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Question: Upgrading iMac Memory

I want to upgrade the memory of my 27" iMac i5 (mid-2011) from the factory installed 4 GB. Is it OK to put 2 4GB modules in the empty slots making a total of 12 GB memory? I want to stop getting the spinning beach ball all the time. Is this a good solution to a slow iMac?

iMac, iOS 10.1.1

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Feb 26, 2018 3:07 PM in response to djune In response to djune

This would help, but it wouldn't solve all potential causes of the beachball. Honestly, you'll need to consider an upgrade within the next couple of years. If you can upgrade your iMac with memory (and your iMac supports this), then feel free to do so! See this article for help: Install memory in an iMac - Apple Support

Feb 26, 2018 3:07 PM

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Feb 26, 2018 3:09 PM in response to djune In response to djune

That would be okay, however ONLY use Crucial (buy it direct) or www.macsales.com RAM. iMacs are very sensitive to RAM and only perform well with quality RAM, some doesn't work at all even though it says it will. The reason for recommending these 2 vendors is they both sell quality product at fair prices and their customer service is excellent.

Feb 26, 2018 3:09 PM

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Feb 26, 2018 3:21 PM in response to zfJames In response to zfJames

When you say "you'll need to consider an upgrade within the next couple of years", I assume your talking about buying a new computer? I realize I'll need to do that before long, but was looking at possible getting a few more years out of it for monetary reasons.


Do you have other suggestions for the beachball? It's not my internet, as I can get quick results on my iPad.


Thanks for the quick reply.

Feb 26, 2018 3:21 PM

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Feb 26, 2018 3:25 PM in response to rkaufmann87 In response to rkaufmann87

Thanks, I read an article that recommended Crucial. Any problem buying thru Amazon? Looking at Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3/DDR3L 1333 MT/s (PC3-10600) SODIMM 204-Pin Memory For Mac - CT2K4G3S1339M.


Installation looks pretty easy.

Feb 26, 2018 3:25 PM

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Feb 26, 2018 3:28 PM in response to djune In response to djune

That's what I'm getting at. Again, you might not need it soon, but with an iMac as old as yours is, it will be an eventuality. You can get a refurbished iMac for cheaper when it does come to that point: Refurbished iMac - Apple


Try to reboot your computer every once in a while. Also, if you have programs that automatically start in the background (you can see if you do by going to System Preferences>Users and Groups and selecting [your name]. Then go to 'login items' and see how many things are there.), these can really bog down your computer. Only open a few applications at a time whenever your using it. I hope this helps! 🙂

Feb 26, 2018 3:28 PM

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Feb 26, 2018 3:36 PM in response to djune In response to djune

djune wrote:


Thanks, I read an article that recommended Crucial. Any problem buying thru Amazon? Looking at Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3/DDR3L 1333 MT/s (PC3-10600) SODIMM 204-Pin Memory For Mac - CT2K4G3S1339M.


Installation looks pretty easy.

Only purchase Crucial RAM directly through www.crucial.com. They have an online configurator that will help you select the correct RAM for your computer. Do not buy from Amazon!

Feb 26, 2018 3:36 PM

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Feb 26, 2018 4:55 PM in response to djune In response to djune

iMac Installation Video at MacSales.com


these videos show the process.


I am still running a 2010 iMac with 16GB RAM, and it runs great. Yours might be able to max out at 32GB RAM, which is probably more than you need. 12GB will improve things.

Feb 26, 2018 4:55 PM

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Question: Upgrading iMac Memory