The Apple store enables you to configure your Mac at the point of purchase, but it may be cheaper to upgrade RAM yourself.

The big question when you are buying a new Mac is how much memory should you get. You may be asking...

Should I stick with the standard 4GB or upgrade to 8GB RAM? 

Adding extra RAM is the most inexpensive way to improve the performance of your machine and - now that all new Macs are 64 bit - 8GB should be the minimum amount of memory you put.

But, there’s always a “but”. In this case it’s that, most Macs can be upgraded by the user. So, the choice becomes, do you upgrade when you buy your Mac or after?

If your Mac is user upgradable, we would always suggest waiting until you’ve got your machine, then perform the upgrade yourself. Why? Because Apple really know how to charge for memory upgrades. 

Case in point. Upgrading a 13” MacBook Pro from 4GB to 8GB on the Apple Store will cost £80. Buying the RAM yourself from www.crucial.com/uk/ will cost you £45. For about £95.99, you could go to 16GB! If you shop around, you’re bound to find even cheaper deals.

Fitting RAM into a Mac that allows it is usually very easy. The memory pushes directly into a slot. 

Can I upgrade the RAM in my Mac myself?

The machines you can upgrade the RAM on yourself are the current MacBook Pro line, Mac Mini, 27” iMac and most recent Mac Pro. Fitting RAM in any of these machines is a trivial process. 

The exception is the MacBook Air. Apart from the difficulty of getting into a MacBook Air’s case, the RAM in the current version is soldered to the motherboard. The only way to upgrade the RAM is when you buy it. And, in this case, you should pay the extra to get 8GB in the Apple store.

The same advice goes for the 21.5” iMac. There are spare slots available, but they’re not easily accessible.

Related: 

Can I get a new battery for my MacBook?

Can I add RAM to my Mac?

Can I upgrade the graphics card on a Mac?         

Should I get 4GB or 8GB of RAM in my Mac?

Should I buy an iMac or MacBook Pro?

Should I buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro?

Can I burn a CD/DVD on a Mac?