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Teardown of Apple's low-end iMac reveals non-upgradeable soldered RAM - Page 3

post #81 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Pucillo View Post
 

4 GB of RAM is $50? Apparently you and I shop at different places.

 

$42.99 for 1333 Mhz from Crucial: http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/imac-%2827-inch%2C-late-2013%29/CT4999389

 

$54.99 for 1600 Mhz from OWC: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/1600DDR3S4GB/

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #82 of 97

I paid for 8 gigs of ram $60.00 which is the Crucial Brand.

post #83 of 97
Quote:

Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


They haven't downgraded the options that were available before this new model was added. This is just a cheaper option for people who can happily get by with a slower CPU.


For people who prefer the other options, they haven't changed so it's business as usual.

 

This iMac will work just fine for most applications... today. But I think its prospective owners will be frustrated in 2-3 years when their computer starts to struggle with the latest software and they discover that (unlike other products in its class) the RAM is not upgradeable.

 

I would have a hard time recommending this to a friend on a budget looking to buy their first Mac. I'd be the one getting the accusing looks down the road when I had to explain how their $1000 investment got them a prematurely obsolete computer. That may be acceptable for a $500 Dell but not for a $1000+ Mac.

 

It's not fair to compare this to a Macbook Air. That device's main features are portability and battery life. Buyers of Macbook Airs are used to the idea that they are giving up power and upgradeability in return for the ultimate in thin and light design, and more often than not an Air is not a person's primary computer.


Edited by freediverx - 6/22/14 at 9:32am
post #84 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by madp01 View Post
 

The latest generation of iMacs is quite disappointing: they are very difficult to upgrade or can’t be upgraded at all, like this new “entry level” iMac and this means that the actual useful life of the system is reduced, especially with such a low end processor.

 

 

This model is an exception. Other current iMac models let you upgrade RAM and storage.

 

Even my rMBP from last year has a user-upgradeable SSD.

 

I'm all about thinner designs, but I think Apple is going to hit some strong resistance if they try to sell mid- and high-end iMac models with non-upgradeable RAM or storage.

post #85 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

Soldering on RAM has many advantages in terms of manufacturing speed and efficiency, as well as reliability. This bitching and whining is exactly the same as the bitching and whining that occurs every time Apple makes a change to streamline, simplify, and move things forward, whether it be getting rid of floppy drives, firewire connector, making batteries non-replaceable, removing optical drives, making OSX download only, etc etc. Every single time, these led to BETTER overall products. This latest movie is the mildest of them all, since it's just on ONE iMac model that anyone who knows anything about technology probably wouldn't choose anyway. Big fucking deal. Noone who would buy this will need more than 8GB for a very long time, as I've been fine with 4GB for the last few years and I'm a heavy user of all adobe apps. 

 

Smartphone prices are heavily subsidized which makes it easy to upgrade every couple of years for a lot of people.  A desktop computer? Not so much.

 

I've never been one to protest abandoning old technology. I explicitly waited for Apple to dump optical drives in their MBPs before I upgraded mine. I happily accept that my iPhone lacks an easily removable battery in exchange for the beautiful and high quality design and build quality. I'm happy that Apple introduced Lightning cables despite rendering older cables and accessories obsolete.

 

But I think desktop Macs, given their high cost and broader use cases, are not the best candidates for a sealed, non-upgradeable design. I think most users will demand upgradeable storage and RAM in a $2000+ machine. I'm open to something that may require a technician to upgrade, but not something like an SSD or RAM soldered to the logic board.

 

BTW, if you can happily multi-task bloated Adobe apps with just 4GB of RAM I salute you - you're are a far more patient person than I am. ;)

post #86 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post
 

I'll provide at least one anecdotal point of evidence here. On two occasions I've had RAM modules come loose in my Macs.  Re-seating them solved the problem.  An old trick involved using a pencil-eraser to clean the surface of the contacts.  Soldered RAM is less likely to come loose because once it passes QA, it's stable.

 

True, but unless you find yourself frequently having to re-seat your RAM, I'd say that's a small price to pay for a more future proof computer...

post #87 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

Computers are appliances, at least to a vast group of users.

 

You might think of your Mac as "One Ring to Rule Them All" or "My Precious" but Joe Consumer thinks of computers like vacuum cleaners or juice blenders. That's why most PCs never get upgraded to new operating systems, and most computers never get hardware upgrades (like more RAM).

 

Joe Consumer doesn't buy $1000-3000 Apple computers. He buys $500 Dells and HPs.

post #88 of 97
Quote:

Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

 

I saw that Primate Labs has Geekbench 3 results for the new iMac. The results (single/multiple CPU) are 2820/5435 for the Core i5-4260U Haswell CPU.

 

I ran the same test on my early 2009 24" 2.93GHz Core2Duo iMac and my results were only 1641/2971 or close to 50% of this "worthless" (per lots of you) iMac.

 

I spent $2200 in March 2009, then added more RAM (8GB) later on along with a SSD/2TB HDD Fusion combination. I'm still trying to find benchmarks for the GPU but a quick search seems to say the HD5000 runs circles around my NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 512 MB in gaming stats even though the GT 130 has more memory and a faster GPU.

 

Your 5 year old iMac is still useful and functional today in large part because it had a mid to high end processor and upgradeable RAM and storage when you purchased it. This new entry-level iMac will not age as well in five years' time.

post #89 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

This iMac will work just fine for most applications... today. But I think its prospective owners will be frustrated in 2-3 years when their computer starts to struggle with the latest software and they discover that (unlike other products in its class) the RAM is not upgradeable.

Why would it start to struggle or need more RAM if they use the same apps? Apps and operating systems don't always get more resource-intensive over time. This is why entry laptops moved to lower voltage processors. If the resource needs kept going up, there would be a constant demand for higher performance at the low-end and there isn't.
post #90 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Why would it start to struggle or need more RAM if they use the same apps?

Apps and operating systems don't always get more resource-intensive over time. 

 

Of course they do. Otherwise why would people spend money to buy new computers?

post #91 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Of course they do. Otherwise why would people spend money to buy new computers?

Same reason people buy new TVs, microwaves and sofas. It's not that the ones they have are useless, sometimes people just like to get a new model. Perhaps for a new feature like a Retina display, lower weight, longer battery life. This is not the class of user that is limited by performance - those people buy the higher models anyway.

As time goes on, people are upgrading more and more slowly as they hold onto computers longer. There are people on the forum that still have machines from 2008 - 6 years without an upgrade - and yet they still say it works fine for what they use it for.
post #92 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post
 

 

True, but unless you find yourself frequently having to re-seat your RAM, I'd say that's a small price to pay for a more future proof computer...

There's also the issue of balancing expected failure rate with the cost of repair. Even if soldered RAM has a marginally lower rate of failure compared to socketed RAM (and I have not seen any statistics on this), when it does fail one has to chuck the whole motherboard instead of just replacing the defective RAM module. 

post #93 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

There's also the issue of balancing expected failure rate with the cost of repair. Even if soldered RAM has a marginally lower rate of failure compared to socketed RAM (and I have not seen any statistics on this), when it does fail one has to chuck the whole motherboard instead of just replacing the defective RAM module. 

When it fails? Do you know the likelihood of RAM failing before a GPU or other soldered components on a logic board?

Again, it should be noted that the 21.5" iMac, already didn't have use-accessible RAM even though on all previous models of that casing type the RAM was slotted. The time it would take and the tools needed to upgrade the RAM from the lowest to the maximum on your own makes it a very poor financial choice for even a savvy DIYer.

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post #94 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Of course they do. Otherwise why would people spend money to buy new computers?

Same reason people buy new TVs, microwaves and sofas. It's not that the ones they have are useless, sometimes people just like to get a new model. Perhaps for a new feature like a Retina display, lower weight, longer battery life. This is not the class of user that is limited by performance - those people buy the higher models anyway.

As time goes on, people are upgrading more and more slowly as they hold onto computers longer. There are people on the forum that still have machines from 2008 - 6 years without an upgrade - and yet they still say it works fine for what they use it for.

I once queued in a café next to a B&O salesman. He was training a new member of staff. I said how much I loved my system that was over twenty years old. He then turned to the trainee and explained that that was the dilemma they had. When things are made so well, they last too long and the company suffers. I'm sure Apple has a similar problem, though to a lesser extent.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
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post #95 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

[...] When things are made so well, they last too long and the company suffers. I'm sure Apple has a similar problem, though to a lesser extent.

 

My present Mac is over five years old. I really want a faster machine with PCIe storage, Thunderbolt and USB3, but I spent almost $4000 with AppleCare and taxes for this one and a top-teir machine now is in the same general range. That means there has to be a REALLY good reason to upgrade!

 

My 12-year-old Sony is still working as well as it did the day I bought it. Admittedly it hasn't seen daily use since I switched to Mac about six years ago or so, but that means it endured six years of heavy use and being lugged around everywhere I went so well that it still works fine now. It's a model from what they called their "workstation" class and cost about half-again as much as a well-featured consumer-grade machine of the time. That seems to add one more data point to the theory that more expensive machines last longer.

 

Thing is, I don't really need a machine that lasts that long. After three years or so technology has marched along to the point that there's some new hardware that is almost necessary to keep working, especially in a collaborative environment. Twice now I've kept a machine twice as long as I should have ("should have" meaning I wasn't able to take advantage of newer technologies) due mostly to the cost of upgrading. I think I might rather have a machine that lasts half as long and costs half as much!

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #96 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

[...] There are people on the forum that still have machines from 2008

 

That's INSANE! What self-respecting fan would go six years without tithing?! Apple needs our money to continue doing good works!

 

No one on this forum should be clinging to a machine older than... hang on, gotta go check something...

 

Okay. Mid-2009. That's the oldest that should be allowed. If your machine is Mid-2009 or newer you're still a good person. Older than that and you're not living up to your obligations.

 

;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

[...]  and yet they still say it works fine for what they use it for.

 

Right. Mine "works fine." I'm not clinging to it just because I can't come up with $3500 to replace it. It "works fine." Y'know, for what I use it for...

 

All you have to do to cure that belief is spend a few minutes with the new Mac Pro. Try something that is particularly time consuming on your present machine and see how long it takes the carafe to chew through it. My reaction was "HOLY SHIT!!!" I suspect it will be somewhat similar for most users.

 

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #97 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

[...] When things are made so well, they last too long and the company suffers. I'm sure Apple has a similar problem, though to a lesser extent.

 

My present Mac is over five years old. I really want a faster machine with PCIe storage, Thunderbolt and USB3, but I spent almost $4000 with AppleCare and taxes for this one and a top-teir machine now is in the same general range. That means there has to be a REALLY good reason to upgrade!

 

My 12-year-old Sony is still working as well as it did the day I bought it. Admittedly it hasn't seen daily use since I switched to Mac about six years ago or so, but that means it endured six years of heavy use and being lugged around everywhere I went so well that it still works fine now. It's a model from what they called their "workstation" class and cost about half-again as much as a well-featured consumer-grade machine of the time. That seems to add one more data point to the theory that more expensive machines last longer.

 

Thing is, I don't really need a machine that lasts that long. After three years or so technology has marched along to the point that there's some new hardware that is almost necessary to keep working, especially in a collaborative environment. Twice now I've kept a machine twice as long as I should have ("should have" meaning I wasn't able to take advantage of newer technologies) due mostly to the cost of upgrading. I think I might rather have a machine that lasts half as long and costs half as much!

 

That's an interesting question-which is better? Buy the low end or spend twice as much for the high end which lasts twice as long? Dunno.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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