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A1418 / EMC 3069 / 2017 / 3.0 GHz quad-core i5, 3.4 GHz quad-core i5 or 3.6 GHz quad-core i7 Processor. Released June 8, 2017.

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Upgrading to 32gb RAM on 3.0GhZ Model


I'm tossing up between a 3GHz and a 3.4Ghz model of the 2017, 4k iMac. (EMC 3069 / A1418).

Despite what apple suggest - I have read on the iFixIt blog that the 3GhZ model is capable of "unofficially" supporting 32GB ram. (HERE)

However, i've come across a few other sites that suggest this is purely speculative (HERE)

Has anybody had first hand experience upgrading the 3.0GHz model to utilise 32GB of RAM?


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Apple offers four 21.5” A1418 systems! Three of which have 4K display and one that carries over the older display.

So lets look at the low end model: iMac 21.5" 2.3 GHz i5 (Mid-2017) Here we can see the max this system can support is 16 GB.

Now lets look at the next one up which has a 4K display: iMac 21.5" 3.0 GHz i5, 4K, (Mid-2017). And the next one: iMac 21.5" 3.4 GHz i5, 4K (Mid-2017) Both of which support 32 GB of RAM.

So why is this the case? It turns out the low end is using the same logic board of the older Late 2015 models with just an upgraded CPU which is why its RAM is limited. The newer 4K models have a very different logic board as these model use a newer CPU socket and PCH logic which is why these support the higher RAM!

Now if you are planing on upgrading the RAM on your own. Be very careful taking the display off as you can damage it quite easily it you don’t use the proper tools and techniques as outlined in the IFIXIT guides.

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Cheers Dan - You're a legend! I'm a bit too jittery with my hands, so i'll probably take it to a pro to do the upgrade :)


@jjww - Thanks! Don't forget the score and accept the answer - Enjoy!


Just completed the 32 gb RAM upgrade thank you for the digital assist. Your tool kit was priceless and the tips on getting the display off where critical. No real issues after that. It was fun taking apart the entire system and getting an inside. look at it. I did lose a screw that holds the hard drive mount in place so that slowed me down a bit. It had lodged itself under the mother board... so it took me a while to back track and find it. The tricky bits where: 1) replacing the hard drive SATA cable 2) replacing the power board cable. 3) replacing the lower support bracket (chin strap).


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Success!!! Followed guide on iFixit, system booted and allowed clean install of Mojave on SSD, installed while open.

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I have a 2017 iMac Pro 4k retina (iMac18,2) 3.0 GHz

I want to upgrade RAM to 32 GB but some websites say maximum RAM for my system is 16GB and other sites say 32GB so what I can to do ?

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Here's the kicker both are correct! The low end models can only support 16GB and the high end models can support 32GB.

So what is a low end model Vs a high end model? The display is the clue! If you have a regular retina display then its only 16GB. The high end models are the ones that offer 4K displays.

So lets look at what yours is able to do 21.5" iMac 3.0GHz Core i5 4K (Mid-2017) As you can see your system is able to support 32GB!!

But before you run out to buy the RAM are you sure you really need it? Just because it can support so much RAM you may find your apps won't leverage it. Even today few do!


What does it mean by apps wont leverage?


Ah! Good question! Lets use a mind model to help here...

I have a 18" cake which I can cut up in quarters or eighths, I can't add more slices than what the cake was made with.

So each slice can be an app each one using one slice full of RAM, some apps can be greedy! Eating two or more slices. Even still the programer of the app may not have written it to leverage infinite RAM! This is where it may only be able to access three slices of the cake! The given app can't eat more than its belly can hold! In all cases the mix of apps can't exceed the number of slices!

So it all depends on the apps need of RAM and how much RAM you have in your system. Keep in mind so far we've been talking about physical RAM!

Now let's blow your mind! You have still other RAM in your system! We call this virtual RAM. This is where the OS uses an area of your bootable drive as RAM space.

So now going back to my mind model... Here we have a wedding cake! Where we have second tier of cake. So you need to first cut up the top tier (physical RAM) before you can get to the lower tier (drive). So now we can add a bit more to someones plate when they come back for a second helping! But, the given app can't eat more than its belly can hold!

So why it's all nice to have lots of physical RAM. There are limits given what you are using for Apps. Unless you are working on very large projects like music or video production or ultra large images where you knit multiple images into one giant image like I do. Or work with object modeling CAD or drawings with large number of objects or layers, you won't need 32 GB of RAM.

Some people go crazy opening up tons of tabs in Chrome or want 20 or so apps games all open at the same time! This is all wasteful! As one of the other factors is the number of pointers the OS has to deal with. fewer is better! So don't go wild as your system slows down with to many open apps/docs/tabs (all use pointers). Besides... If your system crashes you likely will have file corruption and that could be painful to clean up!


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