OWC provides a variety of upgrades to the Apple iMac, some of which are intrusive, at least compared to a Mac Pro, since they involve opening up the iMac and/or modifying the iMac case for an external SATA port.
The OWC upgrades are the best way to make an iMac more capable, solving some performance and expansion limitations. The 3.4GHz iMac is a very fast machine, and so with some upgrades it might be a viable Mac Pro replacement for some users.
Andrew H in the San Francisco Bay Area writes:
Wanted to let you know about a great customer service experience I had with your sponsor OWC/Macsales.
I purchased a 2011 i7 iMac two months ago, and based mostly on research from your site, I had it modded by OWC. I had them install 16gb of RAM and two 120GB SATA III SSD drives. After setting up the two SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration, the machine just screamed (almost 1,000Mbs read speeds).
About a month ago, the Apple Software Update said there was an EFI 1.7 update for my iMac. Without thinking, I clicked update. It instantly bricked my machine -- and endless loop of trying to install the update, then nine SOS beeps and a reboot.
I have no idea what happened, but I'm sure that this was Apple's crappy software update. I know that my machine is not officially supported, but it seems that Apple should be smart enough to write updates that don't brick machines.
I took it to the Genius bar. After several iterations they refused to do anything, saying it was out of warranty. They offered to replace the logic board for $750. So I sent it back to OWC. They have no idea what caused the problem, but offered to fix it (under the one-year warranty). They ended up sending it to an Apple Store in Deer Park, IL and paid $750 to replace my logic board.
What a great company -- and so smart to do this. It's a drag that this happened, but the fact that they stepped up to cover my warranty issue is a really smart business move on their part. All part of being in the Mac-modification business...
Anyway, just thought you would find this interesting.