What are the chances the new iMac will have non-upgradable RAM?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Lastmboy, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Lastmboy macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    Just when I got all excited about switching to an iMac, out comes the rMBP with soldered in RAM. Now I'm terrified that they will do the same thing with the iMac, meaning that I can't do what most people do... buy iMac with standard ram and upgrade for cheap. Instead of upgrading to 32 GB for around $300, Apple will solder it in for you for more like $1,800+. Are they likely to do this with the iMac, to make sure they get all the extra cash, or is it more likely that they did it in the rMBP due to space limitations?
  2. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006
    Probably but here is what you do. Put a imac on hold on the 23rd and say you will be in on the 24th. And if new imacs on the 24th come out with soldered ram you still have the old one to fall back on.:D
  3. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    If they come out with soldered ram then just buy the one that has the max amount of RAM in it and you won't ever need to upgrade.

    Also, soldered ram will give better cooling to the iMac enabling more performance. It is a good thing and not them being greedy.
  4. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    Expect Apple charged you an arm, leg, and ear for their RAM. If you though you thought the "Apple-tax" on Macs was bad . . .

  5. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth

    Every computer that Apple has soldered the RAM into is a very thin form factor. The iMac does not need the form factor to be that thin hence you won't see soldered RAM.
  6. Nova Sensei macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2012
    I can't say it better than you already have!
  7. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006
    Plus what if the ram fails. If it is soldered then you can't replace it. So what do you do then??
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Soldered ram has nothing to do with cooling. You really do troll too much. It's just about Apple's anorexic design tendencies, which really have no place in the imac. When in use, it will not appear any different or take up more or less space on your desk.

    Ram is one of the least likely points of failure if you don't buy cheap ram and test it right after installation. It can happen, but hard drive replacements have been an issue on the imac for a long time, and no one mentions those anymore. A couple people mentioned that it's possible to control the fan thing, and that it may not be present under Mountain Lion. I can't confirm that.
  9. deconstruct60, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Not very likely. The iMac doesn't have MBA or MBPr constraints.

    The primary motivation to make the case less than 0.8" thick. It is extremely unlikely the will want to do that in a iMac. An iMac uses a desktop processor and a substantially (if not 2x ) hotter GPU. Trying to push the iMac into the sub 1" thick is just delusional. If Apple goes that route then the iMac is a skip because the inmates are running the asylum at that point.

    The current iMac runs 7.42-8.15 inches thick (including the base ***). Thickness, even if they foolishly trim off an inch, isn't a problem. It seems more likely Apple will shrink the panel thickness, which would result in a marginal thickness reduction. The air/cooling gap between the logic board and the monitor would likely remain the same. (Thinner panels doesn't mean the panel and/or the board get cooler. ). As long as the gap is there the SO-DIMM memory should be OK.

    The other mitigating factor is that the RAM is located below the "chin" . Unless Apple extremely gratuitously tapers the edges, there is space there. That is kind of silly since the vents for cooling also depend upon those edges.

    Besides horizontally mounting 32GB would be extremely wasteful use of horizontal space. The MBA and MBPr waste horizontal space in order to get less thickness (or constricts memory to relatively low levels for 64-bit computing.) That anorexic limbo doesn't come without a cost. The iMac really doesn't have buckets of wasted horizontal space to recklessly throw away. The thinness doesn't "buy" that much to make up for that damage.
    At the end of the day the iMac does have to compete with Windows PC boxes that aren't shooting themselves in the head. And if they cripple themselves into being equivalent with MBP/MBA then those too with increasingly cannibalize them.

    If Apple was deliberately hostile I suppose they could take away the room to use SO-DIMM. But it doesn't make any sense as they just creating deeper and more complex thermal problems for themselves. Trying to hustle to sell more RAM is kind of dubious when already bundling LCD panels. They have already locked up healthy profits right there. Greedily hustling on top of that for some incremental RAM margins is only short term effective. Longer term they'd be killing off the iMac because it was substantially less competitive against the alternatives.

    (***) It really doesn't buy much to make shrink the main iMac body back 0.5-1 inch or so more behind the foot it rests on. If chasing Retina hype then moving the display further away just reduces the need.
  10. Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    I think there is a better change of Steve Jobs rising like the Messiah and giving us BluRay before they sell an iMac with non upgradeable RAM! :D
  11. Nizkit macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I really hope that you are right!! I have been hanging out for the new iMac for sooo long now :-(
  12. turtlez macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    if the next imac does have soldered ram count me out for apple :( I was prepared to spend a bit more for mac but not a lot more!
  13. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    Thekev, soldered ram could be used to increase cooling or to reduce the thickness. Like most others here, I was assuming that the iMac is slim enough and that the move to soldered ram would be used to increase cooling for the new powerful nvidia card
  14. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Actually, Apple's desire for your money may actually allay your fears. I imagine they get it relatively cheap compared to the consumer, and I've often wondered why they don't just max out the RAM in all their machines. Wouldn't increase the cost that excessively. But like optional equipment in cars, by selling it as an add-on they get a decent profit on the BTO option that they wouldn't otherwise get, even if they do lose some sales to DIY types.

    I just wish we could replace hard drives....

  15. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Why is this thread still going?

    There is no logical reason for soldered memory on an iMac. It harms EPEAT status and makes repairs harder.

    Apple puts up with this for the sake of portable devices where weight is an issue but a stationary Mac is not really encumbered by weight issue and it doesn't need to be as thin as possible.

    Soldered RAM isn't going happen.

    The fears should go only as far as one's education about why Apple does this on MBA and rMBP.
  16. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    There's also the thing called "discriminatory pricing" which is used to maximise profit. It means effectively selling the same thing at different prices to different users. That's what hotels do that offer the same room at different prices in different places, so people who are not price conscious pay a higher rate, while price conscious customers still book rooms.

    In the case of the iMac, customers who are not price conscious buy as much RAM as they need, with good profit for Apple, while price conscious users buy the minimum amount of RAM and upgrade themselves or find someone who knows how to do it - they still buy an iMac. If these price conscious customers couldn't do this, then many wouldn't buy the Mac with more RAM, but just make their old Mac last longer.
  17. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I think it's extremely unlikely. As others have said there's just really no reason. Apple has actually gone to extra trouble with the most recent Mac Mini and iMac form factors to make RAM upgrades easy.

    The 2010 and 2011 Mac Mini even lets you change RAM without a screwdriver.

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