Crucial RAM for iMac (Early 2011)

Now that you’ve dropped some cash on a crazy fast new iMac, the single best thing you can do to improve performance is to stock up on RAM. Both the 21- and 27-inch models start with a bare 4GB and officially support up to 16GB. Maxing out isn’t cheap if you have Apple do it—add $600 for 16GB. Our advice: go with Crucial’s memory modules. Only $188 will get you two of its 8GB kits. Not a bad savings, huh?

If you don’t want to go all the way up, you still have plenty of options, starting at $24 for a single 2GB stick; for less than $50, you can drop two of those into an iMac to double the RAM to 8GB total. Installation is a breeze: just unscrew the grate on the bottom edge of the iMac, pop the RAM in, and that’s that. The company even has a tool that scans your computer and tells you exactly how much memory it already has and how much it can take, removing the guesswork. Crucial’s RAM is basically identical to what Apple installs in its own machines, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

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