Upgrading iMac 21.5" from i3 to i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Onza, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Onza macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    The title basically says it all. It's an Intel Core i3 @ 3.06GHz. (Full Specs)

    So tell me - is it possible? Is it recommended? What's the pro's and con's? Your opinion? Fill me in!

    Oh, the only difference is the RAM. I upgraded from 4GB to 8GB.
  2. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    You mean you want to buy the chip and replace it?

    not possible.

    is there something you would like to gain moving to an i7? what are you doing now that bogging down your i3 so bad that its not enough power. an i7 wont help your gaming experience, for example.

    Your best bet is to sell it and then buy a new i7.
  3. Onza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    I was just wondering if it'd be possible. I render a lot of high-def videos on AE and stuff on Cinema 4D and 3DS Max.
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Sorry can't do it, if you want an i7 you will have to replace the current machine.
  5. jblaschk macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2011
  6. Tech Elementz macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2011
    Seems like your best upgrade was the RAM. If you want a better processor, then buy a new machine. You should have gotten an i7 before hand... When did you get your iMac?
  7. jblaschk macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2011
    You should be able to upgrade to an i5-680 since it is also clarkdale arch. and was used in 2010 iMac so bios should not be a problem.

    I recently successfully upgraded a 2010 iMac i5-760 to i7-870 using the web site as a guide:


    I must caution you however that this type of cpu upgrade is not for the faint of heart. I was super careful and took my time and went very smooth thanks to the help of that site. I am very experienced at PC hardware upgrades but since this was my first mac upgrade of any kind it was a bit more of a challenge.

    I would say if you like a challenge and are pretty experienced at this kind of stuff, and take your time and are careful, and your apple care is expired already, then go for it. But if you are not at all experienced at doing hardware/cpu upgrades, *don't do it* - you might end up with a iMac brick.

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