• Home
  • Mac
  • News
  • Hoping to (Ever) Repair or Upgrade Your New 21.5-Inch iMac? Good Luck!

Hoping to (Ever) Repair or Upgrade Your New 21.5-Inch iMac? Good Luck!

Hoping to (Ever) Repair or Upgrade Your New 21.5-Inch iMac? Good Luck!

Apple’s 21.5-inch iMac has been making the rounds, and has already been torn down by both iFixit and Japanese-language site Kodawarisan. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), as Ars Technica notes, the teardown reveals Apple’s continued efforts to prevent users from upgrading or repairing the device on their own.

Among the main dissapointing discoveries is that the SSD is absolutely not upgradable at all in the entry-level model – in fact, there’s not even a connector for it! The high-end 21.5-inch model ordered with a 1TB Fusion Drive or the 768GB SSD package does have the connector (differences between the entry-level and high-end models shown above) – but as with the Retina MacBook Pro, third-party upgrade options are few and far between. The only option that currently exists is an expensive 512GB upgrade from OWC for $579.

Also worth noting is that while the RAM is technically possible to upgrade, it requires major surgery. As iFixit notes:

Bad news: You have to unglue your screen and remove the logic board in order to do so. […] This is just barely less-terrible than having soldered RAM that’s completely non-removable.

Apple seems determined to make their latest Macs as difficult to upgrade as possible – likely in order to push consumers to order highly overpriced upgrades directly from Apple. Good for them, but awful for consumers.

Long story short, if you purchase a 21.5-inch iMac, you’d better hope you never have any desire to upgrade the RAM or storage. Ever. Thus Saith the Apple Elders.

  1. ChitraSivasankarArunagiri says:

    Is this the case only with the 21.5 inch or will this be the case with the bigger models too. I want something that I can upgrade. So I will rather buy a bigger one that is Upgradable in the future than be stuck with this and put the same amount again for another one.

    1. The 27-inch models have user-replaceable RAM – but the SSD is still a proprietary Apple-only option.

      1. ChitraSivasankarArunagiri says:

        Is the SSD thing because of something new called the fusion drive.

        1. Nope. Apple has been using these proprietary SSDs since the MacBook Air – and more recently, the Retina MacBook Pro, and now the new iMacs.

  2. MRonin says:

    I’m increasingly worried about this trend with Apple. it’s as if they took the whole “Apple is $h17 cuz they R soooo clozed” argument everyone hears from the more trollish anti Apple fanbois/girls to heart. It’s as if they decided “well if this is what people are going to say about us, then lets close up everything as much as is possible”. I know that’s not the case but between this lockdown of hardware and the lack of any new “Pro” hardware right now (possible not ever again), it really feels like they are going the whole disposable consumer product route. Which would perhaps not be so huge a deal if Apple didn’t get a premium for their products.

  3. If I buy a new slim 21.5” iMac and after a year or so (out of warranty period), it needs a repair…who/how is going to open it and fix it? Could anyboby answer my question? …

    1. Apple, or an Apple authorized technician.

  4. kathyvzw says:

    I ordered the 21.5″ model, my first Apple computer. I maxed the ram and got the fusion drive. I tend to order computers with all I expect to need for five years or so as far as components. I did the same with my last PC that is now five years old and slowing down. As computers become more compact and the parts more miniscule, this is unavoidable. They are putting a lot of power into very small packaging. So I recommend getting more than you need now so it will work for you for several years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *