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Whoa: Apple made a computer you can actually upgrade

Published Jun 8th, 2017 3:49PM EDT
iMac 2017 Upgrade RAM and Processor

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Apple unveiled new iMacs and MacBooks during its annual WWDC keynote, which are faster than ever. If you’re looking for a new macOS machine, now’s the time to buy one — even the dying MacBook Air got a boost. But, it turns out, Apple did not share all the details about its machines during the keynote, leaving a major surprise out of it announcements. The 21.5-inch iMac (Retina 4K 2017) can be upgraded. Not only can you bump up memory yourself, but you can also replace the CPU.

The discovery was made by the teardown experts at iFixit who dismantled the machine as soon as they received it.

iFixit notes that the last iMac that shipped with removable RAM was a 2013 version. A previous 2012 version would also let users swap the processor for a new one.

Image source: iFixit

While Apple certainly gets points for allowing users to upgrade the iMac without breaking the bank, it doesn’t mean that Apple actually wants you to do it. Servicing the iMac is still a chore and things can go wrong while you do it. iFixit gave the new desktop a 3/10 repairability score, which is pretty low. However, that’s “triple the score” of the 2015 iMac versions. Low bars and all that.

Even so, at $1,299, a 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display is certainly an interesting proposition, especially if you can keep it alive for a lot longer with the help of manual RAM and processor updates. If you want to embark on such procedure though, make sure you visit the teardown tutorial at this link before you get started.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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