Memory upgrade: Apple iMac 2012/2013/2014 (Howto)

Memory upgrade: Apple iMac 2012/2013/2014 (Howto)

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Without big notice, the updated version of the Apple iMac (Late 2013) was presented in september. Equipped with a Intel Haswell-Processor, new grafic-chipset and WLAN-support after standard,the all-in-one is now on the current state of technology. In both models (21,5” and 27”) there are installed 8GB Ram as standard, which can be extended to a maximum of 32 GB at the 27”.

Also the new 2013 model it is recommended again to buy the iMac with the smallest memory capacity and upgrade the RAM yourself. Depending on memory upgrade, several hundred euros can be saved by this way. The upgrade of the pc memory, can be performed by a minimum of effort, even by beginners.

Special case – Apple iMac 21,5 inch
Unfortunately the iMac 21,5” can not readily be upgraded by yourself, because the display is bonded to the housing. To upgrade the RAM in 21,5 inc iMac, the expansion of the display panel + logicboard is inevitable, which will result in loss of validity of the guarantee.



Frequently asked questions

How much memory can be installed up to?

In the basic configuration of the iMac in 2013 8GB of RAM are installed. The RAM can be upgraded but with little effort to a maximum of 32 GB at 27 inch iMac. IMac 21.5 inch, however, the memory can not be upgraded itself.

Remains the apple guarantee?

The memory of the iMac 27 inch can be upgraded by yourself, without impact on the apple product guarantee or AppleCare Protection Plan. The apple guarantee remains valid.

Which manufacturer produces the original memory modules?

Apple obtains the memory of brand manufacturers such as Hynix, Elpida and Samsung. Generally, it is of secondary importance by which manufacturer the memory was produced, as long as the technical data (timing, latency, etc.) are correct. Experience has shown, that the sale of brand products is recommended, because there are often problems with noname-memories.

Can different memory sizes be mixed?

In each slot, memory moduls with 4 or 8GB can be used. Thereby different sizes can generally also be mixed in pairs (for example 2x4GB + 2x8GB). Then however, the dual-channel left out. But the impact on the performance of the iMac is not noticeable in pracice. During an upgrade it is fundamentally important, that the memory specifications match exactly.

Possible memory combinations at the iMac 27 inch

Note: The memory-benches 1 + 3 and 2 + 4 belong together and are marked in color in the table. Same memory modules should be inserted into related memory banks.

Bank 1 Bank 2 Bank 3 Bank 4 Total
4 GB 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB 16 GB
4 GB 8 GB 4 GB 8 GB 24 GB
8 GB 4 GB 8 GB 4GB 24 GB
8 GB 8 GB 8 GB 8 GB 32 GB


Suitable memory moduls for the Apple iMac

[Last updates: November 11, 2013]

Data Journey - personally tested Note
Especially with no-name memory modules I’ve made some very negative experiences. Therefore, the following selection contains only high quality memory modules that I could test more than once personally in my professional life and can recommend in good conscience.

All specifications are exactly the same with the original memory modules. That’s the only way to ensure a smooth upgrade and a stable operation.

iMac (Late 2013)


Installation instruction

For the upgrade tool is not required. When matching memory modules are ready, you go directly to the exchange:

t_imac_27_1 Step 1:
Directly above the power cord socket is the release button for the overlying memory cover (see photo marking). Because it is very narrow, it is easiest pushed in with a flat plastic object (such as an SD memory card or debit card).
t_imac_27_2 t_imac_27_3 Step 2:
After the release button is pressed, the memory cover opens and can be removed. On the inside of the cover is a drawing which shows the swing out of the slot block.
t_imac_27_4 t_imac_27_5 Step 3:
Now, the block hast to be unlogged first by the two levers (left and right). Therefore, press the lever outside gently and swing the slot block.
t_imac_27_6 Step 4:
Now, the RAM modules can be easily replaced. When inserting the new memory module, please pay attention to the notch between the contacts.

The memory banks 1+3 and 2+4 belongs together.
Same memory modules should therefore be used into related memory banks.

t_imac_27_7 Step 5:
After the new memory modul has been installed, the slot block is pivoted back into the housing and the cover is clipped.

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