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The new $1,099 iMac's 8GB of RAM is soldered in and not upgradeable

By Justin Kahn · 23 replies
Jun 19, 2014
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  1. Apple recently launched a new lower end 21-inch iMac for $200 cheaper than the previous base model. As we reported the $1099 entry fee comes at a price with a much slower processor and now we've learned the 8GB of...

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,162   +3,260

    Who buys Apple products for upgrade-ability anyway?

    And to make matters even worse it looks as if this is an All-In-One. All-In-One machines are not designed for upgrade-ability either. If you are going to buy a product that by maker and design is not praised for its upgrade-ability, you shouldn't complain.
  3. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Addict Posts: 253   +98

    Wow, what a trainwreck of a computer. This is designed "for girls". For that price and that hardware this is borders on a scam.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    Apple is doing its fans a favor. Their 16GB upgrade would cost $400 and every iFan would want it.
  5. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 887   +437

    Classic apple. They don't like you upgrading cheap...
    kompaneyd likes this.
  6. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +112

    Where does Apple get off charging 400 for a 16gb upgrade. I just scanned the internet for 16gb prices and they run anywhere from $149 to $169. How dumb do you have to be to buy one of these things?
    kompaneyd and VitalyT like this.
  7. Anyone who buys one of these things is a straight up *****. There is no way to justify this computer. If it's just going to be a 'internet' computer and not do any heavy lifting than there's no reason to spend a grand on it. There's plenty of quality options for a third of this price. A chromebook comes to mind. The processor is embarrassing even if it was put in a phone. Only Apple has the balls to make a computer like this. But then again, some people like balls.
    Darkshadoe likes this.
  8. The iMac line isn't really about upgrade-ability. In tests, the budget iMac's CPU actually fared pretty decently and for it's intended audience it's unlikely more than 8GB will be useful or necessary for it's lifetime. I know a few folks who are still happily running there 6 year old iMac with the latest Mavericks OS (free) on their original configurations (2 GB!). No doubt the memory compression used in the new OS helps some. Of course upgrade-able RAM would be better and it seems like a silly compromise to me.
  9. It's the years 2014, have people still not learned that frequency and number of cores alone does not define how fast a processor is? This is a 15W Haswell chip. Even with just two cores at 1.4 GHz (2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost), it's still many times faster than the "2.5 GHz quad-core" chips seen on smartphones and tablets (which are tiny, very low power ARM CPUs).
    What is embarrassing is saying something like that, when having a processor like this would be a gigantic performance improvement for phones.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    "We" as in us here on this forum, are not the people that would buy this. So of course we can complain about the price (everyone loves to complain about Apple prices), this one you can't upgrade RAM, fantastic - we can complain about how expensive Apple RAM upgrades are vs retail, and how its bs you can't upgrade your own RAM.

    However, we, are not the people that will buy this machine. Not everyone is like us, not everyone wants to buy something with minimal specs and upgrade later as tech improves and prices decrease.

    So while we can make those points in my first paragraph, it doesn't matter one bit to Apple, they don't care, we would have never bought this product and they know that. All articles like this do is drive page hits and name recognition (oh and make Apple haters get a small rise and sense of solidarity when others show up to chip in).
    Burty117 and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  11. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    Nothing you said is news to anyone here either, let us have our fun at the expense of those that don’t know better or think a computer is a fashion accessory just like Leonard and Sheldon would…

    Leonard: Hey, we’re all going over to the Apple store to make fun of the guys at the Genius Bar. You want to come?

    Sheldon: Oh, I always enjoy that, but I’m a little busy.

    I was being sarcastic but I was actually pretty close to the truth. They charge $200 for another 8GB of RAM in the iMac so that would make 16GB total about $400.

    So you are right its pretty bad given a single 8GB stick costs $70.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
    Darkshadoe likes this.
  12. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,453   +1,732

    Typical Apple-dumb. Should come with a free tissue for the ones crying about upgrades.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,981   +2,872

    I usually have some sort of derogatory comment to make when it comes to Apple but this time I'm speechless, you guys have said it all.
    Burty117, Darkshadoe and Steve like this.
  14. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    LMAO, that is hilarious! Dude Apple has been pathetic lately! I really hope this changes once they unveil their slew of new products in a few months.
  15. Who makes a product that's impossible to upgrade anyway? No one but apple.

    The older iMacs allow access to the RAM module(s) within seconds via the undercarriage.
    Fact is, 8Gb of RAM should be just FINE for 98% of users. By the time you need to upgrade the RAM, it will be cheaper to replace the entire machine, which is exactly why I don't buy all in one's. Two days ago I purchased an HP desktop with a 3.7Ghz Quad Core CPU, 12Gb of RAM, and a 1Tb Hard Drive for less than $500. That means I could spend an additional $500 on a larger screen. And when I get rid of my PC, I'll still have a monitor!
  16. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +261

    iMacs have always been All-in-Ones but even All-in-Ones can have upgradable RAM, HDD and maybe even CPU. Locking any of those 3 down really cuts down on the future proofing you can do to it. Even on low end budget laptops you can upgrade those 3 parts 99% of the time.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,162   +3,260

    Thanks! With my non-interest in Apple, I didn't know that. I don't understand why someone would consider this an issue, if they are not willing to buy a better machine. If we are going to cut corners financially, there will be sacrifices.
    Same could be said for gaming consoles. But we all know they are not upgradable. Since the non-upgrade factor doesn't stop people from buying consoles, why would it stop them from buying an iMac?
  18. Laptop CPUs, low-end or not, are not upgradeable. They are BGA parts, soldered to the motherboard.
  19. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +261

    Really now? Guess someone forgot to tell my last 4 laptops that I couldn't upgrade the CPUs that I upgraded. Only the lowest of the low end (or hyper-thin) have soldered in CPUs, most have sockets and they can be upgraded.
  20. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +261

    Consoles are a bit different since the are meant to be one non changing, common platform for developers to work with and to ensure compatibility and to make them plug and play. The same cannot be said for a general PC, Apple or not.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,162   +3,260

    Don't linger too long on my example, it wasn't meant to be a perfect example. When people buy consoles, they are opting for non-upgrade-ability whether they realize it or not. Buying AIO is not so different. I know if I buy an AIO (especially Apple), I won't expect it to be upgradeable. That is the point I was making.
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  22. TheinsanegamerN

    TheinsanegamerN TS Rookie

    What? The first thing I did when I got my new thinkpad was pull the a4 processor out and install an a10 chip. Most standard wattage mobile chips(the 37 and 47 watt varieties) are socketed (the old thinkpad x230 had a soldered 37 watt i7, and the mac mini has a soldered 37 watt i5). a simple google search would show you socketed mobile i7 chips on ebay, and even intels site shows them as rPGA, not BGA. same goes for AMD. their main 35 watt lineup is ALL socketed. the 15-19 watt chips are soldered due to their low powered nature.
    Steve and cliffordcooley like this.
  23. obadiahorthodox

    obadiahorthodox TS Rookie

    Chromebook? really? you mean the pretend computer that you are forced to use only the Chrome browser with and you can't choose another better browser like Firefox or Opera? You mean Google, the company that records EVERYTHING you do and EVERYWHERE you go on the internet? Oh I see you like Big Brother keeping track of your every move. Besides 8 gigs is plenty, and OS X is the best in existence. Far better than a lousy android OS. The processor is just fine for internet and email and movies.
  24. obadiahorthodox

    obadiahorthodox TS Rookie

    That's why I buy the lowest ram and then upgrade after I get the computer. By the way, I will never get any IMacs made after 2011 because of the soldered ram and lack of an optical drive. I have about 500 movies on DVD and like to watch them on my 27 inch screen.

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