back to article Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

Apple has soldered the memory into its new cheap-ish iMac in an apparent bid to make sure fanbois have no chance of souping up their new not-so-bargain-basement all-in-one computer, according to a teardown team. The fruity firm has always been interested in making sure the world's landfill sites are packed with out-of-date …

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: @JDX

You do struggle at any money to get something as aesthetically pleasing as an iMac though. A super monitor yes, but a slick beautiful one without trailing cables to a separate PC... tricky.

I am not really bothered by that and clearly neither are you but it's a valid thing to consider important.

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wtf?

that is a really poor machine for £900, and I am an iMac user. I got the 2011 model which is at least slightly upgradeable (before they decided to remove the ROM drive, so I could remove it and add an SSD instead, for example - at the moment its broken cos I have an SD card stuck in there, bloody slot loader next to the SD card slot, Apple are a cruel evil company).

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Re: wtf?

<snip>

"Apple are a cruel evil company)."

Apostate. I have issued a fatwah and you are sentenced to install Office 97 on 100 machines using the 44 3.5" floppy drives provided.

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Re: wtf?

Power down the iMac. Disconnect the cables. Turn it on its side and tap the side of the case to make the SD card fall to the slot.

Then take a knife with the thin extendable snap off blades and see if you can slide the SD card out.

I have done this successfully a few times. You may notice the dust cover on the slot deform after shaking the SD card loose giving you an indication of where it is.

Good luck.

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Re: wtf?

Gravity and a cotton swab with a wooden shaft usually did the trick for me. Shaking the iMac with drive slot facing down sometimes works too. Usual disclaimers apply.

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Silver badge

Re: wtf?

re:Apostate!

That is far to useful. Ye shall do the same but for NT3.5.

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8GB is more than sufficient for a home computer....

I have an early 2008 Mac Pro (10GB upgraded memory, disk bays full etc, 2 graphics cards) which I am still using -- and will not likely see the need to replace for another 3 years (9 years old at that point). If it were not for the multiple VMWare images that I run, I probably would not use the memory that is currently installed. In fact if you look at the typical consumer, I would be surprised if they used more than 4GB of ram on a Mac 99% of the time. No, I do not like soldered in memory, and I would not be an iMac buyer generally speaking..... but get real.... 8GB of memory would likely NEVER be upgraded in a consumer machine.

As far as landfill, as I have Windows, Linux and my Mac Pro machines..... (my oldest the Mac Pro is still the one I use most of the time).... Never bothered keeping a Windows machine (primary usage) more than 3 years.... so that comment is pretty gratuitous -- since macs tend to stay in use longer than Windows machines.

Now, the reason why I would not be an iMac user -- is simple.... I want as much display real estate as I can get. Right now I usually have 4 monitors hooked up. If I am going to upgrade my main computer it better give me the ability to hook up at least 3 monitors (preferably all UHD large size monitors -- 40"+). But for pretty much 98% of consumers -- the new consumer grade mac is more than sufficient.... though I would recommend they get a Macbook air and have an external monitor.... but to each their own.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 8GB is more than sufficient for a home computer....

missing the point - the reason myself and most everyone else here is so agitated is because of the dawning realization that personal computers are rapidly converging with consumer electronics and in 5-10 years time they will largely be sealed appliances.

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Silver badge

Unneccessary lock in saving a few pence of build costs, but....

...I can't see that you'd actually want to upgrade beyond 8GB on this particular machine.

Given the rest of the spec, what task are you likely to throwing at this machine that would be able to take advantage of more than 8GB of RAM?

Chances are if you need that much RAM, the rather weak 1.4Ghz dual core CPU in this machine would rule this machine out for you so the fact it has hardwired RAM would never be an issue.

8GB is more than enough for anything this CPU could reasonably be used for.

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Re: Unneccessary lock in saving a few pence of build costs, but....

I think it saves more than a few pence — they're reusing the MacBook Air logic board as far as people can make out. So that's dictated by the form of the tiny machines and savings then flow from production scale rather than purely from not spending 5p on a socket.

All the ultrabooks seem to use soldered RAM so that decision at least is likely justified.

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Re: Unneccessary lock in saving a few pence of build costs, but....

I think you're exactly correct.

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Facepalm

Face. Palm.

I'm horrified.

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Horses for courses

This machine is clearly aimed at home/education/light users. There won't, or shouldn't, be any 3D rendering use cases for this starterMac™

It's still a bit pricey though even if it is an all-in-one requiring no separate screen purchase, but having been a convert from Windows to Mac some years back, I've still got and use my original 2010 (I think) 24" iMac whereas and my similarly aged 13" MackBook still works without interruption/slowing/breaking, although it's now in the hands of the student offspring of a friend rather than mine. In the same time period I've "burned through" at least two Windows laptops, so total cost of ownership works out very well for Macs and me.

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Joke

Re: Horses for courses

I suggest you stop applying blowtorches to your Windows laptops then.

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Re: Horses for courses

You've just nailed the big thorn in the side of 3D printing you know. For over two years there has been at least one seminar at all the big manufacturing trade shows about the death of 3D printing occurring because computer manufacturers automatically equate 3D with big bucks and specialized needs.

Yes, 3D rendering falls under 'specialized needs', but so did SDE's for a very long time. Affordable SDE's completely changed the face of commercial software development by opening the field up to a previously disenfranchised segment of the population that wanted to be geeks, and had the skills to do so, but not the money for the tools to learn.

I'm not saying this Apple machine 'should' support high performance 3D rendering. I'm actually not saying anything about this Apple machine at all. I'm commenting on the fact that home (schools too, but mostly home) use is where most people are going to learn to love, or hate, a given IT disclipline. If machines come preconfigured to not do things then industries that depend on heavy computer use are limited as a result.

Disclaimer: My comments are in no way intended to deride or support any particular technology or its suitability for a given disclipline/use. I was merely commenting that the commercial developments of tomorrow begin today in some kids bedroom and if porn and .NET are all they can access then commercial developments are driven solely by people like me who make a living doing more with what's already available, incremental improvements pursued simply because it's 'easy' money, not exploring radically new things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Horses for courses

so 3D printing is failing because PC manufacturer's refuse to make powerful machines priced for consumers? sounds to me like the 3D printing evangelists are grasping at straws (or strawmen).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Horses for courses

Ah, but you cannot touch logic in this debate because you undermine all the Apple haters. You see, as long as they can proclaim the machines as bought by idiots who just like design they will feel sort of happy, but hauling in the TCO argument (which does indeed favour Apple) undermines that happy feeling. Expect lots of emotion. In a way I can understand it - the whole cult thing pisses me off too - but I go for facts. And the facts point towards Apple gear, especially for smaller deployments (30 machines or so). There is also enterprise management available, but I find that not mature enough yet.

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Very acceptable....

To the blind fanbois. Why would Apple not shaft them, when they are willing and able, having downed their pants and are already bent over ?

After all they started this with their italksnobmachines, where every 8 GB RAM meant about $100 premium ? And sheeple happily pay.

Whats not to like ( for Apple ) ?

They need to loook after the shareholders first.

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Re: Very acceptable....

I guess from Apple's point of view, the downside of relying on that market would be that it exists primarily only in the imagination of blind partisans.

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Re: Very acceptable....

All these comments about fabois are based on the assumption that Apple fans buy everything and anything with the fruity logo, not always true though. Apple have had it's share of non or slow sellers too you know. The iPhone 5c recently comes to mind.

Besides, the true fanbois will be after the more expensive, top of the range kit, you know, the stuff people like me buy second hand after a few years when the next shiney comes out. I don't think I've bought a new computer in the last 15 years and they have all been quite capable for the time.

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Re: Very acceptable....

A few Apple market failures, since Jobs reconfigured it into its modern form, from the top of my head:

The G4 Cube; Ping; MobileMe; the U2 iPod; the Motorola ROKR; the iPhone 5C; the iPhone in its first few months, before receiving a doubling of storage and a hefty price cut; borderline, the Apple TV.

Never mind the various minor products Apple tries to push which everyone just ignores — remember the half hour that was spent on how the new bundled earphones were some sort of sonic revolution, and that people would buy instead of third-party earphones for their non-Apple devices so they were now available standalone?

The evidence appears to refure that the theory that: (i) there's an Apple hardcore who will buy anything with the logo on it; and (ii) that hardcore is solely responsible for the majority of the success of the iPhone and Mac.

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Tight fisted Tim

When i read this all i could think of was Why?. Not allow a user who has paid through the nose for a mac and they cannot upgrade the memory...stupid or what.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tight fisted Tim

When i read this all i could think of was Why?

- tighter construction

- higher reliability (I lost count of the number of people that insert DIMMs wrongly or without the most basic of anti-static protection)

- low need (most people never upgrade - that's a typical tech thing. The box that may need RAM upgrades does have sockets (the baby diaper server thing)

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Happy

I have only

ever bought 2 PC's, a 386SX with 4Mb RAM was the 2nd one which I bought to replace an Epson PCe.

Needless to say none of the original 386SX remains. Although I do have the original 256Mb Seagate hard disk somewhere. Nothing wrong with a viable upgrade path. And I still have the Epson.

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$723

Quad core i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 25GB SSD, dual band 802.11ac/g/n, 4x USB 3.0, 15.6" screen, HDMI output, no contest.

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Bad Precedent

I don't give a crap what Apple do, I know they are evil. I look at these specs and see a £400 cheapo computer.

What annoys me is that this will be copied. Now that Apple have done it Dell will do it, once the hatred has died down HP will do it.

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Re: Bad Precedent

You mean like the Dell Inspiron 23 5000 Series Touch with a faster 4th gen, 4-core i5 CPU, a larger 23" 1920 x 1080 touch screen, 8GB of RAM and 1TB drive for £699?

http://www.dell.com/uk/p/inspiron-23-5348-aio/pd?oc=cd53403&model_id=inspiron-23-5348-aio

There is no precedent here - Apple are not the first, and won't be the last, to build machines like this. And like Apple, Dell feels that there are customers that will pay a price premium for this form factor compared to a more "standard" mini-tower and screen (though in this day and age, an SFF box with VGA and HDMI/Displayport and 6-8 USB ports is probably more than adequate for 95% of users).

I also see that Dell seems to have standardized on 8GB for the default configuration these days, even for "value" systems. Only 6 months ago, they were charging a ridiculous premium to upgrade the standard 4GB configuration to 8GB.

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Silver badge

Fat Mac

Well, it's not as if that kind of shenanigan is anything new for Apple; they also prevented people from upgrading the initial Mac from 128 K to 512 K just by buying memory chips and installing them.

Is it any wonder that I find it difficult to give fair consideration to Apple products as an option? Its long history of this kind of behavior has left me with a less-than-positive attitude towards them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat Mac

Its long history of this kind of behavior has left me with a less-than-positive attitude towards them.

So you use stuff made by Microsoft, right? LOL.

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Re: Fat Mac

"So you use stuff made by Microsoft, right? "

Ah yes, the old Microsoft all in one PC, or maybe you're referring to the class leading Microsoft laptops and notebooks?

Would you like a hand reattaching your reality anchor?

>can I say fuckwit now?<

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fat Mac

Oh, sorry, you need hand holding through the whole train of thought. Well OK, it IS Friday.

Here goes then: you don't like Apple, which means you use hardware for another platform. For the vast majority (I reckon close to 98% of end user systems) this means using Windows as operating system. Can you follow it now?

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Re: Fat Mac

I followed you perfectly well earlier. I believe the phrase you used was 'stuff made BY Microsoft (my emphasis, to assist the hard of thinking).

Point me to the world leading PC hardware manufactured by Microsoft and I'll concede your point.

In the meantime, anyone mind if I say 'fuckwit' again?

thanks

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Gimp

You don't deserve more RAM!

If you can't afford the RAM today, then you should have worked harder yesterday and got a better job! As it is, you are not worthy of the RAM, for if you were, you would have the money to pay for the RAM.

It's your own stupid fault!

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Macs in Landfill

"The fruity firm has always been interested in making sure the world's landfill sites are packed with out-of-date Macs"

All other aspects of the article aside and whether or not the above is tongue-in-cheek, I think it's worth reading their policy on recycling and reducing toxins, etc. Maybe I'm just a naive fool, but I don't see many other companies making these kind of commitments or making information transparent. And for the real cynics, this information is found behind a tiny 'environment' link at the bottom of the apple website, not shoved in your face for 'aren't we great' plaudits.

http://www.apple.com/environment/finite-resources/

http://www.apple.com/environment/reports/

Sure, maybe Apple is never going to be a B Corp, but at least they're trying:

http://www.apple.com/environment/our-progress/

I'm not convinced that Apple offers good value for money but I generally don't mind paying a little extra for things that show some kind of awareness of environmental responsibility.

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Re: Macs in Landfill

At the bottom of www.dell.co.uk, there's a link called Corporate Responsibility - it includes exactly the sort of information that you found on the Apple site. HP goes for the rather more whale-song label of "Living Progress", also found at the bottom of the home page.

Even Lenovo has a "Social Responsibility" link at the bottom of the home page.

Of course, they're probably all just copying Apple....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Macs in Landfill

As far as I can tell, there is a robust second hand market for all Apple machines. I doubt many of them end up as landfill.

And while I am at it. Why are so many people here barking on about Windows amchines and how much RAM they have/had/want etc. This is an OSX machine FFS! What Windows requires is pretty irrelevant, and 8GB is a massive amount on OSX, unless you are sitting rendering movies and manipulating monster image files etc - in which cased Apple have a machine for you (this one isn't it).

I am typing this on a MacAir 11" 2GB OSX10.9.3.

I don't feel any compelling need to trade it in on a newer/faster/shinier device.

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Mean old Apple. An entire generation of fanbois won't experience the think of a RAM upgrade. For the record my first experience of this was slotting a PCI sized cats with 512mb of RAM into the bottom of an Amiga 500, a bit like the docking bay of a Star Destroyer.

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Silver badge

Did you mean _mega_bytes or _kilo_bytes. I know normally I would assume kilobytes, however I wouldn't be surprised if someone actually made a 512 Megabyte RAM module. Those would need to use bank switching as the 68000 can only address 16 Megabytes.

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Headmaster

No, he means millibits, hence the lowercase m and b.

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Silver badge

Bah!

And thus do they capture the hearts of the Exidy Sorcerer crowd.

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Bronze badge

Is it me or Apple going back to the old days? Some of their older budget Macs had soldered memory and in some cases they underclocked the processor so it didn't cut into sales of the model above it. Wonder if they'll start doing that too...

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Silver badge

Well lower frequency CPUs are often just the underclocked version of the normal one. It's not uncommon to select them for different frequency grades.

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Silver badge

The people bitching about this are not potential iMac customers anyway

The days when OS upgrades would require more RAM are past us, even Microsoft hasn't managed to bloat the OS any from Vista to 7 to 8. Few people upgrade their CPUs, RAM, or even hard drives anymore.

If you want upgradeability you don't buy an all-in-one PC. Just like if you want to add a second hard drive you don't buy a laptop, and if you want to run Office you don't buy a Chromebook.

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Facepalm

BIOS TWEAK for SDRAM upgrade ??

Had an old 32bit workstation that used a greybox gaming board w/AMD chipset... the Bios set the Sdram size to 2gb due to timing problems between Cpu n Sdram...need a upgrade?? = replace the box.

IMHO = this isn't actually such a bad idea...here in USA the old kit goes to the recycler...RS.

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You'd really have to have shit for brains to buy a imac...

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Gimp

Upgrade what upgrade?

An iMac I have was released in 2006 which came with 1 or 2 gig of ram and you could upgrade it all the way to 3 but it was faster if you put in 4 since the memory bus would see two identical simms. Fortunately Intel made a change in the later CPUs and the os later fixed the 3 gig limit so 4 gig machines could use some of that formerly locked out memory. I would upgrade the hard drive but I need one with the right magic and they don't come in reasonable sizes. Perhaps the hard 8 gig limit in this new machine might just cause someone at Apple's HQ to consider the ram bloat that all their new applications seemed to enjoy.

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