Why is it a lot cheaper to upgrade the RAM ourselves?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by vmflapem, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. vmflapem macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2013
    Apple is charging us $216CAD to upgrade the RAM to 16GB on imac 5K. I went to a third party website and they're selling 32GB (4x8GB) RAM for $200US. Why is it significantly cheaper to upgrade the RAM ourselves? Is there any cons of doing it ourselves? Also, could someone recommend me a 1867MHz DDR3 SDRAM that is compatible with the newest imac 5K?
  2. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    No real cons unless you're really scared about doing that sort of stuff. Just take your time and make sure it's inserted correctly. Check out some videos on YouTube for tips.

    I bought Crucial RAM.

    Why is it more expensive? Some people refer to it as the 'Apple tax'.
  3. vmflapem thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2013
    Thanks! I'm gonna buy the lowest RAM from Apple (2x4GB). When I upgrade, can I put in 2x8GB (for a total of 24GB) despite there being 2x4GBs in the slots? Not sure if I have to match the GB number in all 4 memory slots. Sorry if this is a noob question lol
  4. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    Just put the 8GB in the empty slots leaving the Apple ram where it's placed. You can run 24GB no problem.
  5. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Storage and memory upgrades from Apple are always atrociously overpriced.

    Replace them yourself and save a lot of money.
  6. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Only two current Macs in the lineup have upgradable RAM as of now, the 5K iMac and Mac Pro. But I can think of three advantages with doing the Apple upgrade on those Macs:
    • Apple-installed RAM is covered under the Apple warranty.
    • No possibility of compatibility issues or improper installation (although it's not hard to find and install the right RAM).
    • Simpler for those who just want to take it out of the box and get right to it.
    Worth the hugely inflated price? Definitely not for me at least. You can even get higher-clocked 2133 MHz RAM for less than Apple's prices, and it works just fine in the iMac...

    But from a business perspective it makes more sense to order the RAM from Apple than from a consumer one.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 28, 2016 ---
    Yes you can.
  7. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Probably because Apple get stock machines made at the factory in volume.
    As soon as you want something different (RAM or HD), they have a different supply line that they charge a premium for.
    Look at it like this. When we order 15000 stickers at work (same design), it costs a couple of £100. Yesterday we asked for 15000 stickers using 16 different designs, and they wanted over £1000.
    Like others have said do the RAM yourself is easy. Even my gorilla like digits can do it!
    Crucial is a good choice. Enter your model and they show you which RAM you need.
  8. dannytang macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2015
    I've always gotten my Mac RAM upgrades from CanadaRAM, the RAM is guaranteed to work.

  9. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
  10. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012
    if you don't keep the current ones you can also buy faster RAM that are known to work with the iMac.
  11. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Part of the difference is that when you buy pre-installed RAM you're paying for a service as well as a component. When you buy it afterwards, you're buying just the component and doing the service yourself.

    It's been this way since the earliest days of PCs, from any manufacturer. Manufacturers offer the convenience of out-of-box configuration, and can charge a premium for that.

    You might as well ask why auto dealerships charge so much for parts like oil filters and batteries, when a person handy with tools could buy the parts at a lower price and do the work themselves.

    Parts suppliers are competing for the business of people whose primary motivation is to save money. If they charge too high a price for their parts, the time and effort that goes into do-it-yourself repairs makes less sense, and they sell fewer parts. Manufacturers and repair shops are providing a service to people with different motivations - convenience, lack of knowledge/skill, lack of time, peace of mind, warranty coverage.... And as with anything else in this life, they're able to charge whatever the market will bear.
  12. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    It's how businesses profit. You can build a house cheaper than you can pay to have it built too.

    In the case of RAM in the 27" model definitely do it yourself.
  13. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    You do not have to match all 4 slots, but there are performance advantages to matching pairs of slots. The existing RAM will be in one pair, so add your 2 sticks of RAM that are identical to each other (but do not have to match the existing RAM) to the empty pair.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Apple has a long history (we're talking ever since the Mac could take memory upgrades (the original macintoshes were sealed) of over charging for ram. The thought back in the PPC days was to buy the minimum ram that you could and then upgrade to what you actually needed. Now a days that's difficult to do, at least on the 21" iMac, and Apple's laptop line

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