OWC offering higher capacity and more affordable RAM options for 2019 iMac 5K

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
OWC is now offering upgraded RAM kits for the new 2019 27-inch iMac up to 128GB, offering more affordability and higher capacities than factory configurations.

2019 iMac
2019 iMac


OWC has made memory kits available up to 128GB which is as much as four times the capacity Apple's configurations, at a lower price than Apple's RAM. Through OWC, users can jump up to 64GB for $579.99, 96GB for $749.99, and 128GB for $1099.99.

The new 27-inch iMac can be configured at time of purchase with up to 32GB or 64GB of RAM depending on your model. If you choose the 3.0GHz 6-core eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, the maximum from Apple is 32GB. The 3.1GHz 6-core 8th-generation i5, 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation i5, or the 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation i9 processor are limited to 64GB of RAM when purchased from Apple.

From Apple, upgrading from 8GB to 16GB, costs $200, with 32GB ad 64GB upgrades available for $600 and $1000, respectively. Using OWC RAM, 128GB sells for only $100 more Apple's cost for 64GB.

Apple recently refreshed its iMac 4K and iMac 5K with updated internals but the same external design. If you're wondering which one to pick up, check out AppleInsider's guide on buying a new 2019 iMac.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Does anyone have experience with ram of say, 32GB or higher that can report on how the computer performs?

    I have 8GB, I do sometimes max out the ram and need to force quit apps but it is usually due to a Safari or MS Word/Excel error that isn't 'normal'. Under 'normal-to-me' operation (MS Office, Safari, scanner software, mail, messages, preview) I don't have an issue with 8GB ram. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    FatmanFatman Posts: 286member
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    edited April 2
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    Does anyone have experience with ram of say, 32GB or higher that can report on how the computer performs?

    I have 8GB, I do sometimes max out the ram and need to force quit apps but it is usually due to a Safari or MS Word/Excel error that isn't 'normal'. Under 'normal-to-me' operation (MS Office, Safari, scanner software, mail, messages, preview) I don't have an issue with 8GB ram. 
    It really depends. 8GB is sufficient today for nearly everybody. Looking at what you're doing, you won't see a notable difference from 8GB to 16 or even 32.

    As a general rule, the more data you wrangle in-app, the more it matters. Also, Chrome wants 16GB, but will eat whatever you give it, really.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    curtis hannahwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,544member
    Does anyone have experience with ram of say, 32GB or higher that can report on how the computer performs?

    I have 8GB, I do sometimes max out the ram and need to force quit apps but it is usually due to a Safari or MS Word/Excel error that isn't 'normal'. Under 'normal-to-me' operation (MS Office, Safari, scanner software, mail, messages, preview) I don't have an issue with 8GB ram. 
    I upgraded my late 2015 iMac from 8GB to 64GB within a month of receiving it.  That particular iMac model was advertised as having a max of 32GB, but was determined that it could in fact run with 64GB.

    I do a lot of photography work working with memory-sucking Adobe applications, and run virtual machines (Windows).  I'll tell you when I used my iMac that first month with 8B, it was fine... it did the job acceptably.  However, when I upgraded it to 64GB it was a night/day difference for my particular use-case.  While 8GB is fine, 16GB is the bare minimum I would recommend anyone get.  It gives one's machine that much more breathing room.

    Using an SSD drive does compensate a bit when using 8GB, but if one looks at system resources, almost all 8GB is consumed just opening up Safari, along with what the system uses just to keep things running.

    If one does more intense work like video and/or photography, running virtual machines (I do), then  32GB on the desktop would be preferable.  The only time I recommend 8GB to anyone for an iMac is because I tell them to buy 3rd party RAM and self-install.  It's one of the two times I truly believe that Apple just gouges their user base - that, and along with their SSD prices.

    preclarotipowatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    llsorensllsorens Posts: 10member
    The RAM on OWC is a speed of PC4-21300 Apple recommends PC4-2133. Does this make a difference? If so is it even a noticeable difference? So far I love the new 2019 27" iMac, I've maxed out everything when I ordered it from Apple except for the RAM. I'm anxious to upgrade the RAM too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    llsorens said:
    The RAM on OWC is a speed of PC4-21300 Apple recommends PC4-2133. Does this make a difference? If so is it even a noticeable difference? So far I love the new 2019 27" iMac, I've maxed out everything when I ordered it from Apple except for the RAM. I'm anxious to upgrade the RAM too.
    The RAM that OWC is offering is 2666MHz DDR4 PC4-21300 -- the same spec that Apple recommends.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,909member
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    Sadly, I'm not adventurous when it comes to warranty-violating cracking open of iMacs. 

    I guess the good news is that TB3 is super fast, so you can actually get really great external storage. The downside of the external storage option, of course, is desk clutter which is kind of antithetical to the iMac design. Sigh... tradeoffs. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,956member
    Does anyone have experience with ram of say, 32GB or higher that can report on how the computer performs?

    I have 8GB, I do sometimes max out the ram and need to force quit apps but it is usually due to a Safari or MS Word/Excel error that isn't 'normal'. Under 'normal-to-me' operation (MS Office, Safari, scanner software, mail, messages, preview) I don't have an issue with 8GB ram. 
    Even with 8GB you should never have to force quit an app because of memory. macOS has long supported virtual memory that uses hard drive space as memory when physical memory gets low. Of course the main symptom of virtual memory swapping is a serious slowdown of operations. The more physical memory you have installed means little or no need for virtual memory to kick in. My late 2013 iMac 14,2 has 16GB of memory but I still see virtual memory swap files now and then. The more physical memory the better.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    blastdoor said:
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    Sadly, I'm not adventurous when it comes to warranty-violating cracking open of iMacs. 

    I guess the good news is that TB3 is super fast, so you can actually get really great external storage. The downside of the external storage option, of course, is desk clutter which is kind of antithetical to the iMac design. Sigh... tradeoffs. 
    There are cheaper versions, but this is a "Shelf" that you can attach to the back of an iMac stand.

    blastdoorfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,909member
    blastdoor said:
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    Sadly, I'm not adventurous when it comes to warranty-violating cracking open of iMacs. 

    I guess the good news is that TB3 is super fast, so you can actually get really great external storage. The downside of the external storage option, of course, is desk clutter which is kind of antithetical to the iMac design. Sigh... tradeoffs. 
    There are cheaper versions, but this is a "Shelf" that you can attach to the back of an iMac stand.

    Thanks! That's very handy! 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    blastdoor said:
    blastdoor said:
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    Sadly, I'm not adventurous when it comes to warranty-violating cracking open of iMacs. 

    I guess the good news is that TB3 is super fast, so you can actually get really great external storage. The downside of the external storage option, of course, is desk clutter which is kind of antithetical to the iMac design. Sigh... tradeoffs. 
    There are cheaper versions, but this is a "Shelf" that you can attach to the back of an iMac stand.

    Thanks! That's very handy! 
    At a previous venue, I velcroed a SSD to the back of the display of my MacBook Pro until I could get it repaired. So, there's always zip ties back there too.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    blastdoor said:
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    Sadly, I'm not adventurous when it comes to warranty-violating cracking open of iMacs. 

    I guess the good news is that TB3 is super fast, so you can actually get really great external storage. The downside of the external storage option, of course, is desk clutter which is kind of antithetical to the iMac design. Sigh... tradeoffs. 
    I wonder what the economic feasibility is for OWC to make the upgrades themselves for new Macs they sell and then subsume the warranty.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    killermike2178killermike2178 Posts: 8unconfirmed, member
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    If you're referring to an NVMe drive, you're out of luck, as Apple uses proprietary NVMe drives with their iMacs that have different pin layouts than standard NVMe drives.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    If you're referring to an NVMe drive, you're out of luck, as Apple uses proprietary NVMe drives with their iMacs that have different pin layouts than standard NVMe drives.
    Sure, but the larger question is if the SATA connector that would have been used for the Fusion Drive remains on a BTO machine with SSD.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,719member
    blastdoor said:
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    Sadly, I'm not adventurous when it comes to warranty-violating cracking open of iMacs. 

    I guess the good news is that TB3 is super fast, so you can actually get really great external storage. The downside of the external storage option, of course, is desk clutter which is kind of antithetical to the iMac design. Sigh... tradeoffs. 
    Velcro drives to the back of the case or the arm. I feel like I saw a product somewhere that added a shelf to the arm in back of iMacs? 

    Here, this:
    https://www.twelvesouth.com/products/backpack
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,719member
    You can get 32GB from Hynix for $50 cheaper on Amazon, just saying. 
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 580member
    Does anyone have experience with ram of say, 32GB or higher that can report on how the computer performs?

    I have 8GB, I do sometimes max out the ram and need to force quit apps but it is usually due to a Safari or MS Word/Excel error that isn't 'normal'. Under 'normal-to-me' operation (MS Office, Safari, scanner software, mail, messages, preview) I don't have an issue with 8GB ram. 
    If the system has an integrated (Intel) GPU, some of that 8gb is gonna be eaten up for graphics. But I agree, should still be plenty for Safari + Office apps.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    blastdoor said:
    Fatman said:
    Can anyone confirm if the internal SSD can be user upgraded with a 1TB or 2TB Samsung drive?
    The internal Fusion drive uses a SATA connector, so it seems so, if you're adventurous. We're not sure yet if you buy with SSD.
    Sadly, I'm not adventurous when it comes to warranty-violating cracking open of iMacs. 

    I guess the good news is that TB3 is super fast, so you can actually get really great external storage. The downside of the external storage option, of course, is desk clutter which is kind of antithetical to the iMac design. Sigh... tradeoffs. 
    In the US (and other countries) opening a computer and upgrading memory (or other reason) does not violate the warranty. You can do the work yourself, have a mom and pop shop do it, take it to an Apple authorized repair facility or have Apple themselves do it. Of course if you damage something during the process, the warranty will not cover any necessary repairs. In fact it might even be unrepairable.

    For instance, if the cost of repairs exceeds the purchase price of the computer, Apple won’t authorize the repair even if you’re willing to pay for it (mainly because they don’t want to have to do any further warranty repairs on a computer that’s been “totaled”). Linus tech tips found this out first hand. 

    Note however that Apple can require that you remove third-party upgrades before they’ll do any warranty work on your machine. For a couple reasons; the problem you’re having might be caused by the upgrade, and also they don’t want to be responsible for keeping track of your parts. 
    edited April 3 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 126member
    I never understood what is so special about "Mac memory"?  Does Apple purposefully use non-spec timings in their standard Intel hardware or is it just a myth that one needs "Mac memory"?  Seems ridiculous to have to pay what is equivalent to the "Apple tax" when buying non-Apple memory just because it's called "Mac memory".  Many times in the past I have used off-the-shelf PC memory with no issues.
    edited April 3
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