Are you planning to pick up a new iMac with Retina 5K Display? With only 8GB of RAM standard, that’s one area you’ll almost certainly want to upgrade. But don’t waste money on Apple’s memory upgrades; third party options are now available for much less.
The Apple Store upgrade prices for RAM are thankfully now much more reasonable than they used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best value. Apple currently charges $200 to upgrade your new Retina iMac from 8GB to 16GB of RAM, and an astounding $600 to go from 8GB to the maximum 32GB.
By contrast, a third party retailer like Other World Computing, which has just announced RAM upgrades for Apple’s latest Retina iMac (to be fair, the RAM specifications haven’t changed between the 2013 iMac and the Retina iMac), charges $100 to upgrade from 8GB to 16GB (via the purchase of an additional 8GB) and $400 to go from 8GB to 32GB (with the purchase of four new 8GB modules). There’s also a $200 16GB option from OWC, which when added to your iMac’s stock 8GB gives you a total of 24GB of memory.
Third party RAM is usually the best bet (at least, for the Macs you can still upgrade), and as long as you purchase RAM with the correct specifications for your Mac, it won’t void your warranty. Upgrading RAM on the 27-inch iMac, including the new Retina iMac, is also a very quick and easy operation.
So, by all means, max out the RAM in that shiny new iMac. But don’t overpay Apple to do it.