2010 21.5 iMac - worth a CPU upgrade?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by r6mile, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK

    My 2010 21.5 iMac currently comes with the stock i3 3.06Ghz, and I have read that it is possible to upgrade to an i5 3.6Ghz (i5-680, which was actually a BTO configuration for this model). I have found a few for about £60 on eBay. Is it worth the upgrade? I would only be able to re-sell the i3 for about £10.

    And how difficult is it? I consider myself fairly experienced, and have upgraded this iMac before but only to put in an SSD and extra RAM, but I don't want to take on something too difficult.


    PS: Is the GPU at all upgradeable? I have read conflicting reports on the internet.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Are you looking to upgrade it to resell it or just squeeze a little more life out of it? If you're looking to resell it, I think you're putting good money after bad, i.e., it won't be worth it.

    As for keeping it a bit longer then perhaps if you can find one cheap enough.

    Check out iFixit's tear down guide, to see how hard/easy it may be.
  3. r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    This is my personal desktop, which I plan to keep. It's already had a RAM and SSD upgrade, and feels pretty snappy already, but I was just curious about the CPU upgrade. It's not really used for anything demanding, just to browse the internet for me and some light gaming (Crusader Kings II), as well as an office computer for the missus who works from home. Maybe it's not really worth it after all...
  4. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I wouldn't bother to be honest, it will make basically no difference to light gaming or office tasks. It may help with video transcoding/editing if you do that, but otherwise.... risk vs. reward = not worth it IMHO.

    there's always the risk you're going to break something if you start pulling CPUs out, and given your usage pattern....
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Unless you can determine that you're CPU bound on your tasks I doubt that you will find much benefit. The SSD was the best upgrade you could make. What is your CPU utilization showing in Activity Monitor? I'll bet you rarely see over 20 or 30%.

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