Best RAM For iMac

Best RAM For iMac | Top 10 Reviews & Buying Guide

If you own an old iMac or one with low RAM, chances are that you would want to upgrade it at some point for better performance. And, that’s a good thing, because you can run all the necessary programs in order to get things done faster.
Let’s say you want to upgrade your 16 GB RAM to 64 GB. From where are you going to purchase it?

Well, if you’ve already headed over to Apple’s website in search of your desired memory, your eyes would probably refuse to believe the extortionate price Apple has to offer.

But, don’t give up just yet because what we have here will not only save you hundreds but also fulfill your expectations!
Keep reading this guide if you want to obtain the best RAM for iMac.

Do You Want To Easily Choose A Product? Just Follow This Table

Image

Name

Editor's Rating

Price

Crucial 16GB RAM 

5 out of 5

Timetec 16GB Kit

5 out of 5

OWC 64GB RAM

4.5 out of 5

Timetec 16GB RAM

4 out of 5

 A-Tech 16GB RAM

4.5 out of 5

What To Look Before Buying RAM For iMac

RAM Size

The first thing you need to do is determine the size of the RAM you need.

While the memory in 21.5-inch and 24-inch iMac isn’t user-replaceable, it is possible to upgrade the memory in the 27-inch iMac. It has a total of four slots and comes pre-installed with 8 GB RAM. You can upgrade the RAM to 16 GB, 32 GB, or even higher depending on the number of programs you want to run at the same time.

Don’t get the wrong idea of speeding up your system with a higher number of RAM because it essentially just lets you work with multiple programs efficiently.

Clock Speed

Clock speed refers to the number of times a RAM can access its memory in a second. It is measured in MHz (megahertz).
When looking for the best iMac RAM for your use, you will need to pay attention to the clock speed it supports. For instance, if your iMac supports 2666 MHz, you should install memory with a speed of 2666 MHz. Note that if you install memory with higher or lower speeds, your iMac will not function properly.

DDR Standard

DDR refers to Double Data Rate, and it is the memory that is capable of reading data on both the rising and falling edges of the clock signal.

Typically, you’ll find two standard versions of the DDR RAM- DDR3 and DDR4. Unlike DDR3, DDR4 modules save a lot of energy while operating at higher speeds. Also, it has a higher module density that can reach up to 128 GB, whereas the one in DDR3 can reach up to 32 GB.

Older iMacs support DDR3, while the ones released from 2017 onwards use DDR4. Before you purchase your desired RAM, make sure to check the “About this Mac” window in your iMac to find out the DDR version it supports.

Voltage

Every RAM module comes specified with an operating voltage. Generally, the voltage ranges between 1.2 and 1.5 volts. Newer RAM technologies have become more energy-efficient compared to their predecessors. For example, DDR4 uses only 1.2 volts by default, whereas DDR3 uses 1.5 volts.

It is recommended you choose RAM that runs on a low voltage so that when you need to overclock, it doesn’t heat up and cause stability issues. If you have installed a RAM having a dual voltage, like 1.35-1.5 volts, the RAM will run at the lesser number of volts only if the other installed RAM modules have the same voltage. Otherwise, it will run at 1.5 volts.

Our Top 10 RAMs For iMac Reviews

1. Crucial 16GB RAM Kit

Crucial 16GB RAM Kit

If you’re looking to fill up a couple of slots in your iMac, you can check out this 16 GB RAM kit by Crucial.

This iMac RAM kit contains two 8GB RAM modules that you can install in individual slots to make it up to 16 GB. And, if you already have the base 8 GB RAM installed, you can have a total memory of 24 GB. That means your iMac will be able to load multiple programs faster and let you work with ease!

The RAM modules have a clock speed of 1600 MHz, which is decent enough to handle gaming and video editing tasks. Plus, they are energy-efficient because it takes only 1.35 volts to run the RAM, especially if all the modules are of the same voltage.
This is an advantage because when you want to overclock the RAM, less stress will be applied to the memory controller and the RAM’s temperature will remain stable.

These RAM modules will work flawlessly on the 27-inch late 2012 iMac and even in 2011 and 2012 MacBook Pro models!
If you never had installed RAM in your iMac, there’s no need to worry, because you’ll find easy instructions on Crucial’s website. Even if you’re unsure about whether the RAM modules will work on your existing Mac computer, you can head over to Crucial’s website and run the system scanner. The scan results will eliminate all the confusion!

Highlighted Features

  • Features two 8 GB RAM modules
  • Compatible with iMac and MacBook Pro models
  • It has a dual voltage of 1.35-1.5 volts
  • 1600 MHz clock speed runs programs faster
  • Installation guide is available at the brand’s website

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2. Timetec 16GB Kit 1333MHz

Timetec 16GB Kit 1333MHz

Another iMac compatible RAM kit you will want to take a look at is this one by Timetec.

Like the previous RAM kit, this one features two 8 GB modules that you can install not only in your iMac but also in some older MacBook Pro and Mac mini models. These modules are designed to be versatile so that you can easily install them into compatible models without looking for them elsewhere!

According to several users, you can install more than 8 GB of memory in Mac computers that are stated to have a maximum memory capacity of 8 GB. This is a major advantage because you don’t need to purchase an SSD or another MAC computer.

Starting with the clock speed, these RAMs can access their memory at 1333 MHz. Although it is slightly less than the one we have seen before, the data transmission process will still be fast. It won’t be an issue as long as you’re hoping to do some video editing tasks without worrying about sluggish performance.

Both RAM modules use 1.5 volts for operation. DDR3 RAMs use this voltage by default, so if your iMac supports DDR3, this is something you should look for.

Highlighted Features

  • Features two 8 GB RAM modules
  • 1333 MHz clock speed lets you perform tasks quickly
  • The RAMs operate at 1.5 volts
  • The kit is also compatible with some older MacBook Pro and Mac mini models
  • Includes a user manual to help you install the RAM modules easily

3. OWC 64GB Memory Kit

OWC 64GB Memory Kit

If you’re going to do some heavy editing tasks or intense gaming, there’s nothing better than upgrading your iMac with 64 GB RAM (at least for now!).

The OWC 64 GB memory kit is the best RAM for iMac because it speeds up whichever programs you throw at it. The kit consists of two 32 GB RAM modules that you can install in your 2019 or 2020 iMac model, and also in the late 2018 Mac mini.
As for the speed, the RAM modules run at a whopping clock speed of 2666 MHz! At this speed, you’ll be getting faster data transmission for getting your work done quickly.

That doesn’t end here because the RAM modules are also energy-efficient. They require only 1.2 volts to operate, and because of the low voltage, your iMac won’t heat up nor give you issues regarding performance and stability.

As you’re focusing on your work, you won’t get distracted by the electrical noises coming from your iMac. This is because each RAM module is made of eight layers of PCB to prevent the internal layers from making loud noises.

When you own this RAM kit, you’ll be saving additional hundreds of dollars for installation. Instead of taking your iMac to the Apple store, you can install the modules by yourself, simply by following step-by-step instructions.

Highlighted Features

  • Features two 32 GB RAM modules
  • 64 GB RAM lets you run multiple programs simultaneously
  • 2666 MHz clock speed boosts performance
  • You can install the modules by yourself
  • Compatible with recent iMac models and also Mac mini

4. Timetec 16GB Kit 1600MHz

Timetec 16GB Kit

Here’s another Mac RAM set by Timetec you would love to have for efficient multitasking, the 16 GB kit.

This one is no different than the Timetec kit we have previously seen because both kits contain two 8 GB RAM modules. These modules are also versatile because they are compatible with most iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models.

However, the difference lies in the fact that these RAM modules use DD

R3L or dual voltage and also have a greater clock speed.

The RAM is capable of functioning at 1.35 volts as long as the other RAM modules installed in your iMac have the same voltage. As a result, there will be less risk of overheating, which would otherwise, cause performance and stability issues.

Compared to the previous 16 GB kit by Timetec, this one has a clock speed of 1600 MHz, which is indeed faster. So if you are into intense gaming, audio editing, or graphic editing, you won’t be disappointed with slow performance. Your iMac will even boot up faster than before!

Highlighted Features

  • The kit includes two 8 GB RAM modules
  • Faster clock speed of 1600 MHz lets you work efficiently
  • Compatible with most iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models
  • Dual-voltage technology saves energy
  • Requires hassle-free installation

5. A-Tech 16GB RAM Kit

A-Tech 16GB RAM Kit

The A-Tech is another 16 GB RAM kit you can purchase instead of a single 16 GB memory for Apple iMac.

Like most kits in the list, this one features two 8 GB RAM modules that you can insert into the empty slots in your iMac for improved performance. The modules work flawlessly in most iMac models, including those in late 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Not only that but also they are compatible with some models of MacBook Pro and Mac mini. So, if you’re looking for memory chips for other Apple computers besides your iMac, you don’t need to do your research on a different brand!

Since this memory for iMacs features DDR3 technology, it works at a single voltage of 1.5 volts. It has a greater clock speed of 1600 MHz, which means your iMac will function at a lightning speed! If you are working from home and frequently attending Zoom meetings, you’ll no longer have to deal with sluggish performance.

What’s more, it takes only ten minutes for installation. All you need to do is remove the compartment door from your iMac, place the RAM modules carefully, and place the door back in place!

Highlighted Features

  • Features two 8 GB RAM modules
  • The modules have a fast clock speed of 1600 MHz
  • Requires 1.5 volts for operation
  • Compatible with most iMac models
  • Allows easy installation

6. OWC 32GB Memory Upgrade Kit

OWC 32GB Memory Upgrade Kit

If you’re looking to upgrade the RAM of your iMac to more than 16 GB, you can take a look at this kit by OWC!
The OWC 32 GB memory upgrade kit contains a total of four 8 GB memory chips for iMac. That means you can easily place all the modules into their individual slots to boost your iMac’s performance.

Whether you are using the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display from late 2012 or 2015, you will be greatly benefitted from this upgrade kit. It is compatible with not only iMac models but also some models of MacBook Pro.

Like the previous RAM kit, this one also has a clock speed of 1600 MHz, which is more than enough for you to play your favorite games or work in Photoshop. Also, you won’t get to hear loud noises coming from your iMac because the modules are manufactured with 8 layers of PCB.

As for voltage, these modules operate at 1.35 volts. You can consider it safe as it prevents your iMac from heating up and causing stability issues.

If you’ve never opened your iMac before, no worries because this kit comes with free installation videos and manuals for your convenience!

Highlighted Features

  • Compatible with most iMac models
  • High clock speed of 1600 MHz lets you perform tasks with ease
  • Produces less noise because of the 8 layers of PCB
  • Operates at 1.35 volts
  • Free installation videos and instructions are available

7. A-Tech 32GB RAM Kit

A-Tech 32GB RAM Kit

Your work is a priority, and so the added RAM should give you optimal performance. This is something you can find in this 32 GB RAM kit by A-Tech!

This RAM upgrade kit contains two 16 GB modules that you can insert into the memory slots of your iMac to get things running faster.

They support recent iMac models, including the 21.5-inch Retina 4K from 2019 and 27-inch Retina 5K from 2020. If you also own a Mac mini from late 2018, you’ll be lucky enough to upgrade its RAM!

Since these modules are of the DDR4 type, they save a lot of energy while accessing the memory. They operate at only 1.2 volts which not only prevents overheating but also gives you enough room for overclocking.

At such a low voltage, the A-Tech RAM modules deliver faster performance at a clock speed of 2666 MHz. This speed is more than enough to let you focus on gaming or heavy audio editing tasks.

This is the best memory for iMac if you’re looking for multiple amenities at a decent price. With this in possession, you’ll never complain about your iMac’s sluggish performance again!

Highlighted Features

  • It has a clock speed of 2666 MHz.
  • The kit includes two 16 GB RAM modules
  • Operates at a low voltage of 1.2V
  • Compatible with recent iMac models
  • You can also install it on Mac mini from the late 2018

8. Adamanta 32GB Memory Upgrade

Adamanta 32GB Memory Upgrade

This is another 32 GB memory upgrade kit you can take a look at for your iMac.

The Adamanta 32 GB kit features two 16 GB RAM modules that are compatible with all 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models from 2017. That means if you own any of those models and not the others, know that this RAM kit is just for you!

These RAM modules have a clock speed of 2400 MHz, so there won’t be any interruption as you’re playing games, attending Zoom meetings, or doing heavy editing tasks. It will also cause your iMac to boot faster every time you turn on the power.

Apart from that, the modules use only 1.2 volts to transfer data at such a high speed. Your iMac will run at cool temperatures and it won’t put you into trouble with performance and stability issues.

Highlighted Features

  • Features two 16 GB RAM modules
  • It has a clock speed of 2400 MHz
  • Works with iMac models from 2017 only
  • It requires 1.2 volts for operation
  • Suitable for intense gaming or editing tasks

9. Timetec 32GB Kit

Timetec 32GB Kit

The Timetec 32 GB kit eliminates all your concerns regarding your iMac’s poor performance.

Like the previous kit, this one is only compatible with all iMac models from 2017. It doesn’t matter whether you have one with Retina display or without it because it will work on both the same way.

Each of the 16 GB modules is of the DDR4 type, which is why it requires less voltage of 1.2 volts. Your iMac will smoothly perform at a cooler temperature while keeping all your worries aside.

As for the clock speed, the modules work at 2400 MHz. Next time you’re preparing yourself for an important meeting or editing videos, you won’t have to deal with poor performance.

Highlighted Features

  • It requires only 1.2 volts
  • 2400 MHz clock speed lets you perform tasks faster
  • Compatible with all iMac models from 2017
  • The kit includes two 16 GB RAM modules
  • You can install the modules by yourself

10. Adamanta 16GB Memory Upgrade

Adamanta 16GB Memory Upgrade

The Adamanta 16 GB memory upgrade is what you would want to look for if you want to obtain improved performance.
The kit features two 8 GB RAM modules that are compatible not only with most iMac models but also MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

If you’re also looking forward to upgrading the RAM of your MacBook Pro, you don’t need to look elsewhere!
The modules have a clock speed of 1600 MHz, which is enough to load applications like Photoshop in less than 30 seconds. Plus, the low voltage of 1.35 volts ensures stability and smooth performance.

Highlighted Features

  • Compatible with most iMac models and also MacBook Pro and Mac mini
  • The kit includes two 8 GB RAM modules
  • It has a clock speed of 1600 MHz
  • It runs at a low voltage of 1.35 volts
  • Causes applications to load faster

Comparison Chart Of RAM For iMac

Product

Clock Speed (MHz)

RAM Type

RAM Size (GB)

Crucial 16GB RAM 

1600

DDR3L

16

Timetec 16GB Kit 1333MHz

1333

DDR3

16

OWC 64GB Memory 

2666

DDR4

64

Timetec 16GB Kit 1600MHz

1600

DDR3L

16

A-Tech 16GB RAM 

1600

DDR3

16

OWC 32GB Memory Upgrade Kit

1600

DDR3L

32

A-Tech 32GB RAM 

2666

DDR4

32

Adamanta 32GB Memory Upgrade

2400

DDR4

32

Timetec 32GB Kit

2400

DDR4

32

Adamanta 16GB Memory Upgrade

1600

DDR3L

16

Frequently Asked Questions

A. Will More RAM Improve iMac Performance?

Generally, installing more RAM to your iMac will not cause the CPU to run faster. But, it will let you have access to many programs at once without any interference. For example, you can keep multiple browser tabs open while playing memory-intensive games or editing videos.

If you want to increase the CPU performance, you will need to install an SSD.

B. Why Apple RAM Is So Expensive?

The reason for Apple’s high RAM prices is because the RAMs are guaranteed to have low failure rates. The RAMs that Apple purchases all go through a lot of testing, and if they meet the brand’s quality standards, they are selected. Apple has to pay high fees to its vendors for testing the RAMs.

C. Does It Matter Which Slot RAM Goes In iMac?

Yes, it does. If you install a single DIMM in a bottom slot instead of the top one, iMac will not function properly.
But if you use an iMac that features Intel Core Duo processor, installing a single DIMM in any slot will work.

D. Can I Mix Memory Size On My iMac?

It is possible to mix memory size on iMac as long as their manufacturers, frequencies, and clock speeds are the same. Getting all the specs right will result in optimal performance.

E. How Do I Add RAM To My iMac?

If you’ve bought a new RAM and want to install it by yourself, simply follow the steps.

  • Lay a clean towel on top of a flat surface.
  • Disconnect the power cord and all the cables from your iMac. Carefully place it on top of the towel with the screen facing down.
  • Using a spudger, lightly press on the button that is located in the power port. The door of the RAM will pop up. Remove it.
  • Lightly press on the two levers located on both sides of the RAM housing and slide it outward to release the memory.
  • Pull the levers toward you and then pull out the RAM from the housing.
  • Take the new RAM and insert it into place on its correct side. Press it firmly until you hear a click sound.
  • Once you’ve installed your
  • desired number of RAMs, take the door of the RAM and put it back into place. Connect the iMac to the power supply and reattach its peripherals.

F. Does iMac Memory Need To Be Installed In Pairs?

It is not necessary that you install RAM in pairs, but if you do, you will get to enjoy improved performance. That’s because installing a single RAM will cause the memory controller to communicate with the CPU using a single channel, which results in decreased data transfer speed.

In case of dual-channel RAM, the memory controller communicates with the CPU using both channels simultaneously, which results in a double data transfer speed.

Final Words

Whether you’re programming or editing videos, you need the best RAM for iMac for optimal performance. After all, your work is a priority!

But, think about it. Would you rather spend all your savings on an Apple RAM or purchase an affordable one from a third-party manufacturer?

If you choose the latter option, there’s no need to worry. Not all third-party RAMs are designed to give you what you need, which is why we have taken our time to do thorough research and then listed the ones we think are great.
So, whichever RAM you pick from the list, you’ll be good to go!


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