Upgrading the ram in an Apple iMac Pro

How do you get the RAM in an iMac Pro Upgraded?

One of the physical differences between the 2017 5k iMac and the 2017 iMac
Pro is the RAM upgrade process. In the normal 5k unit there's a small door at the back that grants you easy access to the RAM slots - you can upgrade the RAM yourself, and very easily.

With the 2017 iMac Pro, the RAM
is upgradable, but you cannot do it yourself. Well, unless you're quite brave with an expensive machine - you have to dismantle it. For anyone who's ever dismantled and iMac, it can be quite challenging.

Anyway, if you look at the Tech Specs for the iMac Pro, you'll see the base RAM is 32Gb, and it's configurable to 64Gb or 128Gb. The units have four memory slots in them:


Notice the 'memory upgrade instructions'? That just takes you to the
Apple support pages. In addition, you can see the memory specifications here:

iMac Pro memory specifications

Note this bit:


In effect, an Apple Store
can deal with Warranty issues. If you want the RAM upgrading however then you have to visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP). Anyway, I could not find this information originally, and it's seriously making me question whether this was the way it was worded in the first place. But hey, what can you do.

When I bought this iMac Pro, there were quite significant delays on getting the units, especially with any customisation. After speaking to Apple, they suggested buying the 32Gb unit and bringing it back to have the RAM upgraded. Simple you may think.

Twice I took the iMac Pro to my local Apple Store. Twice I regretted not remembering that the box handle isn't strong enough to carry the weight of the machine, but that's a different story.

The first time I attended they struggled to find any information on the upgrade process, and suggested that as the units were so new, and so different, they wait a while and try again.

So I did wait a while. Approximately 6 months. 32Gb of RAM wasn't terrible in the unit for the uses I had, however now I was struggling, so it needed upgrading.

This time, rather than placing my trust in the Genius Bar, I contacted Apple via their support telephone no, and was referred to their online chat (!) as it could take a while to work out. Fair enough. I think spent some time with the online chat people who were very helpful, and arranged a visit for me to my local Apple Store to have the RAM upgraded…..and this got complicated.

When I turned up at the Apple Store there was much ummmm and 'well, we don't know the process for this…'. I was fairly insistent this time, given it was second trip
and the fact I'd verified the process with Apple Support first.

They did the right thing by suggesting I leave the machine with them if I could
- fortunately I have other kit and just needed it done, so happily left it in their capable hands.

They called me back when they said they would - am I the only person that thinks such small points make a
huge difference to your perception of service? Whomever put those reminders in their service system needs a commendation - this has always been my experience with Apple.

Anyway, the result of the call with them was a bit….Interesting. They had no process to upgrade the RAM, and now they were pushing all the upgrades to the AASP. You an feel my groaning at this point…Have to go pick it up, take it somewhere else etc. Etc. It was a bit frustrating to be honest - you'd expect them to know their processes.

This is not however what happened. Apple twice recently have surprised me with their level of service. What did they do? They ordered me a replacement unit with the specification I actually wanted, and replaced my original unit, with the idea being I simply pay for the upgrade.

That was a great outcome for me. Admittedly had to wait for a couple of weeks for it to turn up, but no real drama with that, I have other equipment to use.

Weird experience isn't it? I get the iMac Pro units may be a bit unusual, but I kinda thought the Apple Stores would be a bit more on top of how they deal with such things? The final outcome for me though was an effective one, and one that surprised me. Why, I'm not sure, as I've only ever had excellent service from Apple.

Anyways, I've now got enough memory. For now.

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