Late 2013 iMac SSD & Ram Upgrade

Late 2013 iMac SSD & Ram Upgrade

The Challenge

The Late 2013 21.5″ iMac does not have a ram door on the back of the machine for easy ram installation. Instead, the glass has to come off and the logic board removed. This particular iMac (EMC: 2638) was the base configuration: 2.7Ghz i5, 8GB ram (1600MHz DDR3), 1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive.

Since upgrading the ram requires the logic board removal, we could also add a PCIe flash based storage and add a 2TB Hard drive, similar scenario to a fusion drive setup. Unfortunately, a 512GB PCIe blade that normally costs around $400 was no longer available, and only selling on eBay for $1200+ which is almost as much as a new base machine.

The Solution

On a side note, many of the newer 2017 portables have the ram soldered onto the logic board, and even the flash storage is going the same way. If you ran out of space on your boot volume, and pushed your Photos library to an external drive, be sure to Back up the Backup or you lose it all.

Be sure to Purchase as much ram and storage as you can afford, because you’re stuck with it. Back in 2013, If you opted for the more expensive iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB Ram with a Fusion Drive or 256GB or 512GB of flash storage, you can follow along knowing you avoided most of this!

The Late 2013 iMac has no Ram door on the back of the Machine

Before purchasing a New/Used machine, ask if it’s Upgradable,
Many new machines are Not

Parts Required

Check the ram if possible

If possible, test the ram in another machine for a few hours, before sealing up the iMac.

Adhesive strips for the glass

The adhesive strips are available from and sell around $15

Clean the Fans

Depending on the environment, the fans probably need cleaning to maintain that iCool factor!

Who needs a Ram Door Anyway!

Many new machines are not upgradable…

2013 iMac SSD Blade

The 2013 iMac has an optional PCIe slot on the back of the logic board. A 512GB blade sells for approximately $450 – 500
However, I was unable to locate a new one, although eBay had them for sale for over $1200+

Late 2013 iMac

Since the Late 2013 iMac has no ram door on the back of the machine, the glass and logic board need to be removed.

Late 2013 iMac
Late 2013 iMac
Late 2013 iMac
Late 2013 iMac Fan
  • Original Hard Drive 50% 50%
  • New 1TB SSD 100% 100%

The Results Were Amazing

Replacing the stock 5400rpm HDD for a Blazing Fast Solid State Drive (SSD) makes a Significant speed Difference

Interested In Upgrading your Apple Computer?