iMac 5K - Upgrading the CPU/SSD/RAM (with Pictures)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by npgatech, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. npgatech macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #1
    Hi all,

    Just wanted to share my experience with upgrading the CPU on the newest iMac 5K. I also upgraded the "Fusion Drive" to a standard 256GB SSD. I unfused it and I left the 128GB Fusion Drive SSD on the board.

    Stock CPU: i5-4690
    Upgraded CPU: i7-4790K

    Stock HD: 1TB Seagate + 128GB PCI-E SSD
    Upgraded: 256GB Samsung EVO Pro + Stock 128 GB PCI-E SSD

    RAM: 8GB Stock
    Upgraded: 8GB Stock + 16GB Crucial RAM = 24GB Total.

    I've also attached the performance figures using GeekBench. If you're up for a challenge and not afraid of damaging your iMac, go for the upgrade. It is surprisingly easy once you know how to take the LCD off of the main frame. That is a pain because Apple uses adhesive strips. More details on the iFixit guide which is what I used to upgrade.

    Overall, it is not too difficult. Be careful and don't bend the LGA1150 socket pins but even that could be fixed (with a lot of pain).

    Cheers lads and happy holidays!

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  2. powerslave65 macrumors 6502

    powerslave65

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks CA
    #2
    That's pretty a pretty nice upgrade.

    I am sure it was fun having hot rodded several iMacs myself.
    Were you able to beat the price of the same CPU installed by Apple doing it yourself?
     
  3. npgatech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #3
    Thanks :). Apple does not provide a service to upgrade the CPU. As far as the price is concerned, I can't officially comment which company I work for but let's just say I can get the CPU for 50% of the price :) Total cost was $140 RAM and $170 CPU. I already had a SSD lying around. I sold the stock CPU on fleabay for $180.
     
  4. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #4
    Looks like the answer you were looking for was yes, by $80 ;)

    PS. This is impressive/brave stuff!
     
  5. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
    Very nice. Can you comment on CPU/GPU temps after re-thermal paste-ing?
     
  6. powerslave65 macrumors 6502

    powerslave65

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks CA
    #6
    Thanks for the pricing break down and again nicely done. I may attempt that a year or so from now with my late model 2013 iMac.
     
  7. npgatech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #7

    Sure. Max temp on the core was around 85C I believe. Here is a screenshot of TGPro temp monitor (amazing app, highly recommend it. $7.50 for temp monitor + fan controller).

    Thermal paste used was no-nonsense TIM called "Arctic Silver 5". You cant go wrong with that stuff.

    Temps during stress test:
    [​IMG]

    Idle Temps:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    Thank you for that info. I see you have the 290. Maybe someone in this thread can compare those temps to an untouched 290 of theirs.
     
  9. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #9
    Sir, you are a mad man! I did not think this could be done! Awesome! And it proves my theory that a hundred BILLION dollar company has NO IDEA WHATSOEVER on how to cope with a $7 dollar tube of CPU paste :)

    I hope and trust that you were more sparing with it :)

    Thanks for the photos!

    Now where did I put that hammer and chisel? I'll get that monitor off!

    Rock on.
     
  10. ikariwths macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    #10
    2 questions ,first i wonder if it is possible to upgrade the cpu of late 2013 imac 27.and also i remember from the past that it was better to upgrade the ram with the same size rams from the same manufacturer ,because it was possible not to work as dual channel ddr ,but as single channel.what about your configuration?
     
  11. npgatech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #11
    Haha, thanks man. In most big companies like this, every single cent is questioned in the bill of materials. LGA1150 socket is probably cheaper and Apple probably negotiated a good price on the Lan Grid Array (LGA) CPU - the combination of both would have a better return on investment than using a BGA part and reflowing. Ball Grid Array (BGA) CPU would make it harder to replace. Typically, BGAs are used when there is a need to make it slimmer (Macbooks use BGA CPUs). In an iMac, there is no need for a slimmer CPU as other parts are the bottleneck of the overall thickness of the iMac.



    CPU should be upgradeable. I would check iFixit guides and see if they have a guide for your particular model.

    I am not sure about the RAM. I do have 2 different brands in there but it all works normally. You are probably right in that it needs to be a matched pair.
     
  12. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    Dec 24, 2007
  13. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    #13
    i remember with my mbps 17, and old iMac i had no issues to make such mods - but with the new 'glued' iMac, i would have fierce hesitance to open these badboys up.
     
  14. odedia macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    #14
    It's great to know the CPU is upgradable. I got the max i7 but I guess it opens options in the future :).
     
  15. ctbaz macrumors member

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    Aug 20, 2014
    #15
    intel
     
  16. moussar macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2014
    #16
    Would the upcoming Broadwell cpu be supported? That would be worth the effort for me.
     
  17. npgatech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2012
    #17
    3 things are a minimum requirement for being able to use Broadwell CPU:

    - Socket LGA 1150
    - Same Chipset
    - Equal or less TDP Power

    Broadwell, I believe will have all 3 features common with Haswell. So, you should be able to upgrade when Broadwell CPUs come out next year.
     
  18. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
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    Northeast
    #18
    Hmmm, I think I sense a pretty good business opportunity if the Broadwell actually is compatible :) Especially for folks like me with the i5 currently.
     
  19. UniDoubleU macrumors regular

    UniDoubleU

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    Aug 14, 2014
    Location:
    Thailand
    #19
    Did you create a Fusion drive out of the Blade SSD 128GB + 2.5 SSD 256GB combo? I really want to know about the speed and day-to-day operations as I'm planning to do that when 2TB 2.5 SSDs are out.
     
  20. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #20
    Might want to read the third sentence of the original post.
     
  21. UniDoubleU macrumors regular

    UniDoubleU

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    Aug 14, 2014
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    Thailand
    #21
    He unfused the original Fusion partition. Switched the 3.5 HDD to a 2.5 SSD. And he didn't upgrade the Blade SSD. Still unclear to me about his current setup. Like is he using separate drives or other setups.
     
  22. WinstonRumfoord macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    #22
    Legit question. I was wondering the same thing.

    Op, bravo on the upgrade!!
     
  23. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 10, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #23
    Congrats on the successful surgery! Also no wonder the upgraded retina iMacs are burning up that original thermal paste application looks horrible.
     
  24. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #24
    I believe that this simple thing is responsible for an absurd amount of Apple's heat issues in general.

    If I were rich I would pay the OP to take my RiMac apart and fix the thermal paste :)

    Super high quality paste properly applied is the only way to go. And throw a Broadwell in while he has it apart anyways :)
     
  25. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
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    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #25
    I read it as:

    He removed the 3.5" HDD and replaced it with a 2.5" SSD.

    Then he then "unfused" it removing the logical volume group in diskutil.

    After unfusing the factory drives he left the factory 128GB SSD installed.

    Because he has the new 2.5" SSD and the factory 128GB SSD installed and he did not say that he created a fusion drive out of the two new SSD drives it will show up as two separate drives.​

    Aside from having a single drive it would be pointless and cause unneeded wear on both SSDs by creating a fusion drive out of them. I have never even seen someone create a Fusion drive using two or more SSDs so I don't know if that is even possible. Certainly it is not recommended.
     

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