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amazzi44

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2021
16
2
Hi all,
this is my first post.
I own a 21.5" mid-2010 iMac mounting a 3,06 GHz Intel Core i3-540 CPU and a very bad ATI Radeon HD 4670 256 MB. Since it is still running well, and I would like to upgrate its CPU to an i5-680 and its GPU to Nvidia Quadro K2000M (MXM-A), but I have some concerns:
- I have read that the GPU upgrade may be very tricky, I found a K2000M at a reasonable price that is advertised as "Mid/Late 2011" compatible and fitting to HD 4670 replacement. Will it need VBIOS flashing? I would like to avoid this kind of procedure if possible, even chosing a different GPU; but, if it is both necessary and doable, I'm ready to do it.
- Would my power supply stand both the new components?
Any opinion or suggestion will be very useful.
Thank you in advance!
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2020
2,893
949
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
1. For CPU, I would try to find a core i7-860s (TDP=82W) rather than core i5-680, unless I can get the core i5-680 for free.
2. For GPU, I would try to find a cheap K1100m or K2100m, or better yet, stay with what is working, the HD4670m
3. The power suply will survive both the CPU and GPU you are thinking to upgrade.
4. You'd need to inquire the GPU seller about vBIOS flashing. If you don't want to do the flashing, send the vBIOS file over to the seller and ask them to flash it for you before packing/shipping.

Still trying to figure it out what is your purpose to upgrade your iMac.
 
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amazzi44

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2021
16
2
Thank you for your reply!
My purpose is not very specific: this iMac is my daily driver and I mainly do Internet with lot of YouTube, few low-end video editing, 2D graphics with heavy PDF elaborations, and intense Minecraft MP sessions. Right now it can handle these tasks, but I would like to extend its lifespan as much as possible, and try to get the best user experience from it with the mininum expense. I know the machine is quite old so I don't feel like spending too much money on it.
A couple years ago I upgraded my HDD to SSD and doubled the RAM and I am very happy with the result.
Last week I found a deal for an i5-680 for <20EUR so I took it: I didn't know that my iMac would handle an i7 as well since Apple was not mounting it on stock 21.5" models, but that's OK because I can see they sell i7-860s for around 60EUR that would be too much.
Said that, then I thought it would be a nice occasion to upgrade my GPU as well, so that would give me the occasion of upgrading further than High Sierra: I don't strictly need it but maybe in the future I will.
I think a cheap K1100m should be my right choice, but I can't find anything below 80EUR: do you think is worth?
Sorry for being so prolix, but this also helps me to rationalize.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2020
2,893
949
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Thank you for your reply!
My purpose is not very specific: this iMac is my daily driver and I mainly do Internet with lot of YouTube, few low-end video editing, 2D graphics with heavy PDF elaborations, and intense Minecraft MP sessions. Right now it can handle these tasks, but I would like to extend its lifespan as much as possible, and try to get the best user experience from it with the mininum expense. I know the machine is quite old so I don't feel like spending too much money on it.
A couple years ago I upgraded my HDD to SSD and doubled the RAM and I am very happy with the result.
Last week I found a deal for an i5-680 for <20EUR so I took it: I didn't know that my iMac would handle an i7 as well since Apple was not mounting it on stock 21.5" models, but that's OK because I can see they sell i7-860s for around 60EUR that would be too much.
Said that, then I thought it would be a nice occasion to upgrade my GPU as well, so that would give me the occasion of upgrading further than High Sierra: I don't strictly need it but maybe in the future I will.
I think a cheap K1100m should be my right choice, but I can't find anything below 80EUR: do you think is worth?
Sorry for being so prolix, but this also helps me to rationalize.

You seem to do a lot of things on your iMac, so I guess it's worth upgrading, and you can spare the stock GPU/CPU just in case. You just need to be patient and search harder to get more reasonable price. Check the below link, they won't last long.

1. CPU
The core i7-860s will give you 4 real cores & 8 thread, but at lower clock speed than core i5-680. So you decide it.
Cost about 40$ if you can find the right seller (they are all from China)

2. K2100m is slightly more expensive than K1100m, but will give you much better gain in performance. My K1100m was bought from a gamer who upgraded to K2100m on his laptop. 80$ shipped from the US.


And if you have the budget, rise your antenna to look for a 27" iMac 2010-2011 for sale in your neighborhood. If the LCD is still bright and shining, you have the chance to upgrade to a much bigger screen with little money.
 
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amazzi44

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2021
16
2
Thank you very much for your help, I'll both do the upgrade and look for a 27"!
 

TigerA

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2013
407
323
I've upgraded a mid-2010 iMac 21.5" from i3-540 to Xeon L3426. It runs well and show all 8 logic cores working under Win10. But it still only show 2 cores under macOS (Activity Monitor), even though the system recognise the Xeon CPU correctly. Just wonder if I've missed something?
Geekbench-5 score for Xeon L3426: single-core: 524, multi-core: 1462 running Big Sur 11.6.2
 

Tomzinhu Mattos

macrumors newbie
May 24, 2022
2
0
Atualizei um iMac 21,5" de meados de 2010 de i3-540 para Xeon L3426. Ele funciona bem e mostra todos os 8 núcleos lógicos funcionando no Win10. Mas ainda mostra apenas 2 núcleos no macOS (Activity Monitor), mesmo que o sistema reconhecer corretamente a CPU Xeon. Gostaria de saber se eu perdi alguma coisa?
Pontuação Geekbench-5 para Xeon L3426: single-core: 524, multi-core: 1462 rodando Big Sur 11.6.2
estou com o mesmo problema
nao reconhece os 4 nucleos e tambem nao reconhece 4 memorias de 8gb, reconhece apenas 2 pentes
 
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