New 21.5-Inch iMac Teardown Confirms Non-Upgradeable Soldered RAM


This morning Apple announced a new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac, priced at $1,149 CDN, featuring a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, Intel HD 5000 graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The model is not customizable except for adding a larger serial ATA hard drive or flash storage.

As for the RAM, Apple this morning released a support document explaining the memory is not upgradeable as it’s “integrated to the main logic board,” which means soldered on.


iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014) computers are configured with 8 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM installed in two channels integrated to the main logic board.

Memory replacement

The memory for iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014) computers are not user-accessible and is integrated into the main logic board. Visit an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider if you need to service or replace your computer’s SDRAM.

OWC has completed a teardown of the 21.5-inch iMac which has provided a visual confirmation the RAM is soldered onto the logic board, as pictured below:

Imac 21 201436

Just because the RAM is soldered on doesn’t mean it’s not impossible to replace (someone will DIY most likely)—but this machine is meant to be entry level and it’s probably not a good idea to try.


  • Shorty_dammit

    If you think you’re going to need more than 8 GB of RAM in your Mac…

  • Yeah more than 8GB is definitely ideal

  • Shorty_dammit

    Any examples off the top of your head where you’ll use more than 8 GB? My main PC’s only had 8 GB for, oh, probably more than 5 years now and I’ve never been in a situation where I could have used more. Granted, everybody has different uses, but I can’t think of a single reason why the average consumer buying the cheapest Mac there is would ever need more than 8 GB if I don’t even need more than that with everything I do on my PC. And, yes, I consider myself over and above a typical “power user.” Again, we are talking about the CHEAPEST MAC. I can’t think of anyone that would actually need more than 8 GB and would be buying the cheapest Mac. If you can come up with some example uses for the cheapest Mac that requires more than 8 GB, I would sincerely like to hear it.

  • Okay back to this entry level iMac, 8GB is more than ebough for a Facebook machine.

    But for power users or those who use their Macs with lots of apps open, 8GB isn’t cutting it at times. In my case, 8GB keeps getting utilized on my MBA, blame it on Chrome as a major culprit.

  • ChrisShield5

    8GB Is more than enough except for:

    *Intensive Media editing (mostly photo/video)
    *Scientific/Engineering Simulations

    However… The 5000HD graphics would be the bottleneck on most games and 8GB isn’t too limiting for the other situations mentioned above. As most with macs, the specs here are weak for the price, but you’ll get a great package, display, keyboard and of course OSX (and the ability to develop apps).

  • That is the point how many people need more then 8GB? For them it is perfect.