I don't know if it is only my issue. I have a 2011 iMac i5 with 2x2GB RAM modules.

Recently I bought 2x8GB RAM modules. If I add the 2x8GB to the default 4GB RAM, the computer doesn't start. I hear only the sound of DVD slot but the screen remains blank.
If I remove the 2x2GB ram modules and I use only the 2x8GB RAM modules, everything is fine and the iMac shows correctly the 16GB. I have also tried to change the order, putting the 8GB modules as first, but same problem.

If I put 2x2GB with the 2x8GB together, iMac doesn't turn on.

Original RAM: 2x Elpida 2 GB PC3-10600s-9-10-f1
Upgraded RAM: 2x Hynix 8 GB DDR3 Dream 1333mhz SO-DIMM (sold as Apple iMac 2011 compatible)

The original RAM was mounted on top 2 slots.

  • Please add the contents of the labels of the different RAM-modules to your question (e.g. 1333 MHz PC3-10600 DDR3 SO-DIMM)
    – klanomath
    Jan 6, 2015 at 13:53
  • Max RAM for 2011 iMacs is 16BG.
    – IconDaemon
    Jan 6, 2015 at 13:53
  • 32 GB should also work source
    – klanomath
    Jan 6, 2015 at 13:55
  • Apple max is 16, user-tested max is actually 32 - everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/… My Mac Pro is similar, it will take twice what Apple suggested it would
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 6, 2015 at 13:56
  • @Tetsujin but 4 identical 8gb-modules is recommended
    – klanomath
    Jan 6, 2015 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


I can't find an exact diagram for the iMac, but assuming the mapping is anything like my Mac Pro - which really surprised me when I first tried it, the top & bottom slots may not be as you expect.

I would certainly experiment with identical RAM first in top or bottom, but I would also try matching them top to bottom row


2  2        8  8
8  8   or   2  2

but also

2  8        8  2
2  8   or   8  2

I would also reset the SMC between each test.

  • Shut down the computer.
  • Unplug the computer's power cord.
  • Wait fifteen seconds.
  • Attach the computer's power cord.
  • Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.

This is the odd layout for mine - yours will not be the same, of course, as it has fewer slots, but might follow a pattern…
see how the config changes between 2 & 4 DIMMs, contra to what 'common sense' might make you think

Two DIMMs      One on the top memory card and one on the bottom card  
Four DIMMs     One pair on the top memory card and one pair on the bottom card  
Six DIMMs      Two pairs on the top memory card and one pair on the bottom card  
Eight DIMMs    Two pairs on the top memory card and two pairs on the bottom card  
  • 1
    Solved! Tetsujin was right! They worked in a configuration not tried yet upper slots and bottobottom slots with 8gb and 2gb per line. Now the system show 20gb
    – andrea
    Jan 7, 2015 at 23:08

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