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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2018
I have a late 2009 Imac lying around gathering dust ... I had decided to upgrade it, so I upgraded the ram to 16gb and put in a 512gb ssd- now I want to go further. I know that it has a core 2 duo, but would I be able to put in an i7? And if not, what it the best processor I could put in? I know that the only difference between 2009 and 2012 IMacs is the software, so if I could upgrade the software, could I put in a 2012 processor?


macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2014
I have found the specs on the processor of the 2009 iMacs (E7600). And if you need to upgrade the processor, these are the specs the processor have to match.
Socket: LGA775 (Can't find any store here in Denmark that still sells them, so you might need to search for used ones)
Frontside bus (FSB): 1066 MHz
TDP (Thermal Design Power, or max possible power consumption): Can't get over 65 watts.

As far as I can find, all of Intels Core ix series are ruled out, they all operate on different sockets. And going just one Core 2 Duo series up (E8 series) changes the FSB, which could spell problems.
I would say that computer has the fastest possible processor.

Guy Clark

Nov 28, 2013
London United Kingdom.
An i7 CPU would not be compatible however I have successfully upgraded the CPU on a 2009 iMac from an Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06GHz to 3.33GHz however it should be noted the performance gain was minimal.
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macrumors 604
Sep 29, 2009
Most consumer PCs' CPU is practically not upgradeable unless you also change your motherboard and RAM with it. Intel always changes the socket or other requirements and make CPU upgrade a non-starter.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2018
Middletown, DE
If what your machine came with from the factory was a Core2Duo CPU, then the farthest you can go is the 3.33ghz version. Core2Duo only.
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