It’s impossible to upgrade the entry-level iMac’s 8GB of RAM

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If you plan on buying one of Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMacs for $1,099 and then upgrading internal components yourself later on, then listen up. Upgrade experts OWC have torn down the new entry-level all-in-one and discovered that its memory is soldered to the motherboard and cannot be upgraded.

The new iMac comes with 8GB of RAM as standard — and you cannot upgrade that at checkout. If you want to add more memory, then Apple wants you to spend extra on the more expensive 21.5-inch machines, which start at $1,499 with 16GB of RAM. Apple does allow you to upgrade internal storage, however, all the way up to 1TB.

Not going anywhere.

Not going anywhere.

It’s impossible to buy the entry-level iMac in a standard configuration and upgrade the memory yourself, then. If you attempt to do so, you’re likely to cause some serious damage the motherboard and it’s going to cost you a heck of a lot more to repair it than if you’d have just bought a more expensive iMac to begin with.

While the new iMac looks like a good buy at $1,099, you actually get a heck of a lot more if you spend the extra $200 on the slightly better model. Not only do you have the option to upgrade its RAM — either at checkout or by yourself later on — but you also get a significantly faster Intel Core i5 processor, twice the storage, and a much better graphics chip.

Unless you really, really don’t have that extra $200, then — and you’re only going to be using your Mac for basic tasks — steer clear of the entry-level iMac when it’s time to upgrade your desktop.

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About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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