The iMac is Apple's line of all-in-one desktop computers.

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Which models can have the hard drive "easily" upgraded?

I currently have a 2009 iMac with a third-party 3TB HDD that I've replaced twice (first one apparently was a lemon - still going strong on this one). It's now at end of life on software, and I'm ready for a faster computer... But I don't have $$ for a brand new one.

I'm thinking of finding a good condition iMac with a smaller drive and upgrading it (would prefer one which I can put 16+GB RAM also). I've heard that the later models aren't so easy to work with, but I'm not sure if that's right.

I don't have soldering capability, etc - just the basic tools -- as I said, I've done it twice on my current iMac.

Which models (2011 and newer, probably) are doable for replacing/upgrading the HDD??


Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Any 24" iMac. Pre 2012 21.5" These have removable glass without having to cut into the adhesive.

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When did the RAM become so much more difficult to upgrade? Same model change??


The 21.5" 2012 model is when it became harder. Unlike the 27" 2012 model which had a access door you could access the RAM, you had to completely remove the logic board on the 21.5" model.

If you can do it I would go for either the 21.5" or 27" 2011 models which are the last thick walled models. Both are much easier to open to replace the HD or even add a second drive (2.5" HD or SSD) and can go up to 16 GB.

The newer 'Thin Series' are a pain to open! 2012 and newer are no very serviceable.


Thanks Dan! That finishes answering my question!

I've opted to buy a second-hand late 2011 which someone else has upgraded the HD already to 3TB. And I've ordered the RAM to max it out. It should last me a couple of years and maybe I'll save up to get a newer one by then.

I also found the KB on Apple about the memory and found out about the 27" difference... (access door) but I don't need the large screen at present.


Sorry for all of the clutter that got spun onto you. We had a wild one go to town on us here.


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momefarley will be eternally grateful.
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