Report confirms new 27" 5K iMac supports up to 64GB of RAM, 21.5" 4K iMac limited to soldered-on RAM

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited November 2015
Aftermarket Mac solutions specialist Other World Computing on Tuesday confirmed the recently released 27-inch iMac models support a maximum 64GB of RAM, double that of previous generation models, while the new 21.5-inch 4K iMac comes with soldered-on RAM.




According to a post on OWC's blog, Apple's new 5K iMac update with Intel Skylake processors is capable of addressing up to 64GB of RAM split between four memory slots. By comparison, the first-generation iMac with 5K Retina display introduced last year maxed out at 32GB of addressable RAM.

OWC's in-house testing lab confirmed Apple's latest 27-inch all-in-one supports a maximum of four 16GB DIMMs, pointing out these allotments are only available to late-2015 iMacs carrying the new 17,1 designation. As such, the company will tomorrow offer 48GB (two 16GB DIMMS plus two 8GB DIMMs) and 64GB memory kits as aftermarket upgrade paths priced at $729 and $1195, respectively. Also going up for sale are 16GB module and a new 32GB kit using a pair of those new modules for a respective $329 and $599.

Currently, OWC offers memory kits compatible with Apple's new 5K iMac starting at 8GB for $68.00, 16GB for $134.00 and 32GB for $264.00.

On a related note, OWC tore down Apple's new 21.5-inch iMac with 4K Retina display to find the computer comes with soldered RAM, meaning after purchase memory upgrades are impossible. The company suggests customers get as much RAM as possible from the factory.

Apple today introduced a refreshed 27-inch 5K iMac with Intel Skylake CPUs for $1,799 alongside an all-new 21.5-inch iMac with 4K Retina display starting at $1,499.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Sweet now it can run twice as many virtual servers for me.
  • Reply 2 of 102
    I'm in.
  • Reply 3 of 102
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 585member

    I wonder if OWC will offer SSDs for the new iMac 27"? They don't currently offer one for the previous 5k retina model.

  • Reply 4 of 102
    pmz wrote: »
    Sweet now it can run twice as many virtual servers for me.

    Have to ask, are you running OSX Server? What are you doing with each server? I've seen the new Mac Pro used as a server but never an iMac.
  • Reply 5 of 102
    I don't get the rationale behind soldered RAM on a full desktop computer. Sure I get it on a portable, with all the space constraints and such, but on a 20+'' iMac?

    That's just poor judgment. If by some unhappy chance someone get a faulty RAM, that quits on you just after AppleCare expires, that on itself will require full logic board replacement.
  • Reply 6 of 102
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by razorpit View Post





    Have to ask, are you running OSX Server? What are you doing with each server? I've seen the new Mac Pro used as a server but never an iMac.



    CENTOS and Windows servers running in Virtual Machines. It's a hell of a thing you can do... in the background on your Mac. :D

    The more resources you have, the more you can have running. Memory is key because its the only thing you have allocate even if its not fully used.

  • Reply 7 of 102
    jdwjdw Posts: 450member
    It would appear that OWC does NOT sell 16GB DIMMS. They only offer 4pcs of 8GB to yield 32GB total. I would personally like to install two 16GB sticks so I could cheaply and conveniently update to 64GB in the future.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by osmartormenajr View Post



    I don't get the rationale behind soldered RAM on a full desktop computer. Sure I get it on a portable, with all the space constraints and such, but on a 20+'' iMac?



    That's just poor judgment. If by some unhappy chance someone get a faulty RAM, that quits on you just after AppleCare expires, that on itself will require full logic board replacement.

     

    I think you'll find space constraints just as significant on the 21.5" iMac.

    Beyond that, case studies. If their data shows that 21.5" iMac buyers are not typically adding after market RAM, they know that designing that out of existence will not hurt them.

  • Reply 9 of 102
    Can someone tell me if I can put DDR4 RAM in the 27" iMac? If yes, is there a maximum frequency limit (can I put 2133MHz in it)?
  • Reply 10 of 102
    pmz wrote: »
    I think you'll find space constraints just as significant on the 21.5" iMac.

    I think the bigger issue is whether or not a desktop machine needs to be so thin.

    Laptops, sure, make 'em thin. And of course they're gonna use laptop-style components.

    A fixed machine, however, that stays in one place and has a constant power supply... I don't see the point of using laptop-style components.

    But that's Apple... thin is beautiful.
  • Reply 11 of 102
    ljc94512 wrote: »
    Can someone tell me if I can put DDR4 RAM in the 27" iMac? If yes, is there a maximum frequency limit (can I put 2133MHz in it)?
    no
  • Reply 12 of 102
    pmz wrote: »
    I think you'll find space constraints just as significant on the 21.5" iMac.

    I think the bigger issue is whether or not a desktop machine needs to be so thin.

    Laptops, sure, make 'em thin. And of course they're gonna use laptop-style components.

    A fixed machine, however, that stays in one place and has a constant power supply... I don't see the point of using laptop-style components.

    But that's Apple... thin is beautiful.

    You can never be too rich...or too thin...
  • Reply 13 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by osmartormenajr View Post



    I don't get the rationale behind soldered RAM on a full desktop computer. Sure I get it on a portable, with all the space constraints and such, but on a 20+'' iMac?



    That's just poor judgment. If by some unhappy chance someone get a faulty RAM, that quits on you just after AppleCare expires, that on itself will require full logic board replacement.



    First question: the 21 inch uses LPDDR3, just like the iPhone and Air. The standard is designed for soldered in RAM to reduce the power consumption and complexity of running the signal through a socket. I guess that beyond power, it's probably to share a similar board design with the Air, and to gain economies of scale.

     

    Second question: I saw something that said Intel found the failure mode on modern RAM in servers was mostly due to the sockets. Their answer, which was done on FBDIMMs was to allow the RAM to continue to operate with missing links. By losing the socket and DIMM PCB, you can improve reliability. Modern chips don't fail if you operate it within spec.

  • Reply 14 of 102
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,678member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    On a related note, OWC tore down Apple's new 21.5-inch iMac with 4K Retina display to find the computer comes with soldered RAM, meaning after purchase memory upgrades are impossible. The company suggests customers get as much RAM as possible from the factory.

     

    We knew this morning when these were announced that the 21.5" iMac had soldered (non-upgradable) memory.  LPDDR3 is always soldered.

     

    http://www.apple.com/imac/specs/#21-inch-imac

  • Reply 15 of 102
    calicali Posts: 2,906member
    In before the iMac complainer from the original iMac post cries that this is decade old outdated slow crap technology.

    Seriously though iMacs with 64GB?!!
  • Reply 16 of 102
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,170member

    And this 64 GB will operate at the same speed as is possible with 32 GB?

  • Reply 17 of 102
    Where is the update to Mac Pro!?
    For most use cases, I'm guessing a maxed out iMac will now best the Mac Pro...
    1TB limit on the SSD is still pretty crippling though. I would pay to upgrade that to 2TB if I could...
  • Reply 18 of 102
    aussiepaul wrote: »
    Where is the update to Mac Pro!?
    For most use cases, I'm guessing a maxed out iMac will now best the Mac Pro...
    1TB limit on the SSD is still pretty crippling though. I would pay to upgrade that to 2TB if I could...

    1TB is the same limit imposed on the Mac Pro...and since I'm in the market for a Mac Pro, I hope that the iMacs getting this close in performance means a refresh is coming soon.
  • Reply 19 of 102
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,723member

    Soldered RAM. Non upgradable, 5400 drives. No upgrade to Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1.

    Who asked for this?

     

    Seriously, who's the target customer for the 21" iMac?

     

    The lower end is moving to iOS devices, and the iPad Pro will accelerate that.

     

    The rest of us actually care about RAM upgradability and faster drives, even if we're just using iMovie to edit 4K video.

    Are there still enough "newbies" to the Mac these days to buy these things?

     

    Note: I'm speaking specifically about the 21.5" model.

  • Reply 20 of 102
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JDW View Post



    It would appear that OWC does NOT sell 16GB DIMMS. They only offer 4pcs of 8GB to yield 32GB total. I would personally like to install two 16GB sticks so I could cheaply and conveniently update to 64GB in the future.



    But they will in just a few hours, as stated in the article.

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