Upgrade iMac Intel Core i3 CPU to Core i7
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Upgraded my mid 2010 27 inch Apple iMac from a Core i3 3.2GHz (Dual core) upgraded to Core i7 2.93GHz (Quad core) processor.
- Author: EnglandGreen
- Time required: 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Difficulty: Moderate
Upgrade mid 2010 27 inch Apple iMac from a Core i3 3.2GHz (Dual core) to Core i7 2.93GHz (Quad core) processor.
I used this guide for disassembly and reassembly.
Also added a 3TB SATA drive and 32Gb of RAM to max out this system under Lion 10.7
- Update : Removed the 3Tb SATA drive and replaced with 512Gb SSD and upgraded to Mountain Lion 10.8
- If you upgrade or change the HD, you will need to buy HDDFanControl software to control the HDD fan which will run at full speed otherwise.
- April 2013 - 1 year later : This system has been absolutely ROCK SOLID with no crashes, no kernel panics and no freezes!
- February 2014 Update : now running OS X 10.9 Mavericks successfully with zero issues. System continues to be very fast - but is starting to show its age compared to Ivy Bridge and Haswell architectures!
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Remove HD, Superdrive and motherboard. Follow the excellent iFixit guides to remove these items.
To remove motherboard (a little tricky), I followed this excellent guide - http://www.btobey.com/learn/imac-ssd-ins...
Not mentioned in the guide is that you have to remove the IR sitting in back of the front Apple logo before you can remove the motherboard.
Goodbye Core i3 and hello Core i7.
Note arrow on CPU (bottom left in picture). New CPU must be installed in the same orientation.
Apply Arctic Silver thermal compound with finger covered in plastic. Spread evenly on CPU only. Guide is here - Applying Thermal Paste
Reverse to reassemble. Enjoy the new speed demon!