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Old Jan 26, 2013, 07:03 AM   #1
Knuckleheadz
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iMac 27" 2012 - Stock Low End Model - CPU upgrade

Hi all,

Someone on here posted loads of great pictures of a teardown of their new iMac 27" 2012 edition in which they also mentioned upgrading the CPU but I can't find the post!

I had some questions (not that I'm planning to do this for a while but...)
  • Can you upgrade the CPU on the stock lowend iMac 27"?
  • What socket set is required if so?
  • Can you upgrade the GPU too (I'm thinking not as it is probably attached to the logic board)
  • How long does/did it take to replace the CPU
  • Any points I need to watch out for?

Unfortunately I didn't have enough money to stretch to the high end iMac so I plan to do this later down the line.

I'm an experienced PC technician so I am used to the insides and workings of one.

Many thanks
Jon
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 07:24 AM   #2
Akatosh86
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I have the same low-end model and I'm satisfied with everything except the limited GPU. and no, you cannot (officially) upgrade anything on it except RAM.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 07:37 AM   #3
entrywounds
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The GPU is soldered into the logic board on the 2012 models so it is not upgradeable. The CPU however is socketed and is easily upgradeable if you are comfortable disassembling your iMac. The socket is LGA1155 so that is what you would need to look for. Also you would need to look at the TDP of the processor you have now and make sure that you match that with the TDP of the new processor. If you can get the computer apart the CPU is an easy upgrade and worth it in my opinion you just have to remember too that if you had any warrant on it the second you take it apart the warranty is gone.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:30 AM   #4
Knuckleheadz
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thanks guys... I found R. OG's teardown, but he started with an i5 3.2Ghz which can be upgraded to the i7 3.4...

Mine is the i5 2.9 so I don't know if the logic board/gpu can support the i7 3.4 (3770)

Does anyone know?

Lots of questions and not so much info out there at the moment
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:10 PM   #5
entrywounds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuckleheadz View Post
thanks guys... I found R. OG's teardown, but he started with an i5 3.2Ghz which can be upgraded to the i7 3.4...

Mine is the i5 2.9 so I don't know if the logic board/gpu can support the i7 3.4 (3770)

Does anyone know?

Lots of questions and not so much info out there at the moment
It can but for you it will have to be the i7-3770S model which is an under clocked version of the 3770 he used. The reason for this is because the TDP of the S version of the 3770 matches the i5 you have. If you install any other version of the 3770 that is clocked at 3.4GHz your computer will not turn on.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:29 PM   #6
leman
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Originally Posted by entrywounds View Post
If you install any other version of the 3770 that is clocked at 3.4GHz your computer will not turn on.
Source?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:55 PM   #7
entrywounds
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Real life experience. Trust me I found out the hard way what works and what doesn't. I currently have a 3770 and 3770K sitting in my computer parts bin because they didn't work.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 08:33 PM   #8
kennyap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entrywounds View Post
Real life experience. Trust me I found out the hard way what works and what doesn't. I currently have a 3770 and 3770K sitting in my computer parts bin because they didn't work.
Which processor was in your original config? I know for the 27" 2011 iMacs, you could upgrade to the very highest cpu offered in the 27" 2011 iMac line (which happened to be the 2600 3.4ghz) even on the base system i5 processor. I actually upgraded to the 2700k which was not even offered in the 2011 iMac line.

In other words all the 27" 2011 iMacs had the same motherboard, so you could swap to any other cpu in the 27" 2011 iMac lineup.
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Last edited by kennyap; Jan 27, 2013 at 07:07 AM. Reason: to clarify my post.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:42 PM   #9
entrywounds
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Originally Posted by kennyap View Post
Which processor was in your original config? I know for the 2011 iMacs, you could upgrade to the very highest cpu 2600 3.4ghz, even on the base system i5 processor, which is what I did (actually upgraded to the 2700k).
Core i5-3470S
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:25 AM   #10
Knuckleheadz
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thanks guys, this is really useful information.

So my first step is to identify the chip I have in my iMac when it arrives on Tuesday and then make a call from that.

Is there a way to do this without opening it up, like an app that details all the CPU specs just in case I have something different (can't imagine I will to be honest but best to check!)
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 07:19 AM   #11
kennyap
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Intel CPU Identifier utility

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuckleheadz View Post
thanks guys, this is really useful information.

So my first step is to identify the chip I have in my iMac when it arrives on Tuesday and then make a call from that.

Is there a way to do this without opening it up, like an app that details all the CPU specs just in case I have something different (can't imagine I will to be honest but best to check!)
Download and run the following utility by Intel to identify exactly which cpu you have:
http://software.intel.com/en-us/arti...nload-maccpuid
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 07:49 AM   #12
Knuckleheadz
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Nice... thanks kennyap
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 06:57 PM   #13
MuggeGHQ
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Guys

Can you install the 3770 i7 (not 3770s) in the new iMac 27" 2012 i5 3.2Ghz model ?
I want to upgrade to SSD and from the standard i5 3.2Ghz to a i7 if possible.
If i remember right. Someone in here did install a 3770 i7 in the same iMac ?

let me know. I'm sure someone knows this for a fact.

Thanks
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