Why is Apple RAM so Expensive?

September 1, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Upgrading your Mac is a useful way of getting more from the hardware and the operating system, and the best way of doing this is to add more memory. Yet purchasing RAM from apple will leave you facing a price of as much as five times that of other suppliers.

Since the change to Intel processors, components in Apple Macs are largely identical to those found in PCs, which means that Apple users can take advantage of the low cost of RAM modules without paying above the market price (this similarity in hardware is what makes Hackintosh computers possible).

So why do Apple offer standard RAM at such a high price?

Why is Apple RAM so Expensive?

It’s a Cash-in!

Apple offer a sales service whereby customers can purchase RAM from them rather than going to a website such as www.crucial.com and selecting memory modules for a bit less money, and they haven’t done anything to end perpetuating the myth that their high RAM prices are representative of some special extra service or testing that is performed on the modules.

The truth is that Apple tests and guarantees the RAM modules that it sells, just like other major suppliers, so really all they’re doing is increasing the price for these components just because they’re being purchased from Apple.

We’ve already seen that there is no Mac RAM specification. Finding the right RAM for your Mac is just the same as purchasing the right modules for your particular model of Mac. If you’re unsure on how to do this, the Crucial website above offers an easy to use wizard that will do all the hard work for you.

If you’re planning on selecting your RAM by hand, as long as the pin count matches and speed, CAS latency, voltage and timing and ECC support also match then you’ve made the right choice.

Configuring a New Mac? Watch Out for Expensive RAM!

Ultimately, you can use RAM from whatever source. Don’t think that just because it is bought from an Apple store that it is more suited to use on a Mac than any other device as this isn’t the case at all.

As long as the RAM is compatible with the hardware then you can use it, which means you will be able to save quite a bit of money upgrading.

In fact, even if you’re buying your first Apple Mac you can benefit from this knowledge. When choosing a configuration for your iMac, MacBook or Mac Mini you will be offered a range of RAM choices. If you’re someone who is comfortable adding RAM yourself, the best advice is for you to purchase the version with the least memory and then purchase additional memory modules from Crucial. Doing this will save you money on an expensive computer purchase, something that will allow you to add more options or perhaps purchase software.

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