iMac Pro teardown reveals upgradable RAM and SSD

“While we await iFixit’s inevitable comprehensive teardown of Apple’s new iMac Pro, third party Mac component supplier OWC has just published its own teardown video, providing some interesting tidbits on the internal configuration of the non-user upgradeable machine,” Tim Hardwick reports for MacRumors.

“An Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider is able to open up the iMac Pro and swap out the RAM, and here’s what they can expect to find upon doing so,” Hardwick reports. “The teardown reveals that in the 32GB base model, there are four 8GB DIMM modules, a configuration type that appears to be mirrored in the 64GB (4 x 16GB) and 128GB (4 x 32GB) models.”

Hardwick reports, “The teardown also reveals that in the iMac Pro 1TB base model, Apple has chosen to use two 512GB SSDs in a RAID configuration. Rather than soldering the flash storage on the main board, both drives exist as separate modules that are attached via screws, so replacing them is at least technically feasible, even if Apple does not make it easy.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So the beast is upgradable; not easily, but possible nonetheless.

Of course, pro all-in-one users generally are not looking for much upgradability. Their upgrades are simply getting new Macs.

Pro Mac users looking for upgradability and extensibility are of course waiting for Apple’s mythical Mac Pro.


  1. Yeah, it’s upgradable, if you consider needing to remove the transmission an jack the engine, just to change the oil upgradable.

    I stand corrected.

    But wait… what about video cards and cpu?

    No, I’m afraid it’s still not upgradable…not sufficiently anyway.

    While on the subject, I was chastised by an idiot for not sufficiently caring enough about the environment over the iPhone battery debacle.

    “Of course, pro all-in-one users generally are not looking for much upgradability. Their upgrades are simply getting new Macs.” -MDN

    Who’s the proper environmentalist now?

    1. Changing your oil is not equal to upgrading anything. Pulling and installing a better stereo head unit on your new BMW is more equivalent to upgrading the RAM on the iMac Pro. Both are possible with a bit of careful tear down.

      1. That is a bit more complex than swapping an OEM Stereo.

        OWC is a great outfit and I have always had good experiences with them- they stand behind what they do and do not quibble. They just make it right.

        For the Apple can do no wrong apologists. Compare what is in the video above with this one- from the same company- on the Cheese grater Mac Pro.

        1. Obviously you have never attempted to replace a factory head unit in a newer BMW. It can be done, but is just about as involved as changing the hard drive in a iMac Pro (or any tapered edge iMac which uses adhesive tape to adhere the display to the frame). I can replace the iMac’s hard drive in significantly less time than installing the new head unit…I own several rolls of the correct 3M tape as I do this professionally, but the do-it-yourelf user who is adept at this type of task would likely order the tape kit along with a new SSD as well as a “pizza wheel” adhesive separator tool which helps avoid cutting too deep and causing unnecessary damage. Once you have done a dozen or more of these, you become very efficient at the process. Again, doable and not much different than my BMW example.

          1. “Obviously you have never attempted to replace a factory head unit in a newer BMW. It can be done”

            And just as contemptible! Who defends such practices?

            I just picked up my sixth BMW last Friday, I just don’t root for them.

  2. “… pro all-in-one users …”: an oxymoron if there ever were one.

    Yes, there are “prosumers” that will buy and use these machines. (And don’t tell me you’re a professional photographer that uses Photoshop on a daily basis and thus are a “pro” Mac user.)

    But, actual pros that are running transcoding or simulations or other such high compute demand processes over many hours for each and every run want machines they can run for sometimes days at a time. They also want to be able to upgrade them every 6 – 12 months when new technology is available and cost effective then replace them in 3-4 years with a whole new architecture. They do NOT want to have to take the machine into an authorized dealer (or Apple) just to upgrade the SSDs.

    1. Speak for yourself grasshopper. A pro is someone who makes their living off their Mac. And now that we have been bombarded by fake news about non-upgradability, like all the fake news we get from Trump haters, we can flush all those writers and journalists articles right down the stinking commode and plan our purchases accordingly.

    2. LOL…way to go by belittling professional Mac users who don’t fit your mold. By you definition, only .0001% of all users who rely on their Macs everyday to earn a living meet your snotty definition. Way to go, way to go, way to go. You help perpetuate the myth that many Mac users are full of themselves.

    3. Not every “pro” has that workflow. In fact, that is a minority pro workflow.

      I’m a pro user. And even get away with a full-spec 5K iMac. I don’t use photoshop. I do 3D modeling and neuroscience.

      1. I do 3D models in SolidWorks, and use Boot Camp. Once I buy a refurbed Mac, I like to max out the RAM and put in a huge SSD.

        Hence, I am all for what Apple has done. I think Apple was stung by the feedback on non-upgradable devices from their pro users and has changed policy. Good!

    4. Your mistake is in, apparently, believing there is only one type of ‘pro’ user. If someone is using the machine to process their photographs by which they’re earning money, or using the machine to write and record music later to be for sale or used for promotional purposes then yes, they ARE professional users. Your statement about ‘actual pros that are running transcoding or simulations’ smacks of elitist douchebag asshole sentiment. Yours is not the only type of user that is a ‘pro’. In other words, there are more types of professional Mac user that just the developer, who I’d dare say makes up but a small percentage of Mac Professional users.

  3. Apples’ insistence on keeping the design of the iMac Pro as intact and original as possible, caused the design of the iMac Pro to not be end-user upgradable. Form follows design. I don’t think anyone would have been upset with a thicker iMac Pro that was user upgradeable.

  4. I like when it’s not easily upgradeable and you’ve got AppleCare Plus, the Apple Store simply replaces the device with a brand-new version, as has happened to both me and my wife. You buy more than you think you need, and don’t worry about upgrading, only replacements if/when things go wrong.

  5. GM once produced a line of cars (X-Body) that required the engine cradle (subframe) be lowered out of the engine bay in order to get at the plugs on V-6 models. That would be the same GM that later went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the American taxpayers.

    At one point in history (Middle 1950’s) GM had well over 80% of the US car and Truck Market- not domestic, but the whole thing. They continued in their insular and arrogant way as their share declined as they kept making profits.

    Later, Roger Smith took over as CEO and pissed away more money on his projects than it would have then cost to buy Ford, Toyota and Honda outright. None of his projects did much excepting the failed Saturn brand, whose plant (Spring Hill Tennessee) now makes Crapillac & GMC SUVs.

    These days they have less than 18% of the US Car market.
    That is what arrogance and taking customers for granted can do for a company.

      1. Did you get the point or are you just Trolling?

        Apple is not putting customers first and that will eventually come back and bite them in the ass. Just a matter of time.

        You can leave Mom’s Basement now that you have been schooled.

  6. What bogus claptrap from shadowofherself and her moronic and always cynical sidekick.

    Real pros can get what they need right from the start. No messing! Just give me the best. Then there are “pro’s” that just can’t afford the pro setup just yet. They need to wait till they get next months pay to get that little bit of extra RAM. These are the “living on the edge wannabe pro’s”. They are the most vocal and scream the loudest. These pro’s need to move on and just move to windoze.

      1. Whats the natter? Got no intelligent comeback? Oh yeah, resorting to name calling is as intelligent as you’ll ever get. That’s a dead giveaway for an imbecile who wants us to think he has something worthwhile to say. Give us a rest from your ignorant rants.

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