Intel iMac CPU Swappable?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Xlr8yourmac provides a reader report on a recent article in MacFan magazine (Japanese). According to the report, the Intel iMac Core Duo CPU is mounted in the standard Intel socket, making it replaceable. As a test, a 1.83GHz iMac's CPU was swapped out for a 2GHz one:

However, the author is not sure that it will run completely normally with an upgraded CPU. The author purchased a 2GHz T2500 from a PC shop and installed it in the socket of a 17" iMac and it booted OK. There seemed to be no problems and the About this Mac pane reported a 2GHz duo chip.
The cost of such a minor upgrade ($480 for a 2GHz chip) doesn't make sense at this time but does offer more of a upgrade path than previously available on the iMac.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,091
21
UK
all pentium m notebooks that i have peaked inside have sockets, it'd be sweet if you could buy an ibook/mini and upgrade it with a T2500 or something.
 

The Red Wolf

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2004
221
0
Occi Dens Pacifica
Pity...

Seems a good idea. But opening the G5 iMac as well as the iMac Duo is a level 3 task. They're not designed to be user friendly. Save for the "Hay if you can install ram and have a screwdriver, go for it!" slot on the bottom of the machine. The previous generation G5 iMac was quite lovely. The newer version is a bit of a hassle. The iMac Duo is hideous Intel Northbridge/Southbridge madness all shoved in and snapped inside the beautiful case.

Am I happy it's upgradable? Sure. Do I want to? No. And what happens when you install a chip with onboard memory rather than memory on the mainboard?

Le sigh.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,265
76
Hector said:
all pentium m notebooks that i have peaked inside have sockets, it'd be sweet if you could buy an ibook/mini and upgrade it with a T2500 or something.
You couldn't. The version of the Yonah used in the iMac is higher voltage than the one in the MacBook Pro. Even if/when higher performance low voltage chips come out, I'm not sure I'd want to mess with the thermal management in the MacBook Pro.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,091
21
UK
Chaszmyr said:
You couldn't. The version of the Yonah used in the iMac is higher voltage than the one in the MacBook Pro. Even if/when higher performance low voltage chips come out, I'm not sure I'd want to mess with the thermal management in the MacBook Pro.
no both are T designated chips, if the ibook and mini use L designated chips you could still update them to L2400's
 

Detlev

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2003
507
0
Let the real rumors begin. Some companies do things like that as a strategic move. First, who thinks it's real? Second, who thinks it's a good move?
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,557
2
New Jersey
This is pretty cool for Mac users to hear. We have always been pretty limited when it comes to swapping CPUs. This may not have been a big swap, but it's a start.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
404
This is great- we can upgrade an iMac for as long as Intel uses that socket.

Somehow, some way, somebody will rate this negative, however.
 

Multimedia

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
5,213
0
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
I wonder about heat

Thinking maybe when you put one in that's too fast - IE HOT for the slower cooling system, perhaps it will fry intself? :confused: But maybe not as the processors may have "auto shut or slow down before frying myself" firmware built in. Anyone know?
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,032
886
Canada
What I want is a swappable GPU/VRAM option for all computers. Isn't there some mini-PCI standard for videocards in laptops? Something invented by AMD?

AMD? Oh wait, they're not Intel... Never mind. :rolleyes:
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,386
130
Purcellville, VA
Sounds great. But I'd be a bit concerned about cooling issues. A faster chip means more heat. At the least, the fans would spin faster. In the worst case, you may get overhating and instability.

The 20" model, although with a faster processor, also has more room for airflow than a 17" model.

It will be interesting to see how these upgraded iMacs do after a few months of heavy use.
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,386
130
Purcellville, VA
GFLPraxis said:
This is great- we can upgrade an iMac for as long as Intel uses that socket.
Of course, Intel is known for periodically changing sockets, even when it's not technically necessary. So this may not be the upgrade-path panacea you think.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
Cool!

I doubt you'll ever see official Apple support for an upgraded Mac, but you wouldn't need to do it during your warranty anyway.

And I think that any sales Apple loses this way (few: your everyday person doesn't DO CPU upgrades) will be minimal in the face of the coming surge in sales anyway.
 

Glen Quagmire

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
512
0
UK
Multimedia said:
Thinking maybe when you put one in that's too fast for the slower cooling system, perhaps it will fry intself? :confused:
Well, it's still a laptop chip, so it won't put out that much more heat. If Apple have built the thing properly, the iMac will have temperature sensitive fans to preclude this from being an issue.
 

t^3

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2001
177
0
shamino said:
Of course, Intel is known for periodically changing sockets, even when it's not technically necessary. So this may not be the upgrade-path panacea you think.
Yes, and also periodically requiring new chipsets or motherboard support for newer processors, even with the same sockets.
 

neonart

macrumors 65816
Sep 4, 2002
1,065
30
Near a Mac since 1993.
This is really great news!

The Red Wolf said:
Seems a good idea. But opening the G5 iMac as well as the iMac Duo is a level 3 task. They're not designed to be user friendly. Save for the "Hay if you can install ram and have a screwdriver, go for it!" slot on the bottom of the machine. The previous generation G5 iMac was quite lovely. The newer version is a bit of a hassle. The iMac Duo is hideous Intel Northbridge/Southbridge madness all shoved in and snapped inside the beautiful case.

Am I happy it's upgradable? Sure. Do I want to? No. And what happens when you install a chip with onboard memory rather than memory on the mainboard?

Le sigh.
I totally understand Red Wolf here, but I think it's still great news. This means that for those of us who don't care how hard it is to open a machine, now it's actually doable.
I have 3 iMac 400's at my shop that would benefit from a speed bump for their basic tasks, but it's just not possible. If a processor upgrade was available I'd do it in a heartbeat. Same for my Powerbook and iBook.
Up to now only the G4 & G3 towers and old beige macs are upgradeable. Even at the relatively higher cost of those upgrades, they've allowed many to keep their G4's for half a decade running very well.
Once these chips make it to newegg.com, zipzoomfly.com, outpost.com, Fry's, Microcenter, etc., it's going to be more affordable (and yes easier) than ever to upgrade iMacs (and MacBooks I assume). Hopefully the rest of the Apple line goes this way!

And hopefully for others who feel like Red Wolf Apple makes the case designs a little easier to get into.

BTW, what if the new Mini's can be upgraded from a Core Solos to a Core Duos. Does anyone know if this is even a possibility?
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,523
2,558
Sod off
This might signal the beginning of the end of the specialist Mac CPU upgrade vendors like PowerLogix, Daystar, Sonnet and OWC...

But I'm not necessarily weeping. The thought of being able to upgrade my CPU with a selection of off-the-shelf processors is pretty exciting.
 

asphalt-proof

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2003
584
0
Magrathea
The real advantage to this will be seen in a couple of years. When the first Macintel's get old and their AppleCare warranty is done. Pop in a new processor and you have a new machine!! Now if only the GPU were upgradeable. Seriously this is great news for people who like to keep ahold of their machines. Also, this could have the effect of lowering the prices of new macs. Why upgrade to a whole new machine every two or three years when you can pop in a $200 or so new CPU? Apple may need to lower prices of their machines in order to make it attractive to upgrade. Just my .02$
 

TheMasin9

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2004
585
0
Huber Heights, OH
hummm

this is interesting, but i will have to see more proof that this is actually feasable, one user report is not entirely a stable basis of conclusion for me....