Sep 18, 2020 | Updated: 11:04 PM EDT

The New 4K 21.5-inch iMac Was Discovered To Have A Removable RAM and Modular CPU

Jun 09, 2017 02:41 PM EDT


A recently published teardown of the new 4K 21.5-inch iMac reveals Apple's smallest all-in-one desktop machine. This device has both removable RAM and a Kaby Lake processor that's not colored onto the logic board.

According to iFixit, they made the discovery by disassembling Apple's $1299 mid-range 3.0GHz stock option that includes 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory. Along with it is a Radeon Pro 555 graphics card with 2GB of VRAM, and a 1TB 5400-RPM hard drive.

After slicing through the adhesive which secures the 4K display to the iMac's housing and removing the power supply, hard drive, and fan. It was discovered that the memory modules aren't soldered onto the logic board like previous models, but instead sit in two removable SO-DIMM slots.

After detaching the heatsink and removing the warranty voiding stickers on the backside of the logic board, it was also found that the Intel SR32W Core i5-7400 Kaby Lake processor sits in a standard LGA 1151 CPU socket, making it possible to replace or upgrade the CPU without a reflow station.

According to GSM Arena, consumers must take note that Apple officially considers these parts non-user-replaceable, which makes it easy to see given the relative difficulty to access; with the external memory hatch found in the 27-inch iMacs. With this, the fact that replacing these components is practically possible will come as music to the ears of tinkerers armed with the right tools and instructions.

Despite the upgradeable RAM and CPU, iFixit awarded the 2017 21.5-inch iMac a 3 out of 10 for repairability (10 being easiest to repair) because of the challenge involved in accessing the components. On the other hand, it was discovered in the teardown include a single microphone below the iMac's LG-manufactured display, a replaceable CMOS battery, and an upgradeable 3.5-inch SATA hard drive, but no SSD connector. Stay tuned for more updates.

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