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Model A1418 / Late 2012 / 2.7 & 2.9 GHz Core i5 or 3.1 GHz Core i7 Processor

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iMac late 2012 low voltage RAM memory and CL number


I own this iMac: iMac 21.5" 2.7 GHz i5 (Late 2012)

After having a HDD failure I'm planning on replacing it with a SSD (Samsung SSD 850 EVO 2.5" SATA III 250 GB).

Since I'm opening the iMac to replace HDD with the SSD, I would like to also upgrade my RAM. Presently I have 2x4 GB (1,5V) and want to install 2x8 GB modules.

Apple's TN on RAM Configurations used in iMac late 2012: iMac (21.5-inch and 27-inch, Late 2012): Memory specifications

In article is nothing about voltage (1,5V vs. 1,35 low voltage) and CL number.

So my questions are:

  • Is it important, what number of CL is in RAM?'''
  • Is it possible buy low level voltage RAM? Or dual voltage?'''
  • Is it possible buy every RAM with proper specification (no matter how brand)?'''

For example, I could buy this for good price (second hand): Hynix original 8GB (1 x 8GB), 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3L-12800, 1600 MHz memory module

In the bottom of amazons link it is written that this RAM is suitable for my model.

Backward Compatible with 1.5V DDR3 Memory module: HMT41GS6BFR8A

Is it dual voltage? Kingston - HX316LS9IB/8 Module specs CL=9. Is it compatible?

It seems to be dual voltage (?)


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What you really should have looked at was the DDR3L RAM specs its self Vs the vendors RAM specs: Wikipedia - DDR3 SDRAM or get the real techie version here: JEDEC - JESD79-3F DDR3 SDRAM Standard

So simply put: DDR3L RAM can be used in either system! One designed for the older DDR3 RAM standard or the current systems which support DDR3L standard. The DDR3L RAM is able to support both voltages per the requirement within the standard.

But the reverse is not recommended! Putting DDR3 RAM in a DDR3L system! Besides the voltage difference the amount of heat put off by the RAM may effect things.

Standards are designed so everyone is on the same playing field! So vendor A's product will be equal to vendor B's and so forth... But its more than the standard its what the systems specs call out! That is your guide on what to buy.

Think of it this way... Gasoline comes in different grades low, medium & high. So if I have a car that the owners manual states I need the highest grade then I need it. If my owners manual states the economy version is just fine then it makes little sense putting in the highest grade of gas (RAM).

On the most part RAM is no different.

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Ok, if I understand, DDR3L (dual voltage) will be fit with my model of iMac. Many webshops sell DDR3L, which they say, that it is fit to my model.

And what about CL (CAS) number? Is it important which number will be have my RAM?


Correct! DDR3L is what is mostly sold today as it makes little sense carrying two products in inventory where one will work in either system.

As far as the performance of RAM, stick with the Kingston RAM.

You don't need the top grade RAM in this system and you won't notice any difference as you're not over clocking the system. The Corsair RAM is designed for an overclocked system.


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Since my imac is 21.5 late 2013 2.7 GHz , means i can install any brand of DDR3L pc3 12800 SODIMM at 1600 bus speed right ?

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Yes, thats what your system requires.


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