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iMac (Early 2006), (Mid 2006), (Late 2006): Installing and replacing memory (RAM)

Learn how to install and replace memory (RAM) in the iMac (2006).

The iMac (Early 2006) computer has two SDRAM slots in the bottom of the computer. The iMac ships from the factory with at least 512 MB of DDR2 SDRAM installed into the top slot. (The computer may come with more RAM in the top slot or RAM in the bottom slot, depending on how you ordered the computer from Apple.)

The iMac (Mid 2006) ships from the factory with at least 512 MB of DDR2 SDRAM, in two 256 MB DIMMs; one in each of the memory slots.
Note: If you upgrade the memory in your iMac (Mid 2006), make sure you have matching size SO-DIMMs in each slot for best graphics performance.

The iMac (17-inch Late 2006 CD) ships from the factory with at least 512 MB of DDR2 SDRAM, in two 256 MB DIMMs; one in each of the memory slots. All other models of iMac (Late 2006) ship from the factory with at least 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, in two 512 MB DIMMs; one in each of the memory slots.

The maximum amount of RAM you can install in the iMac (Early 2006), iMac (Mid 2006) and iMac (17-inch Late 2006 CD) is 2 GB total (a 1 GB SO-DIMM in each of the two slots). The maximum amount of RAM you can install in the iMac (Late 2006) models other than the one mentioned above is 4 GB total (a 2 GB SO-DIMM in each of the two slots) but the computer will only use a maximum of 3 GB of RAM. Refer to iMac (Late 2006): Memory Specifications for more information.

You can use small-outline dual inline memory modules (SO-DIMMS) of 512 MB or 1 GB that meet all of these criteria:

  • PC2-5300
  • unbuffered
  • nonparity
  • 200-pin
  • 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

DIMMs with any of the following features are not supported in this iMac:

  • registers or buffers
  • PLLs
  • ECC
  • parity
  • EDO RAM

Installing memory in the bottom slot

Important: When installing SDRAM DIMMs into the computer, press the DIMM up into the slot with your thumbs; do not use the DIMM ejector clips. Trying to push the DIMM into the slot using the ejector clips may damage the SDRAM DIMM.

To install memory into the bottom RAM slot, follow these instructions:

  1. Turn your computer off—from the Apple menu, choose Shut Down .
  2. Disconnect all cables and the power cord from your iMac.
  3. Place a soft, clean towel or cloth on the desk or surface to prevent scratching the LCD display. Hold the sides of the computer and gently lay the computer face down.
  4. Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the RAM access door on the bottom of the iMac, as shown below.
  5. Remove the access door and set it aside.
  6. Move the DIMM ejector clips to their fully open position.
  7. Insert your RAM SO-DIMM into the bottom slot, keeping in mind the orientation of the keyed SO-DIMM as shown.
  8. Once inserted, press the DIMM up into the slot with your thumbs. Do not use the DIMM ejector clips to push in the DIMM. Trying to push the DIMM into the slot using the ejector clips may damage the SDRAM DIMM. You'll hear a slight click when the memory is fully seated. Once fully seated, close the ejector clips.
  9. Re-install the memory access door.
  10. Lift the iMac back to its normal upright position and reconnect the power cord and all other cables. You're ready to start up your computer now.

Replacing memory in the top slot

Important: When installing SDRAM DIMMs into the computer, press the DIMM up into the slot with your thumbs; do not use the DIMM ejector clips. Trying to push the DIMM into the slot using the ejector clips may damage the SDRAM DIMM.

To replace memory into the top RAM slot, follow these instructions:

  1. Turn your computer off—from the Apple menu, choose Shut Down .
  2. Disconnect all cables and the power cord from your iMac.
  3. Place a soft, clean towel or cloth on the desk or surface to prevent scratching the LCD display. Hold the sides of the computer and gently lay the computer face down.
  4. Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the RAM access door on the bottom of the iMac, as shown below.
  5. Remove the access door and set it aside.
  6. Pull the two levers on each side of the memory compartment to eject the memory module that's already installed.
  7. Remove the memory module from your iMac as shown below.
  8. Insert your RAM SO-DIMM into the top slot, keeping in mind the orientation of the keyed SO-DIMM as shown below.
  9. Once inserted, press the DIMM up into the slot with your thumbs. Do not use the DIMM ejector clips to push in the DIMM. Trying to push the DIMM into the slot using the ejector clips may damage the SDRAM DIMM. You'll hear a slight click when the memory is fully seated. After the memory is fully seated, close the ejector clips as shown below.
  10. Re-install the memory access door.
  11. Lift the iMac back to its normal upright position and reconnect the power cord and all other cables. You're ready to start up your computer now.

Additional Information

For more information about the SDRAM in the Intel-based iMacs, see iMac (Early 2006), iMac (Mid 2006), iMac (17-inch Late 2006 CD): Memory Specifications or iMac (Late 2006): Memory Specifications.

Last Modified: Nov 19, 2011
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