Yesterday, our teardown revealed that the 21.5″ iMac 2017 has upgradable RAM—the first time Apple has included removable RAM in a 21.5″ iMac since 2013. We were so happy, we did a little dance. Of course, Apple says the iMac isn’t user-upgradable—but we’re not your average “user” and neither are you. With the right tools and parts, you can absolutely boost your RAM, expand the storage, and save money in the process.
Under Apple’s configurations, the 3.0 GHz 4K tops out at 16 GB of RAM. If you want 32 GB, you have to buy the more expensive 3.4 GHz version—a $200 minimum increase, plus $600 for 32 GB RAM.
With iFixit’s iMac Intel 21.5″ Max RAM Upgrade Kit, you can quadruple your RAM from 8 GB to 32 GB for $300. That’s just $100 more than what Apple wants to “max out” your RAM at 16 GB on the 3.0 GHz model.
Our kit includes:
- 32 GB (2×16 GB) of DDR4-PC2400 2400MHz RAM
- Replacement Display Adhesive Strips
- iMac Opening Wheel
- iMac Service Wedge
- Plastic Cards
- Phillips #00, T5, T8, and T10 Bits
- Driver Handle
The opening procedure is essentially the same as the 2015 4K iMac—and we’ve adapted the existing repair instructions to guide you through the installation process for your 2017 iMac.
We’re working on iMac SSD Upgrade Kits, and expect to have them in our store very soon. The iMac’s processor is also upgradable, but replacement CPUs aren’t cost effective right now—so we’re not offering them yet. They’ll likely be more affordable in the future, so unless you need the speed right away, we recommend buying an iMac with a slower processor upfront and upgrading it down the road.