In this episode of Hardware from PRO EDU, I take you through the super simple steps of upgrading the RAM in your 2013 or later iMac using third party RAM. Upgrading your RAM on your own is easy and can save you $300 in the process as opposed to doing it through Apple at the time of your purchase. Below is second video on how to change the RAM in your 2011 version iMac.
Before I even begin this article I want to say for the record that PC's are cheaper than almost any Apple computer and I fully understood this before I spent thousands on my Mac. In every sense of the word, PC's are cheaper. I get it and I don't care if you can custom build your own PC for a bajillion dollars cheaper and in theory you say it's faster.
Having said that and having worked many a moons for Apple at the genius bar I can tell you that 1.) I am far from a genius and 2.) it's just not a best practice to upgrade your RAM through Apple. Unless of course you simply don't care about money then this article doesn't apply to you. Getting third party RAM is a much better option and should be done by more people looking to work more efficiently. The third party RAM you can get from OWC or similar providers also comes with a lifetime warranty and is almost identical to the RAM that Apple is selling you. At the very most, the RAM from Apple comes with a 3 year warranty. After this grace period you are essentially out of luck if the RAM needs to be replaced. Upgrading RAM on Apple's website on a new iMac to 32GB costs $600 extra, which is about $300 more than getting ram from OWC. Also in many cases, especially with older models, you are able to max out your RAM and put in more RAM that what Apple says you can. I won't go into detail here on why this is possible, but if you are a photographer looking to expedite your workflow and work more efficiently within your Lightroom catalogues and PSD files, then having more RAM in your machine gives your computer a better ability to do so.
Remember that RAM is your computer's ability to multitask media and having more RAM will expedite your ability to scroll through media in catalogues or in finder. If your expereince in culling at the moment is super frustrating, consider upgrading the RAM in your machine. If you are wondering what the "appropriate" amount of RAM is for your machine, I always recommend maxing out your RAM as a first step and then installing a solid state drive as your primary drive with your operating system on it. If you follow these two steps, you can most likely extend the life of an older machine as opposed to buying a newer machine.
If you were curious on the differences between a 2013 and 2011 model iMac, here is a video on changing the 2011 iMac RAM as well:
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