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 The fruity firm has always been interested in making sure the world's landfill sites are packed with out-of-date …

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  1. Captain Queeg

    Unacceptable

    Even for a consumer machine.

    I quite like the iMac form factor as most if not all it's target market won't upgrade much at all, but memory and storage are the two most likely upgrades so it seemed logical and sensible to leave an upgrade path.

    Disappointing...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unacceptable

      I find it acceptable - if somebody's so desperate to have an apple, they buy into the apple "culture", part of which is predatory pricing. For other folks, the problem is irrelevant.

      1. Son of Steve

        Re: Unacceptable

        Do you know what "predatory pricing" means, or did you simply think it would sound good. Predatory pricing is the practice of putting your price below your competitors', often in a very targeted way: think air fares on certain routes, hoping to drive a new entrant out of business, before putting prices back up again once that's been achieved. Do you think this describes Apple's pricing strategy? Most Apple users I know are buying into a "culture" of exceptionally well-engineered devices that are very pleasing and easy to use, including with each other. I agree that this particular iMac isn't one I'd recommend, though I'm willing to bet that the soldering has a lot more to do with lowering the cost of manufacture than some grand plan to force people to upgrade sooner.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Unacceptable

          How much could it possibly cost to pay someone to plug a memory module into a socket soldered onto the motherboard?

          How many could one person do in an hour, and what are you paying that person per hour?

          Easily over 100 per hour, and way less than $10 per hour, so maybe 10 cents?

          1. SpamBot

            Re: Unacceptable

            There's the cost of a few pennies for the socket, and then the cost of the circuit board the RAM chips sit on (also a few more pennies) before the labour cost needs to be factored in.

            Also you can probably use robotic assembly of chips onto the motherboard as part of that process thus there is no labour cost (or extended production line/tooling cost) for soldered memory.

            These few cents per unit add up on units that expect to be shipped in quantity (eg 10 pennies each for 10M shipped units is worth having). Indeed over the lifetime of popular product lines the engineering teams are always trying to streamline and simplify the production line and the number of elements in a product because these things do matter.

            Now that saving may not get passed on to you the consumer, but, the increased margin should mean the company concerned is using that money to re-invest in better products for the future and a reasonable return for shareholders (this last bit ain't guaranteed of course).

          2. Annihilator

            Re: Unacceptable

            "How much could it possibly cost to pay someone to plug a memory module into a socket soldered onto the motherboard?"

            Well you've got to solder twice - once to solder the chips on the mem module, once to solder the socket onto the motherboard, and *then* pay someone to plug the two together.

            Or solder once, directly onto the mobo. Still ridiculous, but it is a shorter manufacturing process.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Unacceptable

          I dunno. Predatory pricing is kinda an on point description of Apple's MO. By telling consumers that this is a competitively priced unit, they are preying on people who just don't know any better. I mean, pricing the parts that went into this unit versus if one built a PC of similar specs, the cost would be $400-$500 if purchasing a Windows OS to go with it. It falls around $350 (yes, including a micro-ATX case/PSU and a comparable sized monitor) without purchasing an OS for those who want to go the Linux route or have a copy of Windows already.

          1. GBE

            Re: Unacceptable

            "I dunno. Predatory pricing is kinda an on point description of Apple's MO."

            No, it isn't. The phrase "predatory pricing" has a very specific meaning:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing

            That is most definitly _not_ what Apple does.

            1. P. Lee

              Re: Unacceptable

              > That is most definitly _not_ what Apple does.

              Bait and switch on the other hand...

            2. TheJokker

              Re: Unacceptable

              Is English your second language? Predatory has a meaning and Pricing has a meaning. What Apple is doing with their pricing "is" predatorial. Where you are mistaken is in assuming that there is only one kind of predatory pricing albeit the most common form.

        3. unitron
          Boffin

          Re: Unacceptable

          "...though I'm willing to bet that the soldering has a lot more to do with lowering the cost of manufacture than some grand plan to force people to upgrade sooner."

          Or perhaps with lowering support costs as they won't have to deal with people screwing up adding RAM (Yes, it's not that hard, therefore you really don't want to have to expend support on the kind of folks who would screw it up).

      2. John Tserkezis

        Re: Unacceptable

        "For other folks, the problem is irrelevant."

        Not quite. Dell has been known to solder third party parts and cards to their motherboards.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Unacceptable

      The amount of RAM shipped in new PCs stopped increasing several years ago. New budget PCs have 4Gb and medium range ones have 8Gb - and it's been this way 5 years.

      I think hard-disks have also plateaued. though more recently, at 1TB.

      We're no longer in a world where in 2 years you can double the RAM because the price has dropped... buy the spec you need in the first place. The bigger problem with soldered RAM is you have to pay Apple for it, rather than buying 16Gb 3rd-party RAM and a 4Gb iMac.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unacceptable

        In my eyes, I'm not sure why you would even need to upgrade the RAM from 8gb which seems like an ample amount considering the dual core CPU, and the onboard graphics. If this were a quad core machine with high end graphics running blender or something then yes I'd argue that a RAM upgrade would be possibly useful, but it's not. Dual core doesn't suit itself to applications that would devour that much RAM, neither do the graphics.

        If anything soldering it on is saving people wasting money upgrading the RAM for a speed boost that doesn't really exist.

        Additionally, we need an Earl Lemongrab icon for unacceptable.

        1. scarshapedstar
          Trollface

          Re: Unacceptable

          "an ample amount considering the dual core CPU"

          Whoa, Apple's up to two whole cores?!?!??!

          1. P. Lee

            Re: Unacceptable

            > "an ample amount considering the dual core CPU"

            ^considering^given

            Probably true. 1.4Ghz? I have a 2.6Ghz imac from 2009 which cost the same, but came with a 24" screen and an ipod touch. I've bumped the memory to 8Gig and I'll probably swap the 640Gig disk for an SSD at some point. As far as I can tell, the kit is getting worse.

            I like (liked?) Apple kit, but I'm very disillusioned with their business practises. There isn't even an option for 16G on an MBA. If you're going to solder the stuff on, I want to future proof it. I have a couple of drivers for buying Apple - MS Office on a Unix box and time machine. The first of these might be moot with LibreOffice/vmware player and the second is looking like a $60 driver option if I move from Snow Leopard.

            The only upside is that the system is so intractable, I rarely break it with fiddling. :p

            My 3930k hex-core with 32G RAM is looking quite cheap at the moment. It's also sitting in a MacPro case :D

        2. jerkyflexoff

          Re: Unacceptable

          Unacceptable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, this post is unacceptable!!!!!! Aghhhhbbb

      2. Shane McCarrick

        Re: Unacceptable

        New budget PCs typically have 8GB of RAM now- though 500Gb rather than your suggested 1TB, would appear to be the norm.

        My current laptop- which I bought in 2008- an Acer 8930G- has 8Gb of RAM and a pair of 500Gb hard-drives. Its far from unusual.........

        RAM- is very probably the cheapest way to upgrade a PC. Even worse than soldering the memory to the motherboard (which can only be described as mealy mouthed meanness) is the low range CPU used in the IMAC.

        I'd strongly endorse the Reg's advice on this one- spend a lot less- and get something of at least comparable power- or a little more, and keep your options open. The current specs/price ratio- is piss poor.

      3. Fluffy Bunny
        Unhappy

        Re: Unacceptable

        Apple have long hated the 3rd party aftermarket. If there's money in it, it has to go to Apple seems to be the philosophy, except for things a frivolous as phone cases.

        1. unitron
          Joke

          Re: Unacceptable

          "Apple have long hated the 3rd party aftermarket. If there's money in it, it has to go to Apple..."

          Who do they think they are, a TiVo-hating cable company or the pre-80s breakup AT&T?

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Interesting - this used to happen quite a bit and the solution was to look at the circuit and piggy back some more RAM on top of the existing RAM chips with a couple of trace cuts and added wires. Done it myself several times with both discrete and SMT components.

    But these days most of the users don't have a clue which end of the soldering iron to pick up.

    1. malle-herbert

      Your soldering iron won't do you much good with all

      those multi-layer circuit boards these days...

      And finding the data-sheets for some of these custom chips (cr)apple

      uses is also a nightmare...

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Multi-layer boards are not that big a deal - if the chips are on the board then the runs have to come out somewhere - it's usually the power runs that are internal, not the signals/data anyway. Custom chips can often be ignored because they drive regular chips so you can just treat them as black boxes. The chances are that the RAM is a mass-produced and documented chip.

        I'm just saying that it's possible - being that company it's a marketing decision anyway, not a design decision.

        1. the spectacularly refined chap

          Interesting - this used to happen quite a bit and the solution was to look at the circuit and piggy back some more RAM on top of the existing RAM chips with a couple of trace cuts and added wires. Done it myself several times with both discrete and SMT components.

          You can forget it these days. Physical access to the connections is not an issue - what memory doesn't use TSSOP packages after all - rather it's the sheer speed of modern memory. Signals are now firmly into transmission line territory, timing is critical and you need to avoid any impedance humps along the way. Even back in the PC100 days this kind of manual hacking would be enough to push things out of spec although there was usually enough slack to accommodate anything that was not grossly wrong, but with the latest revisions of DDR3 etc you can dismiss any idea of attempting this straight away.

          Look at the kind of things high speed board designers factor into consideration as a matter of course - track lengths and widths, characteristic impedances, thickness of the substrate and even the precise grade of fibreglass used for that substrate - they are not doing that kind of analysis to pass the time. What chance do you have of even approximating the same results with a manually hacked board with patch wires routed completely at random?

          1. big_D Silver badge
            Pint

            Ah, back in the days when men were real men, women were real women and RAM Pack wobble made a frightened screaming girl out of the best men...

            1. P. Lee
              Angel

              Spot the Sinclair owner...

    2. Steve Goodey

      You'll soon know if it's on, ask my son. (Hospital trip, plastic bag on hand etc.)

    3. Obvious Robert

      Upgrading by simply plugging new cards into slots is one thing, but if I'd paid £899 for someone to build me a computer, call me Mr Luddite if you want but I'd expect that I didn't have to solder bits myself at that price.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You haven't got a hope of soldering on some extra RAM chips and coming away with functioning RAM or, mostly likely, even a functioning computer.

      Jeez, get a grip!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You sound like an engineer who never continued to learn... "we just use to trim a bit of wire off and it was all good"... yes, you can do exactly the same with these new LCD screens when the pixels die... just trim a bit off...

        Many are not that naive.

    6. roger stillick
      Go

      My old TI SR-51a had piggyback ram...

      Soldered in ram is not a bad idea, that old calc had piggybackback ram n it worked just fine...

      IMHO= Apple usually knows what it is doing... hope this iteration of a machine is for relialbility, not just to save money...or prevent owner upgrades...(mean-spirited offering??)...Apple is above that...RS.

  3. Britt
    FAIL

    Repairs

    Well, pray you don't get a dodgy ram stick.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Repairs

      well, that is exactly what Apple PR will say:

      With the new and revolutionary soldered memory chips, we give our users guarantee that no bad memory modules can be installed in the machine, first time in the history of IT industry

      1. Son of Steve

        Re: Repairs

        You'd take it back to the shop, just like you would with memory installed on sticks. The shop isn't going to give you a swap-out of the RAM; they'll just replace the machine.

        1. ShadowedOne

          Re: Repairs

          " they'll just replace the machine."

          Oh *goodie* more landfill, *just* what we need!

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Repairs

            No, it'll be sent somewhere to be "refurbished" by combining it with another that had a bad screen or something and later resold at the discounted price of £879.

          2. Son of Steve

            Re: Repairs

            I think the other reply was accurate - that's where refurbs come from - but what I'm saying is that every retailer would do this with every brand: how the RAM is attached to the motherboard isn't going to make any difference. If it's as simple as bad RAM, then the manufacturer will swap it out one way or another.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          Re: Repairs

          "....then the manufacturer will swap it out one way or another"

          And after a year or two when the warranty has expired?

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: Repairs

            Apple will repair phones outside of warranty, won't they - for a fee of course?

          2. Son of Steve

            Re: Repairs

            I know of not one real case of RAM ever failing as a result of anything but a manufacturing defect such that it would immediate (and unlikely to have got through testing), or a heat-related failure will will manifest itself soon enough. I'm not saying it can't happen, but that it is very unlikely indeed and I have never come across this as a reason not to buy a laptop, for example. Even if it did, in the UK, you have fitness for purpose as an implied warranty. It just isn't an issue and this is Apple-hating FUD. (I'm still not saying I would buy one.)

            1. AJ MacLeod

              Re: Repairs

              I'm not sure how many computers you're dealing with on a daily basis but I've seen loads and loads of RAM go bad after a few years ("good" brand names and bad alike) - and seen several older Macs with soldered-on RAM binned because of the same fault.

              I wouldn't touch one of these with a bargepole, and nor would anyone else with even half a clue...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Repairs

                I'm not sure how many computers you're dealing with on a daily basis but I've seen loads and loads of RAM go bad after a few years ("good" brand names and bad alike) - and seen several older Macs with soldered-on RAM binned because of the same fault.

                I spent many years doing hardware rework - it's really not that hard but it does require specialised equipment to ensure you do it right and don't create a bigger problem (and economics matter - engineering time cost vs. grabbing a new circuit board). On a volume basis, failing RAM is rare. If you have defective chips they tend to flake in the first year, which is covered under warranty.

                Note that it is in the interest of any manufacturer to do it right. Low yield is costly and failing kit harms your reputation - even Apple has to bow when the volume of failure goes up, or have you forgotten the whole antenna gate? I'm OK with Apple solding things to the board, sockets have a higher failure rate through mechanical failure and "end user activity" than soldering in components that cannot be messed with.

              2. P. Lee
                Trollface

                Re: Repairs

                > I wouldn't touch one of these with a bargepole, and nor would anyone else with even half a clue...

                There you go again, just when we thought we'd solved the problem of people not buying new kit as often you have to go ahead and destroy the industry.

      2. Martin-73 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Repairs

        Then they'll invent time travel (with curved edges) and set the landsharks on Sinclair, Acorn, Dragon et al.

        Mine's the one with the Campaign for Real Time leaflet in the pocket

    2. GBE

      Re: Repairs

      "Well, pray you don't get a dodgy ram stick."

      Don't worry, you won't.

      Because there is no ram stick (more technically called a DIMM module).

      There are just some ram chips soldered to the motherboard instead. That's the whole point of the gripe: there are no ram sticks nor sockets to stick 'em in.

  4. keithpeter
    Windows

    Imagined use case?

    8Gb/Dual core/Integrated graphics sounds OK to me for three to five years for a machine used for Web surfing, music collection managing, photo editing and a bit of document processing. Nice bright biggish screen. Long term guarantee available. OS that *can be* more reliable and *might* require less maintenance.

    Penelope in Marketing will still get a full spec iMac, as will Jaques the photoshop guy, and anyone doing high res video editing or software development (if only for the VMs).

    What are you people all using?

    The tramp: posting this on an old Thinkpad X60 with 1Gb ram with Debian Wheezy. Listening to Chopin and writing some worksheets for next year. 320Mb used according to 'free -m'. Processors bouncing around 6% each.

    1. Zbig

      Re: Imagined use case?

      All this with 128MB of RAM? Impressive.

      1. keithpeter

        Re: Imagined use case?

        Did I mis-capitalise?

        keith@moka:~$ free

        total used free shared buffers cached

        Mem: 1024832 740696 284136 0 11908 406124

        -/+ buffers/cache: 322664 702168

        Swap: 2097148 712 2096436

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Imagined use case?

      <snip>

      "The tramp: posting this on an old Thinkpad X60 with 1Gb ram with Debian Wheezy. Listening to Chopin and writing some worksheets for next year. 320Mb used according to 'free -m'. Processors bouncing around 6% each."

      M. Clochard I salute you. I am sitting on a 6 year old Arabic keyboarded Dell with 2 gigs and an amazing high definition screen. My super duper 2 week old machine does not like the 38 degree heat and keeps rebooting both in Windows and Linux. I guess I need to fit a radiator, reservoir and water cooling.

      Hmmm, I have had an idea, give me ten minutes.

      <sfx>Sound of feet padding off.

      Yep. It works fine in the beer fridge using a radio keyboard and mouse, the fridge has a clear door.

      This however is tactically feasible but operationally impossible as my beer will go cold, my alcohol to blood level will fall drastically and cause sobriety and real world scenarios to occur.

      1. keithpeter
        Joke

        Re: Imagined use case?

        @Bloakey1

        "I am sitting on a 6 year old Arabic keyboarded Dell with 2 gigs and an amazing high definition screen."

        A seat might be more comfortable.

        (Seriously: kudos to anyone who can touchtype on a keyboard with totally different alphabet to the one they are writing in.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Imagined use case?

          (Seriously: kudos to anyone who can touchtype on a keyboard with totally different alphabet to the one they are writing in.)

          When you touch-type, you don't look at the keys.

        2. John Tserkezis

          Re: Imagined use case?

          "(Seriously: kudos to anyone who can touchtype on a keyboard with totally different alphabet to the one they are writing in.)"

          I started touch typing on a keyboard and occasionally noticed wrong characters. Looked down to notice the keys were indeed in the "wrong" places. Customer grins and states the actual keyboard layout was not US-English. Thanks. Now I have to hunt-and-peck, something I hadn't done in a long, long time.

          1. Dexter

            Re: Imagined use case?

            Having occasionally had to use AZERTY (as opposed to QWERTY) keyboards while in France, and indeed QWERTZ keyboards in Germany, I can attest to the fact that it causes constant irritation.

            Most of the keys are in the same place, but just enough are not to cause brain-ache.

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: Imagined use case? @Dexter

              Of course, you could have just lied about the keyboard country. The scan codes for almost all US and European keyboards are the same and based on the location of the key, not the engraving. Of course, some keys are missing (any key between the Z and left shift is a normal problem) and the different shape of the enter key means that some keys differ around there.

              If you're running Linux, you should be able to do this without needing super-user access, as long as the keyboard locale definitions are installed, and even if they are not, you could probably over-ride it using xmodmap (a real blast from the past!).

              I'm not familiar with Arabic or far-eastern keyboards, but I know that IBM used to support 106/108 key keyboards with a shortened space bar and extra shift keys for Japanese (and I presume Chinese as well) keyboards.

    3. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: Imagined use case?

      Xbuntu 13.10 running Virtualbox on 8GB and 2x 750GB drives and a dual core box......it ran a 3 node Oracle RAC cluster! Granted it was slow but it was usable for education purposes.

      Amazing what well written software, when configured correctly, can be made to do if you put your mind to it. On the other hand I have to work alongside ( not with! ) C# developers who won't get out bed unless their pet development app server has a minimum 32GB, 8 cores and 8TB of local storage!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8Gb sounds fine for this level of machine and what it's likely to be used for.

    How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram??? I suspect lots of family members are still running XP on 1GB or less so I doubt it's a big deal in 95% of cases

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      I've upgerade the RAM on my last three PC's including a netbook. When I was a techie I upgraded the RAM in a suit of old PCs (mainly by taking the RAM from the half of the computers that didn't work and sticking them in those that did).

      1. Son of Steve

        Yes, so you're part of the 5%. (Probably closer to 2%.) So what? Don't buy this machine.

        1. theblackhand Silver badge

          How many people upgrade computers?

          I would expect soldered memory to be significantly more reliable than a mechanical connection as any faults should be detected during manufacturing.

          It won't be to every bodies taste, but it's a significant saving for someone wanting a cheaper Mac if they are unlikely to ever open the case.

          1. John Tserkezis

            Re: How many people upgrade computers?

            "as any faults should be detected during manufacturing."

            Nope. They don't do any testing other than sending it out the door. I had a motherboard with a card slot soldered crooked. Had it replaced under warranty, and asked "don't they check for this sort of thing?".

            The cost of checking each and every unit is higher than the cost of dealing with faulty returns, and the brand badmouthing aftermath when things go really wrong. They can hide and obscure things like that pretty good with the right PR people. Volkswagen DSG gearboxes anyone?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How many people upgrade computers?

              Most companies minimize these problems by checks early on in the batch, an SPI to check the paste is in the right place, pick and places generally don't get much wrong anyway so no need to check those. The issues normally come from boards warping while in the oven. This is pretty much a random occurrence. Normally at the end they check the first board of a batch and if that's good they assume the entire batch is good.

            2. Son of Steve

              Re: How many people upgrade computers?

              "They don't do any testing other than sending it out the door."

              Completely wrong, at least for Apple gear. Maybe the QA contributes slightly to cost.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      That's a reasonable question - I rarely run out of memory on my 4GB MacBook and regularly use Windows VMs. I'd like to have more but Apple have limited the chipset to 8GB. :-( Such use cases, however, do not justify Apple's cost-cutting / restrictions. You never know when you might need that kind of memory.

      Note to El Reg - adding more RAM won't increase the speed unless you're running out of memory a lot. 8 GB on a Mac leaves a lot of RAM for programs.

    3. wowfood

      I had to upgrade the RAM on my mother, and step fathers laptops.

      Brand new Windows 7 laptops, only 1gb of RAM. Add on the shovelware and that wasn't nearly enough. Removal of bloatware, and the installation of more RAM sped the thing up no end. Still slow as hell though, I've since told them to ask me before they buy another laptop.

      1. AbelSoul
        Coat

        I had to upgrade the RAM on my mother, and...

        Was this an attempted cure for her amnesia?

    4. Flatpackhamster

      Individuals may not upgrade their RAM themselves but if the machine is slow they'll ask someone to look at it, and that someone will say "I can do a cheap upgrade for you that'll let you get more speed out of it." I have done many hundreds of RAM upgrades over my 983 years in computerising.

    5. DrAJS

      Soldered RAM is not the problem

      a) 8GB is plenty (something more shiny will come along soon enough)

      b) This is the bottom end product so most iSheep will be spec'ing the bigger version

      c) it's an iMac so it can only really be classed as a toy anyway

      d) Nobody will actually being doing anything of any worth on it

      e) the sooner it gets to landfill the better.

  6. NogginTheNog
    Facepalm

    How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

    Maybe not so many end users, but plenty of IT techie relatives when asked "why is that computer I bought for a good deal at PC World a couple of years ago running REALLY slowly?"...

    1. phil dude
      Linux

      Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

      I have 32G and would love to have 128G. Of course, as we all know it's called a "server" then and costs quite a bit more....

      I wonder if you can get 1TB in a box yet....?

      P.

      1. TechnoTechno

        Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

        You can get way more than 1TB in some servers now.

        HP's DL580 Gen8 for example supports up to 3TB.

        1. AceRimmer

          Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

          JINX!

      2. AceRimmer

        Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

        HP DL580 G7

        up to 2TB Ram

        http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/proliant-servers/product-detail.html?oid=4142916#!tab=specs

      3. Dan Paul

        Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

        At home, I have a home built PC with 32 G on a 3.5 Ghz i5 Ivy Bridge, 2 G Radeon 7970 Vid card and a 256 G Samsung SSD, Win 7 Pro 64 Bit and that has an acceptable boot time of 10 to 15 seconds.

        At work I am limited to a crap Core Duo laptop and 2 G ram XP Pro 32 bit and that has an UNACCEPTABLE boot time of 5 to 10 minutes and yes I cleaned all the cruft out already.

        IT won't let me spend my own money to upgrade it. A similar machine here has 4 G of Ram and is better that twice as fast.

        More memory and a better processor/hard drive make a huge difference.

        The ability to upgrade computer hardware should be protected by law.

        Either that or the price should be automatically adjusted to compensate. I think 60% less off MSRP is fair for un-upgradeable compared to an upgradeable PC.

        However, the Apple-ites NEED to be led around by the ring in their nose. They are mostly incapable of making their own decisions and are apparently incapable of upgrading. This unfortunately, is one of the attractions of the "luvvies" that use Apple.

        Agreed, there "used" to be a reason (Video editing, Graphics production, etc) when Mac once had a speed advantage but no more.

        1. MacroRodent Silver badge

          Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

          "The ability to upgrade computer hardware should be protected by law."

          Amen, brother. In the same vein, the ability to boot another OS should also be legally protected. Really part of the same issue, since keeping old hardware viable may require it, if the original OS becomes unsupported (vide Windows XP).

        2. keithpeter
          Joke

          Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

          "At work I am limited to a crap Core Duo laptop and 2 G ram XP Pro 32 bit and that has an UNACCEPTABLE boot time of 5 to 10 minutes and yes I cleaned all the cruft out already."

          Does suspend to RAM work ok?

          Seriously: just boot that thing in a meeting with top brass. Point out you have to do that N times a day (whole drive encryption precludes suspend or some similar reason).

        3. <shakes head>

          Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

          ahhh shame

          let me know when your bubble pops

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

            I did. I bought my lappy with 3 gig and ran with that for a couple of years, then had the chance to max it out to 8 gig for a song, so I did.

            By hand. No genius bars invoked.

            And no soldering irons either.

        4. Bloakey1

          Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

          <snip>

          "At work I am limited to a crap Core Duo laptop and 2 G ram XP Pro 32 bit and that has an UNACCEPTABLE boot time of 5 to 10 minutes and yes I cleaned all the cruft out already.

          IT won't let me spend my own money to upgrade it. A similar machine here has 4 G of Ram and is better that twice as fast"

          <snip>

          No point upgrading unless it is 64 bit OS in Windows. XP can only see about 3 - 3.25 with a very good wind behind it.

        5. John Tserkezis

          Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

          There's a thousand things wrong with your statement, and simple downvote isn't going to do the job.

          "IT won't let me spend my own money to upgrade it."

          Nor should they. Stock ownership control becomes vastly more complicated, even if you wanted to "donate" the money, there is still the paperwork to deal with. It's still an upgrade and still handled with regular internal policy either way. Best option here, is if your work offers BYOD, take that path.

          "The ability to upgrade computer hardware should be protected by law."

          Yeah well, I agree, and if I were the king ruler of the universe.... And we both know how that would turn out.

          "I think 60% less off MSRP is fair for un-upgradeable"

          What you think is irrelevant. Mainly because you haven't been assigned the job of setting prices. And it appears for good reason.

          "However, the Apple-ites NEED to be led around by the ring in their nose."

          The real power users are quite sensible (yes, I was shocked too). Everyone else has their own reasons to buy - some sensible, some a bit misled. Bottom line is, If I want to hang half kilo weights from my nipples, then I should be allowed to do that. However misled I might be.

          "there used to be a reason ... when Mac once had a speed advantage but no more."

          That and desktop publishing. But either way, neither was the reason. It was software availability. The Atari games console was highly sought after for MIDI work once apon a time, even after it was well and truly obsolete. Not because the Atari was "good", or "better", just the original author had an Atari, was familiar with it, and wrote software that ran circles around the "competition" at the time.

    2. Andy Taylor

      Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

      Probably close to zero. None of the current 21.5" models can be user upgraded because there's no access door.

      I used to repair these things, to change/upgrade the RAM, you have to remove the screen/glass, and main logic board etc. to get at the DIMMS. No especially difficult, but it is more of a challenge to stick the screen back on afterwards. The process requires special tools and a lot of swearing,

      I'm sure iFixit.com have a how-to guide. you will invalidate your warranty if you try,

      The 27" iMac, Mac mini. Mac Pro and 13' Macbook Pro without Retina Display can all have their RAM upgraded by the end user.

      This base model will probably be aimed at education and those users that just want to do Internet shopping, email and Skype/FaceTime their grandchildren but don't want to get an iPad.

    3. P. Lee

      Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

      I did. My macmail app hooks into gmail and was really struggling with several thousand emails. Add the odd java app, firefox, itunes and the extra 4G made a world of difference. I was going to hunt around to see if I can stick in a Q9560 as I do appear to be struggling again with the number of recipe pages my wife leaves open.

      My Dell I bumped to 16G but that was mostly so I could run windows with at least 8G in a VM. You need at least that to run Visio. It also let's me run other VM's for work and so on at the same time.

      There really is no excuse for putting a 1.4Ghz cpu in a desktop, the parts vs sales cost ratio make it pointless. Fixing the RAM also leaves you vulnerable to OS tuning (more cache buffers, haha!) and application bloat (as seen on the iphone) so your free OS upgrade (what's the likelihood of being able to downgrade?) turns out to require a rather costly hardware upgrade.

      I also bumped my HP NC8000 to 1.5G RAM. It's fine for web/video use. If the NIC port wasn't loose, it would also make a fine terminal for Steam streaming...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given this is not a review, how do you know the performance is "crap"?

    1. lurker

      From the specs? It's just PC hardware, and a 1.4GHz dual core Intel Core i5 is a 1.4GHz dual core Intel Core i5 whether it comes in a box with a fruit themed sticker on, or not.

      1. Truth4u

        Yeah, it's just a weak chip. Probably equivalent to the dual 2.9Ghz AMD thats been running my folks machine for 5 years now. And that was a £50 part.

      2. FIA

        From the specs? It's just PC hardware, and a 1.4GHz dual core Intel Core i5 is a 1.4GHz dual core Intel Core i5 whether it comes in a box with a fruit themed sticker on, or not.

        It's a laptop part in a desktop chassis though, so unlikely to be thermally constrained that much, and will probably spend a good portion of it's time at the 2.7GHz turbo frequency.

        Plus 8gig is more than enough for the casual browsing and occasional light photo editing these things will mostly be bought for. I suspect they'll sell quite well.

        1. lurker

          It's a laptop part in a desktop chassis though, so unlikely to be thermally constrained that much, and will probably spend a good portion of it's time at the 2.7GHz turbo frequency.

          It's not a desktop chassis, I believe - pretty sure these are all-in-one units with the hardware packed into the 'monitor' - so performance is going to be very much like a lappy I would imagine.

          And I'm not saying it won't do the job of web browsing and basic office tasks very nicely. However you can easily build a PC for £400 - including a monitor and keyboard - with much better specs - admittedly in more boring and generic cases, but with the upside that you can tinker and upgrade it should you be so inclined.

          And yes, probably they will sell. But let's face it, apple could slap a logo on an iTurd, charge £100, and it would probably still sell. That doesn't make it good value for money, however.

          1. ThomH Silver badge

            The 1.4GHz part has scored pretty much the same single-core benchmarks at the 2.7Ghz model it undercuts; the big loss is the two cores instead of four which results in the corresponding benchmark being 40% lower.

            So this machine will be much faster for many consumer tasks than instinctive feelings might suggest; even though it's a direct i5-versus-i5 branding comparison the hugely reduced clock speed is barely a factor.

          2. Son of Steve

            This canard. Yes, you could. Some ugly as sin box looking like a to-scale model of a nuclear power station, with a large power unit and fan. A cheap nasty monitor with cables all over the place. Ditto for the keyboard. And yes, upgradability.

            Against that, this iMac offers a beautiful screen in the thinnest machined aluminium case available, with a very nice keyboard, and exactly one cable. It uses less power, and looks better on every conceivable metric. That machining - the laser-cutting of the aluminium, and yes, the design process itself - costs money.

            Nice things cost more money. There are exceptions to the rule, but not many. If you think nice things are a waste of money then don't buy them. I'm aware I'd be just as dry if I bought my clothes in a supermarket, but I don't do that. If I had chronic incontinence and I could only wear my clothes once, I'd change my clothes buying habits to fit my new circumstances. And so on.

            1. Bloakey1

              <snip talk of ducks>

              "Against that, this iMac offers a beautiful screen in the thinnest machined aluminium case available, with a very nice keyboard, and exactly one cable. It uses less power, and looks better on every conceivable metric. That machining - the laser-cutting of the aluminium, and yes, the design process itself - costs money."

              <snip>

              Never go out with a beautiful woman because if she leaves you, you will be devastated and heart broken.

              Ahh I hear you say, but an ugly woman can leave you as well!

              Yes my son but in that case who cares?

              Soooo, I will keep my "ugly" machines. I buy for functionality only, whether it be my Mac running Windows or my Arabic beast here, that is so ugly if it was a woman I would not ride it in to battle.

              It does however work and I love it and its quirky little ways, its huge rear containing multiple ports, nice frontage with an array of buttons to press, its clear but wonky screen and its ability to loudly nag me in stereo when it has a nasty infection.

              As zey <sic> say in France "a chacun sa merde" and "chacun a sa verité".

              So my humourless fiend <sic> I leave you to fondle your object of beauty and wonderment and I return to my lovely faithful old slapper who will not let me down despite her condition.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Never go out with a beautiful woman because if she leaves you, you will be devastated and heart broken.

                But his original statement stands. Enjoy your ugly computer/girlfriend and rejoice - from your perspective saving money is all there is so congratulations, well done. You got what you paid for.

                That too is a choice you make, and I gladly leave both to you.

                1. lurker

                  Enjoy your ugly computer/girlfriend and rejoice - from your perspective saving money is all there is so congratulations, well done. You got what you paid for.

                  Well, with women as well as computers I find that in the long term it's wiser to look at what's under the surface.

                  So the same to you: enjoy your shallow, dedicated-follower-of-fashion existence, and the expensive trophy wife which from the sound of it you would consider ideal. For me, as for many engineering and science types, form comes second to function.

          3. JDX Gold badge

            re:you can easily build a PC for £400 - including a monitor and keyboard - with much better specs

            Yes but a large part of the cost of an iMac IS the screen because it's a nice one. Compare the cost of iMacs and Mac Minis.

            1. lurker

              @JDX

              It's a 1920 x 1080 21.5 inch IPS screen, made with an LG panel. You can get a very similar screen made using the same panel (but with an LG sticker on it) for a desktop PC for £120. While perfectly decent, it really is nothing all that special, and I'd factored that cost into my estimate.

              The one defence you could reasonably make for the pricetag is to compare it to other all in one systems, such as those made by Lenovo, in which case it only looks moderately overpriced instead of stupidly overpriced.

              1. JDX Gold badge

                Re: @JDX

                I was talking about the 27" one. What kind of idiot buys a desktop PC using ANY OS with such a tiny screen these days?!

                1. lurker

                  Re: @JDX

                  Ah, you mean the £1500+ imacs? Those are even worse value for money. Who the hell spends £1500 on a computer with an i5 and 8GB of ram? The mind boggles at the sort of PC you could build for the price (and yes, that's INCLUDING a 27" monitor using the identical panel apple used).

                  Obviously, if you throw enough money at something you would expect a nice monitor. The point still stands though: Apple just buy their panels from LG or Samsung like everyone else, and if you build a PC instead you can always buy the same panel in a monitor with a different sticker on without paying the fruit tax. So claiming that apple is value for money because they have super duper screens is a peculiar argument - when you get down to it they have the same screens as everyone else, and until apple start building their own panels (not going to happen) that will remain the case.

                  1. 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.

            2. P. Lee

              Re: you can easily build a PC for £400 - including a monitor and keyboard - with much better specs

              > Yes but a large part of the cost of an iMac IS the screen because it's a nice one. Compare the cost of iMacs and Mac Minis.

              Yep. Do yourself a favour and get one of the semi-pro Dell screens. Ugly around the edge, but nice to use. Then get yourself a mac mini if you really want a mac. You can velcro it to the back to make an "all in one."

          4. Eric Hood

            If you have a look at a new 21" iMac you will see the thickest part of the case is in the middle at the back. This is where the heatsink is located. A large and chunky heatsink. Twice as thick as an Apple laptop. Thermal constraints will not be an issue unless trying to do something it's bigger brothers should be doing.

    2. Bloakey1
      Happy

      "Given this is not a review, how do you know the performance is "crap"?"

      He says that it is running Windows XP so QED. We all know that the one true OS is a fruity one and if I do not say this an acolyte will be along shortly and will do so in a humourless dogmatic manner. All hail, all hail.

  8. Truth4u

    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).

    1. Bloakey1

      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.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: wtf?

        re:Apostate!

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

    2. Eric Hood

      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.

      1. Andy Taylor

        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.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Craig Cruden

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  10. Phil W

    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.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      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.

      1. Son of Steve

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

        I think you're exactly correct.

  11. tempemeaty
    Facepalm

    Face. Palm.

    I'm horrified.

  12. ChrisB 2

    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.

    1. Phil W
      Joke

      Re: Horses for courses

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

    2. Don Jefe

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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).

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  13. gautam

    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.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      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.

    2. Andrew Newstead

      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.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        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.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Sir_bobbyuk

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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)

  15. adnim Silver badge
    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.

  16. Efros

    $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.

  17. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    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.

    1. Al Jones

      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.

  18. John Savard 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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        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?<

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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?

          1. DiViDeD Silver badge

            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

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  20. mad_dr

    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.

    1. Al Jones

      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....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  21. returnmyjedi

    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.

    1. Christian Berger 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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

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

  22. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

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

  23. davidp231

    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...

    1. Christian Berger 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.

  24. DougS 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.

  25. roger stillick
    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.

  26. Snik

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

  27. -tim
    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.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. RAM upgrades

    Would it not make more sense to use a single lidded heatsunk socket that takes say 4 (typical) LGA chips, similar idea to the LGA775 but tile the chips so that they can be upgraded or replaced.

    Also means that the typical fanboi can't upgrade this but a trained Apple tech can.

    A lot of these chips are essentially the same part with serial addressing of multiple chips as is common with Flash, so adding 32GB RAM to an 8GB board is feasible.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Re. RAM upgrades

      I think you fail to understand the tiny tolerances of modern DRAM. I'm sure you've noticed that the number of DIMMs per channel has dropped over the years, and with DDR4 it will drop again to exactly one DIMM per channel!

      The reason is because as DRAM clocks faster the timing specs for the bus shrink and shrink. Creating your own socket to put memory chips in is asking for disaster, at least with a DIMM slot you've got JEDEC standards behind you and you can point to the DIMM maker if a DIMM that doesn't meet spec is inserted.

      As for your "adding 32GB to a 8GB board", I guess you fail to understand that there have to be enough traces from the DIMM slots to the memory controller of the CPU, and the CPU has to have enough pins for the address. Each Intel chipset (and CPU, for more recent CPUs where the memory controller is on chip) has a specific maximum addressable memory limit, which is there because that's all the address lines there are. You can look at the specs for Intel chipsets/CPUs memory controllers that will tell you the maximum addressable memory, and that's it. It doesn't matter if denser DRAMs are available in the future.

      Soldering DRAM chips increases the reliability (no loose connections) and increases the potential speed - not that Apple is taking advantage of this in the iMac, but in Mac laptops with the SSD chips soldered in they most certainly do. If you think you might want to upgrade down the road, you shouldn't be buying an all-in-one, most especially not an Apple all-in-one.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upgrading--interesting thing to take for granted

    There are a ton of parts in an iMac that can't be upgraded. I assume the processor is also soldered on, so you can't upgrade that, or the graphics. Can't upgrade the screen. Can barely upgrade the hard drive (have to unglue the screen).

    But for some reason all you commentards have worked yourselves into a tizzy because the RAM can't be upgraded? Give me a break. This is a component that has **traditionally** been upgradeable but it's not a god-given right. And as soon as some company makes non-upgradeable RAM, it's human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, up is down, Apple is killing kittens, etc. etc. etc. Give me a break. You weren't going to buy a Mac or any other Apple product anyway.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Upgrading--interesting thing to take for granted

      Firstly, Apple strategies do tend to be copied. Laptop specs / upgrade abilities do appear to be generally falling in the industry.

      Secondly, even those who like Apple kit are generally sad that a company which once was uncompromising in putting the best into its kit (SCSI bus in a portable) is now deliberately making things far more rubbish that then need to be apparently to garner sales. At no time did we look at the original Mackintosh and think, "oh, they've made it a closed system that that if one bit goes you replace the lot, " or "they've included a rubbish CPU so you'll upgrade it sooner."

      There are no space requirements in an imac which demand smaller components and they don't receive the rough treatment a laptop gets which shortens their expected life, or demands greater robustness that soldered on components provide. The SODIMMs are keyed to prevent incorrect insertion and you could design a tray so you can see which way around they go rather than inserting them almost blind. As for economies of scale leading to cheaper computers, don't give me that. This model is not cheaper because its designed around an MBA, its cheaper as a marketing tool.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Upgrading--interesting thing to take for granted

        "Secondly, even those who like Apple kit are generally sad that a company which once was uncompromising in putting the best into its kit (SCSI bus in a portable) is now deliberately making things far more rubbish that then need to be apparently to garner sales."

        Hardly. Soldered RAM or not, the iMac is not a rubbish computer. I would not buy one for myself but compared to cheaper (and most equivalently-priced) PC AiO computers, the iMac is excellent. It has a Core i5 CPU whereas cheap PC AiOs actually have crap AMD CPUs intended for ultraportables. (Really--I was shopping for one of these for a relative recently.) The iMac has a 2.5" hard drive to make it thinner and quieter instead of a cheaper 3.5" hard drive like almost all its competition. The iMac has a top quality IPS display with excellent color gamut that is specially bonded to the front glass so the screen is both glossy AND non-glare--pretty impressive stuff. It has a Thunderbolt port in addition to a bunch of USB3 ports whereas its competition has a ghetto mix of USB2 and USB3 ports. iMacs have machined aluminum cases that used to be so special and unusual that Apple had to get the machining tools from car factories in Detroit to make them. Now they are not as special but a damn sight better than the cheap plastic AiOs offered by PC vendors, etc.

        So the iMac is still quite a nice machine. All this hand-wringing about RAM is much ado about nothing. And besides, the market for used Macs is thriving. For many years now, the best way to upgrade a Mac is to sell it on Craigslist (very quick and easy to do, they fetch top dollar) and then buy a new one. You don't have to throw a Mac away the same way you might a PC.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Over many years in this industry, I've learned that upgrading a computer is not cost effective because all old computers are equally slow and essentially worthless, regardless of their spec.

    Scenario 1: Buy a new computer with a basic spec. Purchase price, approx 500 pounds. Value at the end of 8 years == 0.

    Scenario 2: Buy a new computer with a high spec: Purchase price, approx 1500 pounds. The actual performance increase is so small you need special benchmarking software to measure it. Value at the end of 8 years == 0.

    Scenario 3: Buy a new computer with a basic spec. Purchase price, approx 500 pounds. Upgrade CPU,RAM and hard disk 5 years later to the spec from Scenario 2, another 250 pounds. Granted this is more cost effective than scenario 2, but it doesn't actually extend the usable life of the machine by an amount significant enough to offset the cost. Value at the end of 8 years == 0.

    The most cost effective way of owning a computer is to buy the most basic ones that will do the job, and just replace it with a new one when you need to.

  31. Matthew 17

    non issue

    99% of computer owners don't ever open them up to upgrade a component.

    We're the 1% that will, the machine isn't aimed at us.

    This machine has a reasonable amount of RAM for the hardware so should perform well, those that buy it will be happy with it I'm sure.

    And yes, Apple kit is a bit more than say a Dell, but when you trade in an Apple for a new one you get far more back so the upgrade costs are cheaper. A Dell depreciates faster than a Ford Mondeo.

  32. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    memory evolution

    With the speed that memory versions are changing (DDr2 to DDR3, increasing clock speeds, etc), would you even be able to *find* the correct spec memory sticks by the time you wanted to upgrade?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Apple Doesn't Care

    I propose the notion that anyone commenting on this, or even reading the comments, is not Apple's target market and anything we say or do will not influence Apple at all.

    Beer icon because it's Friday evening...

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