrong move and your iMac is a doorstop.

There was a big difference between the 24" imacs and the 27" imacs, and that is that I didn't have to take the glass off of the older model. Getting hair, dust, or fingerprints would be a big concern.

Regarding the warranty, you don't have to screw something up in order to void out your warranty. Something could go wrong down the road completely unrelated, and Apple would have a leg to stand on by saying that something you did screwed things up. You wouldn't be able to prove otherwise.

So in essence, do what I did. Get yourself a large external, and only keep the important things on the iMac drive.
 

juliancs

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 24, 2006
419
1
Why make it so complicated?

Do you have 1TB+ of data you need to keep internally at all times?

Throw a 1TB external USB 2 drive off the back and keep all of your photos, music and movies on it. iPhoto, iTunes and iMovie work perfectly fine that way.

Ive got about 300 gigs worth of that stuff on an external, keeps my 640 gig internal drive managable.

I have 3 1TB external Harddrives, and need a dedicated 500GB for Windows, internally, as well as around 1TB internally for AU's. So I need the space.
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
I think you need a macpro?

I wont pretend to guess what half you people do with your computers, but 500 GIGs for Windows? And a TB of AUs (whats an AU?) seems wild.

How did you do this before you had a new iMac?

And you want to drop in a 2TB drive, and then fill it 75% of the way -- and more? Im sure you are aware of the whole "dont fill up your startup drive or it slows down" thing right?

I mean, do whatever you need to do, but IMHO at first glance, this seems like a complicated setup and could be done simpler?
 

waitingonnov

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2009
31
0
He said he is a composer so I guess thats where most of the space is going.
Internal drives are better than external but I wouldn't recommend pulling the mac apart. Apple will most likely use any excuse if you have a problem any time down the track and considering the amount of failing imacs I would hesitate to do the op without first consulting Apple Care and recording the persons name etc just to cover your ass - they may say its safe to do.


I wont pretend to guess what half you people do with your computers, but 500 GIGs for Windows? And a TB of AUs (whats an AU?) seems wild.

How did you do this before you had a new iMac?

And you want to drop in a 2TB drive, and then fill it 75% of the way -- and more? Im sure you are aware of the whole "dont fill up your startup drive or it slows down" thing right?

I mean, do whatever you need to do, but IMHO at first glance, this seems like a complicated setup and could be done simpler?
 

juliancs

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 24, 2006
419
1
Yea, I'm writing for film and games, so an AU is an audio unit. Software instruments that easily top 100GB per package. Some of my software only runs in windows. I don't need the space to fill up, but as a clear buffer for recording audio at optimum performance.

I think I'll save a few bucks by getting the ram and doing that myself, if I don't have to open it up. Get apple to do the HD.
 
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