Model A1312 / Mid 2010 / 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 2.8 & 3.6 GHz Core i5 or 2.93 GHz Core i7, ID iMac11,3

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Replacing Intel Core i3 550 with i7 860 iMac mid 2010


Is it possible to replace Intel Core i3 550 3,2GHz with i7 860 2,8GHz in iMac 27 Mid 2010?

I have found one thread where some guy did it and he had some serious performance issues (after upgrade computer worked slower than before). I wonder if it was the fault of broken CPU or iMac 27 Mid 2010 doesn't work properly with i7 860.

Of course I have read other threads about upgrading iMac's CPU and I know that i7 870 works perfectly, but i7 860 is more accessible and cheaper than i7 860 (in my country).

I know it works in late 2009 iMac, but how about late 2010.

Thanks for your answers :)

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The CPU you propose was used in the '09 models. The "Mid-2010" models not only had faster processors, they also had a faster architecture with faster memory, and faster graphics processors compared to the "Late 2009" models - that's probably why your source's machine was slower, even with a "faster" CPU.

A CPU replacement is a lot of work, time and money. For which you end up with a bastardized box... a box with little resale value. If youre upgrading a CPU on a machine which you intend to use for a long time'' it's probably worth the time and expense. . . otherwise sell the box used take that money AND the money you'd spend on the parts upgrade and buy a newer faster machine.

Oh, and if your into customizing desktops get a MacPro... they are built with that in mind.

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Thanks for your answer.

I was thinking about extending my iMac's life by upgrading CPU. The cost of i7 870 is about 200$, so it is not so much money. Buying a new computer is much more expensive. I would have to sell my iMac and spend the same amount extra. Unfortunately Apple computers in my country have sick prices.

I would like to know, if I upgrade my actual i3 550 CPU to i7 870 the increase of performance will be noticable? Is it worth spending 200$ if I want to use my computer for next 2-3 years?


Robert - More than the cost it's a very advanced DIY project... also you might have power supply & graphics problems (notice that the faster iMacs ALSO HAVE different GPUs). Here is a comparison of the CPUS. This compares the iMac builds There's a chance (a good chance) that in almost completely disassembling and reassembling your machine you damage it, so there's more expense, or it doesn't work. Were I you, I would put the $200 aside - sell the old machine take all that money and buy a used i7, either MacPro (if you're doing High end stuff) or an iMac. Why do you think you need all this "speed"? Are you editing video? Building animations?


I don't need hyper-high performance. The only pro app that I use is Logic Pro. I just wanted to make my computer faster to avoid buying new one. This is 3 years old construction and it is not running so fast and smooth like the new ones.

But maybe I will resign of upgrading it if it can cause problems in the future.


A lot of the "slowness" of older machines is can be traced to hard drive issues. A third party app to defrag the drive can help. If the machine has crashed a lot you can have a bad MBD. Disk Utility->Disk First Aid:Repair disk should identify and fix this, but, you'll have to do that from a repair volume (just like you can't fix a running car engine you can't fix your boot directory from the OS) - corrupt preferences, fonts or other files can effect performance. So can no keeping at least 20% free space on the drive (you need this for VMEM and SWAP files). A 320GB drive must have 30-65GB free. Sometimes the beginning of HD failure starts with poor performance.


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