Upgrading Processor in 21.5" iMac (Late 2009)

hollin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2011
8
0
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.
 
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hollin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2011
8
0
Apple is not going to upgrade the processor for you; they will tell you to buy a new machine.
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.
 

hollin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2011
8
0
Still hoping for confirmation these processors will work in my iMac.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
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.
 

Puevlo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2011
633
1
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.
Yes but you can use sulfuric acid to melt the epoxy and then install the CPU of your choice.
 

aliensporebomb

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2005
1,826
205
Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
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.
 

iphonelover~

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2010
8
0
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.
 

BernardPhoto

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2012
13
0
Clearwater
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.




Last I checked, there was no human alive capable of soldering 775 pins 1/16" apart.
 

lixuelai

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
796
51
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.
 

dld2517

macrumors newbie
Jul 10, 2019
1
0
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.
I know this is an old thread but what I am interested in finding out is if the form factor of the logic board is the same between the 21.5" and 27" models. The 27" came with either the C2D or i5/i7 Quad. The 21.5" only came with the C2D option. I have sourced a Logic Board that includes the i7 Quad 2.8GHz processor but I am trying to find out if they should be compatible.
 

Zdigital2015

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2015
1,684
1,737
East Coast, United States
I know this is an old thread but what I am interested in finding out is if the form factor of the logic board is the same between the 21.5" and 27" models. The 27" came with either the C2D or i5/i7 Quad. The 21.5" only came with the C2D option. I have sourced a Logic Board that includes the i7 Quad 2.8GHz processor but I am trying to find out if they should be compatible.
The motherboards are physically different in size and structure, which will interfere with the other components packed in the chassis as that was a tight fit, especially the 21.5”. I would also think the heat generated by the i7 would be more than the smaller chassis could handle, not to mention the 10 year old PSU. Long story, short - you aren’t shoehorning a 27” mobo into a 21.5” chassis.