21.5 mid2011 iMac CPU Upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rodrigoluizb, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. rodrigoluizb macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2013
    Campinas, SP, Brazil
    Hey guys

    On the next few days i'll be taking my 21.5 mid2011 iMac to tech support to perform a SSD installation. As i'm paying for the installation, i'm thinking to include a CPU upgrade for my Mac.

    My iMac has a I5-2500S, 2.7GHz and i would like to upgrade to a I7, so i can enjoy the benefits of Hyper Treading. I was thinking to upgrade to a Sandy Bridge I7-2600 or even a 2700k (i know i won't be able to overclock it, but the 2700 has a higher clock than the 2600).

    My other option is upgrade to a Ivy Bridge processor, as the I7-3770, but i read some threads about people who did a successful upgrade to this I7 and who didn't.

    Facing this facts i have some questions:

    1. The I7-2600 and the I7-2700k TDPs are higher than the stock I5-2500S TDP. This is a huge problem or it would work flawlessly? (From intel website, the other option to upgrade could be a I7-2600S, which has the same TDP of the 2500S)

    2. About the Ivy Bridge upgrade: i read about one guy who did the upgrade and had success, but a lot of other guys who did this upgrade and failed. Any other guys who did this upgrade had success?

    3. About all this CPU upgrade, i read about that the CPU upgrade works without a problem in OSX Lion, but in Mountain Lion don't, but i didn't find any consistent information about mavericks. Anybody who performed the CPU upgrade and has Mavericks running on their machines are having any problems?
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    The I7-2600S is what Apple provided as an option for the Mid 2011 21.5" iMacs. Anything with a higher TDP could cause heat issues.
  3. andycho7 macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2013
    I think I've been reading the same page that you found for number 2. No disrespect to him or anything, but I don't think it's true. Unless he can provide me with hard proofs/facts or something. Even if it did work for older version of OS X, I wouldn't be surprised if Mavericks start having issue or does not work at all.

    To your question number 1, I believe the CPU that are compatible are only the ones that Apple uses. I wouldn't waste money trying adventurous stuff to see whether if it works or not. Play safe and just go with the upgradable option model(i7-2600s). Unless you happen to have lots of CPUs sitting around your house.

    Though I want to say, if it's really worth paying that much for the new CPU and go with slight increase of performance. To some people it matters but IMHO modern day CPUs are plenty fast and those flagship professors aren't really a necessity to lot of people unless you're that person who needs every bit of computing power for your everyday tasks/other stuff you do. In the end of the day, the ultimate choice is up to you.

    Bottom line: if you want to upgrade, i7-2600s or save money by not to, is my suggestion.
  4. buihh macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2014
    funny... I just upgraded today from 2400s to 2600s... it works flawless! my geek bench was 7200 and jumps to 11200 now.
  5. rodrigoluizb thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2013
    Campinas, SP, Brazil
    Where did you buy the CPU? Amazon? Ebay? The 2600S i can't find new ones, only used.
  6. buihh macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2014
    I just bought an used one on Ebay. True it is not possible to find new one and I think it gonna be worse as it is not in production anymore.

    Do not use 2600. I read somewhere that someone tried and fried his motherboard.
  7. drtome macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2013
    21.5 mid2011 iMac CPU Upgrade

    I also upgraded my 21.5" mid 2011 iMac from 2400s to 2600s and replaced the internal HDD with a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB using the installation videos and guides from ifixit and OWC. It took around 4 hours and made me sweat a lot. Finally it saved me around 200 Euros installation costs from a local apple dealer. Do I experience a speed improvement in daily ops like email, web browsing, simple photo editing? Not really. Before I used a Seagate TB connector for a Samsung 830 128 GB. Boot times are quite similar.
    This upgrade was not "necessary" but a lot of fun. :)
    If you want to pursue the CPU upgrade look for bestsource003, a seller on ebay located in HK. He offers 2600s CPUs for 224 Euros. Shipping costs are 16 Euros. Good luck!
  8. Rafael Fischer macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2011
    Hi Rodrigo!

    I'm from Brazil too (Porto Alegre!) and i am in the same quest to upgrade my 2011 21.5 i5-2400s iMac, since the price of the new iMac are staggering high in our country :-(

    Have you made some progress on it? I already installed a 180Gb SSD using a homemade data power cable from the HDD power cable and set-up a DIY Fusiond Drive, my last gola is to change the CPU, but, i only found the i7-2600 (3,4Ghz), i'm affraid of the increase in TPD and if the Power Supply will handle the new power demand...

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