Upgrading Processor in 21.5" iMac (Late 2009)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hollin, May 15, 2012.

  1. hollin, May 15, 2012
    Last edited: May 15, 2012

    hollin macrumors newbie

    hollin

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I have found my computer's processor speed (3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) to be a severe limiting factor for my recreational use, specifically recording high quality video.

    I am interested in replacing my current processor with a new one. Here are the requirements that I have found:

    • Aluminum iMac (not the white one)
    • New processor with same or smaller TDP (my iMac is 65 watts)
    • New processor is socket-compatible

    Is all this information correct? If so, does that mean that any of the processors shown here would work? I would love to upgrade to this i7 Quad-Core. Or would it being Ivy Bridge cause problems? If so, I would still be very content with the Sandy Bridge one.

    Aside from the warranty,* what potential drawbacks are there?

    I have personally upgrade my RAM and opened up my computer to explore its inner workings, but I would take the computer to an authorized Apple reseller to officially do the upgrade on the processor.

    * I am not concerned about voiding the warranty.
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    Apple is not going to upgrade the processor for you; they will tell you to buy a new machine.
     
  3. hollin thread starter macrumors newbie

    hollin

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    #3
    I don't expect Apple to upgrade my computer for me. Their authorized resellers, however, will perform many tasks that the geniuses at the Apple Stores are not permitted to do.
     
  4. hollin thread starter macrumors newbie

    hollin

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    #4
    Still hoping for confirmation these processors will work in my iMac.
     
  5. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    Can't put any i3/5/7 in a C2D motherboard.

    Sell your old iMac and buy a new i7, they generally hold their resale value quite well.
     
  6. Whargoul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    Denver
    #6
    Core2 Quad is the only possible upgrade, and they are extremely expensive.
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    At some point, Apple bastards began epoxying cpus so that people cannot do what you're trying to do. I don't know if yours is one of those, though.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    The late 2009 27" model had Core iX CPUs as an upgrade option. Don't know if a 21" will work with one. Current iMac's CPUs are still upgradable. It was the early Mac Mini that Apple started gluing the CPU to the board with.
     
  9. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #9
    Yes but you can use sulfuric acid to melt the epoxy and then install the CPU of your choice.
     
  10. Whargoul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    Denver
    #10
    Last I checked, there was no human alive capable of soldering 775 pins 1/16" apart.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #11
    There was this one guy who did upgrade the CPU on his CoreDuo Macbook to a Core2Duo.
     
  12. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #12
    Sigh

    The thing is, Intel purposely makes their successive designs different in terms of form factor. There is no way you can solder a Core i3/i5/i7 chip to a Core2duo motherboard. Even if you could they were not designed to work together. The motherboards for the Corei7 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation for example are different and have different pin structures.

    Just replace that Mac with a new Corei7 quadcore and you'll be ready to rock with video. Make sure opt for the video card with 2 gigs of ram too.
     
  13. iphonelover~ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #13
    I can confirm that the early 2009 iMac works with the quad-core Core 2 Extreme, but the early 2009 only uses mobile variants that are compatible with socket P.

    The late 2009 (Core 2 Duo) iMac uses low-power desktop varriants of the Core 2 Duo in socket 775. Although a Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S should work (being within the power specifications, fsb frequency, and socket), it is somewhat questionable because of the chipset.

    The late 2009 iMacs use a special variant of the Nvidia Geforce 9400M chipset. Although it normally works with the Core 2 Quad Mobile, it is questionable if it can do the same for a desktop Core 2 Quad.
     
  14. BernardPhoto macrumors newbie

    BernardPhoto

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    Clearwater
    #14
    I can solder those pins no problem. I have mini t-rex arms that allow me to solder at microns of an inch. I'll use my x-ray vision to check the integrity of the solder joints too.




     
  15. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #15
    Like people have said already it is impossible to upgrade to an i series processor as the socket is different. Your iMac use LGA775 socket. It is possible that a Core 2 Quad can work.
     

Share This Page