Outrageously Expensive RAM

A couple of weeks ago, I was helping to spec out some new iMacs for our computer labs. This is usually pretty straightforward; the only sticky part is actually deciding how much RAM to get. We run a lot of sophisticated software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, etc.), so I always want to make sure that we have enough RAM, now and down the road. These computers have to get us through a three year cycle.

Unfortunately, the options for built-to-order RAM on a Mac range from questionable to obscene. Keep in mind, there are only two slots for RAM in an iMac. Here’s how it breaks down:

Apple RAM Prices and Options

Thats right, 2 sticks of 2GB RAM will cost you $850 if you get it from Apple.

The 1GB option seems silly if you’re doing anything more than web browsing. 2GB is enough RAM for now, but the configuration of 2 sticks of 1GB stinks. This means that if you want to upgrade to 4GB of RAM later, those two sticks are worthless. There is no option for the obvious choice: to chose one stick of 2GB RAM, leaving an easy upgrade path.

All of this left me pretty annoyed at Apple, and feeling like no matter what I did, I was either wasting RAM (and money) now or later. So, I really had to laugh when I came across Mike Davidson’s post on RAM Arbitrage:

…to max out my MacBook’s RAM, Apple charges me $850, while if I go through my trusty RAM comparison shopping site DealRam, I am pointed to NewEgg, which ships me the same amount of RAM for $120. As a point of comparison, Dell charges $465 for an extra 4GB… still outrageous, but not a 700% markup!

He nails it. What really sucks about this practice by Apple is that I would guess many people who buy Macs don’t know that they can get the same kind of RAM from places like New Egg. They also probably don’t know how easy it is to replace RAM. It’s a racket.

Via Daring Fireball.

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