The prices, or costs for the different Apple iMac Models and memory upgrades over the years have changed as new technology has been introduced, which results in new Apple Mac Memory being needed depending on what model of iMac you plan to upgrade with more memory.
The latest iMacs released in 2008 and 2009 require the use of DDR3 1066 SDRAM so-dimms, and depending on the particular iMac you have you can upgrade to either 4gb or 8gb of ram for the newer, modern iMacs. About a year ago when the newest iMac models at the time were released – 8gb of ram for the iMacs would cost as much as the computer itself. 8GB memory kits, especially when you bought them from the Apple Store directly were prohibitively expensive at prices hovering around the $1000 mark for an 8GB iMac ram upgrade kit.
iMac Prices Have Dropped
Thanks to more demand of the 8GB memory kits the prices have dropped considerably when you want to buy two 4 gig memory modules and install them in your new Apple iMac. Now (spring 2010), the cost to max out your iMac and fill it with ram is a much more reasonable cost of about $350-400.
The 4GB memory upgrades from Apple have even dropped recently, so though it still costs more to upgrade your iMac when you buy ram directly from Apple, it’s a possibility now as the prices, while still more than if you bought the ram from a third party memory shop, is priced more reasonably than before. But you’ll still pay about a $100-200 price for the Apple RAM over the same ram when bought elsewhere.
The 4GB RAM and memory modules (1066 DDR3) are still pricier than their smaller sized memory chips. If you can get away with it, you might be able to save some money on iMac ram by not maxing out your current Apple iMac and just upgrading to 4GB with 2×2 memory modules as the 2GB ram is still priced much lower than the 4gb module. It would make sense that if a 2gb module costs $1, than a 4GB memory upgrade would be priced at $2, but not so. At time of writing this, 2GB RAM for iMacs costs about $44.00, while the 4GB RAM for Apple iMacs cost 4x as much with street prices being in the $175-200 range from most stores.
It really is up to you to decide what the best ram upgrade option is for your iMac. If you can afford to, and justify the cost an 8GB iMac upgrade makes the most sense as you will get the fastest speed from your iMac. But if money is a factor, you should work with the 4GB upgrade kit. 4gb of RAM is more than enough memory for the tasks suited to the iMac, such as web browsing, email and using the iLife software that came with your Apple iMac.
If you need any help with RAM upgrades for your iMac, I’m more than happy to help.