Should I upgrade RAM while upgrading to SSD? 21.5" Late 2013 iMac

djc6

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 11, 2007
580
131
Cleveland, OH
My parents have a 21.5" Late 2013 iMac - Model A1418 EMC 2638.

Its only used maybe a few times a month - most of their computing is done on iPads. Its used for managing photos, surfing web, email, running tax software once a year :) It was never a peppy computer, but its become even slower and I feel like HDD is the major component holding it back.

I'm going to replace 1TB HDD with a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO - seems reasonably straightforward looking at iFixIt guides. However, should I replace RAM while I'm in there? That seems like major surgery. iMac currently has 8GB of RAM.

Has anyone else put RAM in this model? Is it a major PITA? Right now leaning toward only replacing HDD with SSD.
 

TwoH

macrumors regular
May 19, 2019
126
37
For what you've said you use the machine for - I wouldn't suggest upgrading the RAM, the max it can take is 16gb.
There is a little cheeky shortcut to replace the RAM without taking the whole machine apart - but for your needs, I think you only need an upgrade to SSD.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,679
1,242
Georgia
Taking a 21.5 iMac apart is quite a task. Plus you always risk damaging the display, display cables and display connectors during assembly and disassembly. Then you've got to clean and put on new adhesive.

Further even web browsing with multiple tabs open can use a considerable amount of RAM these days. Add to that cloud syncing and other background services using RAM. RAM is also rather cheap for nowadays. I'd say it is well worthwhile to max the RAM now. Rather than having to open it back up in another year or two.
 

TwoH

macrumors regular
May 19, 2019
126
37
Taking a 21.5 iMac apart is quite a task. Plus you always risk damaging the display, display cables and display connectors during assembly and disassembly. Then you've got to clean and put on new adhesive.

Further even web browsing with multiple tabs open can use a considerable amount of RAM these days. Add to that cloud syncing and other background services using RAM. RAM is also rather cheap for nowadays. I'd say it is well worthwhile to max the RAM now. Rather than having to open it back up in another year or two.
If you do end up going the route of upgrading your RAM - make sure you test the RAM is being read properly, your internal microphone and camera before deciding to stick it back down - The camera/mic cable can easily decide to not work properly, even after you think it's been plugged back in correctly.
 
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