Model A1311 / Mid 2010 / 3.06 & 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 3.6 GHz Core i5 Processor

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Can I replace the CPU with a faster one?

I have a 2010 iMac 21.5 inch running a 3.6GHz dual core i5 processor (i5-680). I would like to know if it's possible to replace this i5 chip with the top-spec i7 chip from the latest 2012 iMac (the i7 3770s, 3.1GHz quad core).

I have checked the specs of these processors on the Intel site and the i7 has lower power consumption than the i5 currently in my iMac and uses the same socket, so I assume it will work in the old 2010 model (I read on another iFixit post that you cannot use a CPU with higher power consumption) but I would appreciate if anyone could tell me if there are any other potential problems I might run into.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Thank you both for your answers, but actually Paul if you check the Intel site it states that both processors have exactly the same socket type, the FCLGA1155:

http://ark.intel.com/products/48504/Inte...

http://ark.intel.com/products/65524

Is there anyone with experience in this area who might be willing to help out? Any advice much appreciated.

Tom

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The i5-680 Processor uses an 'LGA 1156' socket.

The i7-3770s uses an '1155' socket.

So i am sorry, but no you can't replace your CPU with any i5 or i7 from 2011 and 2012 macs.

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IF the processor is one sold/installed/supported by Apple then OK IF not while it may boot, any EFI updates would not install which could cause problems with other software updates.

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You could try an i7 on a 1156 socket, like the i7-870 (http://ark.intel.com/products/41315/Inte...)

But this CPU was originally only available in the 27" iMac.

This processor also has a higher TDP of 95 watt. Your i5 uses max 73 Watt.

Using the i7 in your 21.5" might be problematic concerning the heat dissipation.

There are a lot of 45 W or lower i7 CPU's, but i think they are much slower then the i5 you have now.

The other bunch of i7s is 82 W or higher, which may cause problems in your iMac. Even the 82 W i7-860S is slower than your i5.

I think if you want a faster system...you need to buy a new iMac.

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I would not be as worried about heat as much as the system being able to power it. the mobo and PSU may not be designed for more than 73W. I do not know what it was designed for. 20W of pure hear is not that much, a 60W bulb gives off more heat than that, so I don't see how heat is of concern.

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If it uses the same socket, then yes. I do not know what socket each uses, but if you found out you are probably right.

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Hi Tom,

That website (ark.intel.com) is indeed the correct site where this information can be found.

But when i look at both links I see one of them using the 1156 socket(i5-680) and the other the 1155 (i7-3770s) socket.

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Oh whoops, I totally misread that!! I apologise, your initial answer was correct in that case, thanks. Darn it, I had really hoped the newer processors would be compatible :(

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Tom Edkins will be eternally grateful.
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