Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Can a 2009 core 2 duo logic board be replaced with a 2010 i3 board?

Hello, I purchased as a project one iMac late 2009 A1311 Core 2 Duo CPU EMC 2308 that have a toasted logic board, the part number is 820-2494-A

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Searching in ebay, found that the C2D boards are very expensive, a i3 logic board for a mid 2010 A1311 part number 820-2784-A is pretty similar in shape, screw location and connectors, the angle of the power cable connector is different, everything else looks the same.

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Anyone had tried a logic board swap? I know that have to buy a new CPU and probably a GPU, but the cost is about the same buying only the C2D logic board or the i3 logic board + i3-550 cpu.

The GPU is other issue, because I don't know how the integrated graphics works in the i3-550, but I have a spare HD2600 PRO that I can use if necessary.

Is it possible? or maybe I'm complicating too much and should just sell the iMac as parts?

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The short answer is: YES YOU CAN replace a 2009 C2D logic board with a 2010 i3 one

The long answer:

I'm in the process of make this Frankenstein's iMac, and I already can hear the villagers with torches and forks coming here, but had to made it in name of apple science, I got a working 820-2784-A logic board from a fresh deceased 2011 iMac (I don't know where it comes, I don't wanna ask) with IR receiver, wifi/bluetooth module, videocard, and CPU with booth coolers for the same cost of the 820-2494-A C2D motherboard, I was really, really lucky. Phisically the logic board fits in the aluminium housing with no problem.

The cables for accesories and connectors is another thing. This is the list of connectors that are different or have no place to plug in:

*Power button cable have to be re-routed so it can reach the connector

*SD card reader cable 593-1041 have to be replaced with a cable 593-1223

*Wifi/bluetooth antenas cables need to be re-reuted

*Wfi/bluettoth cable 593-1079 is no longer needed

*820-2566 support for the wifi/bluetooth module is no longer needed neither

*LCD signal cable 593-1006 is different, need a 593-1280

*CPU fan connector is different, you need the fan 610-0094 with temp sensor

*Headphones and rear mic connector 593-1086 is different, needs the cable 593-1231

*Camera cable 922-8829 is different, needs the 593-1218-A cable with temp sensor

*ODD temp sensor 593-1152 is different, needs a 593-1242

I found someone selling his 2010 iMac for pieces, so I'll try to get all that parts for cheap in one place, if I can sell the pieces that I don't need, the transplants for the Frankenstein's iMac could be free...

Next step: upgrade the i3 540 with a i5 680

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Did it work?

Was replacing all cables really necessary?

I have a 2009 c2d 21.5" that I would love to upgrade to i5 or i7


Eze, yes it worked, and all those new cables are needed, because many of the existing cable connectors are not compatible with the new otherboard.

I recommend you to do as I, look for many reference images of the motherboard compatible with the CPU you want to install and compare the connections with the existing connections on your motherboard, so you will see which cables can be re-used and which cables you should change, if you choose the same motherboard than me, then most of the research work is already done.


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Thanks for taking the time for posting such an elaborate answer !

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I’ve completed the conversion myself also. I had an ATI Radeon HD 5670, 512MB, GPU that I took out from a 2010 iMac I upgraded to a 2011 GPU. I realized after looking, that there was not too high of a cost to then convert my 2009 3.33 Core 2 Duo to a 2010 logic board. I also had a i5-680 CPU that could be used as I had upgraded the 2010 iMac to an i7-860S. For the conversion, I ran into some issues not quite listed above. Here’s all the parts I needed:

2010 Logic Board, I used part number 820-2784-A which is also 661-5534

2010 SD card reader cable PN: 922-9430 (the previous post stated using 593-1223, but this is a 2011 PN and has a different connector for the logic board)

2010 video card pressure wall PN: 922-9483 (this is a plastic piece that attaches to the logic board and helps ensure air cycles to the GPU cooler fins)

2010 Bluetooth, camera and sensor cable with the ambient temp sensor integrated PN: 593-1218-A

2010 iSight camera PN: 922-9494 (the connector on the camera is different on the new harness)

2010 Audio ports (headphones and mic) PN: 593-1231

2010 Optical drive cable PN: 593-1243 (on the 2009 the logic board connector is one solid, in-line piece. on the 2010 there are two separate connectors on the logic board)

2010 Optical drive temp sensor PN: 593-1242

2010 CPU fan PN: 610-0094

I was able to get all the parts listed above for $114. This listing and price doesn’t include the GPU as I already had that. It also does not account for the i5-680 CPU chipset, but you can also use the i7-860S chipset if desired. There is also a i7-870S chipset that works, but is rare so the price is much higher.

As discussed by the previous contributor, I tried swapping the connector on my existing LCD screen (PN: 922-9497). However the display did not work. I had to get a 2010 LCD screen PN: 805-9684 and the backlight inverter PN: 612-0073, which was needed as it has a different connector to the LCD screen. This added $97 to my cost. I may just not have had luck like the previous contributor in getting it to work.

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Alfredo Morales will be eternally grateful.
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