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shakes21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 19, 2021
4
3
Hear me out, ha! Let's see how much can-do attitude we can muster here!

Recently acquired an old late 2006 24inch iMac - classic, gorgeous white shell style.

Naturally given it's age there's only so much that can be done with it - I got it rather cheap so am happy to use this as a sandbox-style project. But I'd LOVE to keep the exterior of this, there's just something so appealing about their classic style.

Question is - what's the credibility of gutting it of all/as many of it's components as possible and replacing them with the internals of a newer model iMac? Latest 24inch was the 2009... But perhaps the bits from a 21incher could work as it'd fit inside? I've not seen a project like this before (there's probably a reason for that!)

I'm guessing certain components wouldn't line up with ports/CD slot, but could they all be re-arranged? Are things soldered together too robustly?

I appreciate how easy it is to just say 'no' to it - I've done so a few times now! But with lockdown curiosity is getting the better of my spare time.
I put it to you fellow apple lovers, what about this could/couldn't work? Cheers!
 
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Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,562
423
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I only give you some questions, as I am also curious about this.

1. Different mouting holes on the logicboard => How can you keep it in place to ensure proper heat disspassion? (medium)
2. Different types of video signal cables => How can you send the signal from the logicboard to the LCD?

On the other hand, if you plan only to repurpose the 2006 iMac as a 24" monitor. It would be easy, as you just need to replace the whole logicboard and other stuff with an LCD driver board.

As the 2006 iMac use LVDS cable, it's possible to connect a thin ITX board like the Asus Q170T or H310T and make a Hacked iMac. It will be much more interesting that way.
 
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shakes21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 19, 2021
4
3
Excellent points/things to think about - cheers!

In terms of heat dispersion it may be easiest (which even then isn't too easy!) to use internals of a 21-inch model to maximise space. It probably wouldn't be beyond me not beyond fashioning brackets to hold bits in place...

Surely there must be cables/adapters/modifiable modules to scale the video signal from a 2012 iMac's video processor, even if it's to only meet minimum requirements of the LCD. Or perhaps the two are compatible anyway.

There's also the inputs such as USB, MiniDisplay, FireWire that my 2006 White iMac has that wouldn't be accounted for by putting new innards in from a newer model, but I guess it's as simple as rendering some of those ports unused.

It's my guess that only iMacs up to 2012 (the slightly more fat models, without tapered edges) will be best suited, I reckon the internals after then might've made too great a jump ahead for compatibility - what do you think?
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,562
423
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
From iMac Late 2009, Apple uses the eDP protocol to send video signals to LCD panel.
Better consider the 24in early 2009 model. It still uses LVDS protocol (30-pin or something)
Doesn't worth the challenge, anyway (my own opinion, though).
 

shakes21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 19, 2021
4
3
Nice, you know your stuff!
It looks like most of the guts of the 24inch early 2009 iMac is similar to the 2006.
Wonder how easy it is to transfer most innards from 2009 to 2006. LCD would connect as we've seen. Ports are identical, as is disk drive. Internal positioning might be different so there might be a bit of a game of Tetris to play, but that's the challenge, right?
Appreciate your input!
 
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shakes21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 19, 2021
4
3
Scratch some of that, '09 has 4 USB instead of 3, and a MiniDisplay instead of MiniDVI.
Still, just a case of not connecting those surplus bits up!
I'd found a very useful comparison
https://everymac.com/ultimate-mac-c...tel019&prod2=iMacIntel008&prod3=XserveRAID002
which breaks it all down really well. Some technical bits are different but I've no idea if they'd affect the transition.
If everything in the '09 is literally transferred over to a gutted '06, in my head that makes sense but I know there's complications bound to come up somewhere... Hopefully nothing is soldered to the inner body..
Going to watch some 'take apart' videos of both models now and some installation videos to get a better look at the innards!
 
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