iMac Intel 20" EMC 2105 and 2118

Model A1174 with 2 GHz Core Duo or Model A1207 with 2.16 or 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo

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Core Duo CPU upgrade to Core 2 Duo CPU?

Hey iFixers,

I have been upgrading all possible components of my early 2006 iMac (HDD and optical drive) with help from iFixit. My next venture is to upgrade the CD CPU to C2D CPU. I know this is possible as it's socketed. I have found a "tutorial" on MacLife to do this but am wondering if anyone here has done it and might have some advice/tips on the best (easiest) way to undertake such a daunting task.

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I'll be happy to look this upgrade over if you give a link.

by mayer

Here is the link to the MacLife "tutorial". http://www.maclife.com/article/upgrade_y... Take a look and tell me what you think. Thanks for your response.

by Jason

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To quote them, "Just as the disclaimer for Jackass: The Movie says: This stunt was performed by a professional, so neither you nor your dumb buddies should try anything shown in this how-to."

That being said, I could be in and out with a new processor in about an hour an hour and fifteen minutes. They must not have had access to the iFixit guide ;-) The hardest thing here is getting it open and replacing the four screws back in that hold the screen in place. What they didn't say was if it worked. I replaced the logic board on a 17" 1.9 GHz G5 an hour ago and it's the same basic machine. The only step I didn't do was replace the processor. I did have to do it twice because I forgot the thermal paste the first time. But I am a professional and I've been into these machines multiple times.

UPDATE

Here's my screen shot on the new 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo processor upgrade

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Here's how to do it correctly, I would use this guide rather than there's: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Insta...

by mayer

Thanks Mayer, Yes, that looks much more doable than the MacLife tutorial. They made it seem so difficult that I was getting a bit scared of the process. After following iFixIt tutorials to replace the HDD and Optical drive, I am fully confident in my ability to do yet another take-apart of my iMac. I will post back here after the "fix" and let y'all know how it went, but now I'm off to eBay to find myself a new C2D CPU. Thanks again!

by Jason

Jason, you're question has inspired me. I now have a 17" 1.83 GHz Core Duo iMac with a new screen, thanks to another question posted here. So I'm going to try it too. I'm also thinking about that 1.9 GHz G5 I mentioned that looks identical to your machine. I'm also interested because Lion will require a Core 2 Duo.

by mayer

IT WORKS!! I installed a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo into a 1.83 GHz Core Duo 17" xbench on the original was 117.88, CPU 78.21 New configuration is 154.06, 154.06 CPU. This compares to the 2.66 GHz '08 & '09 machines. Lion ready. It6 took me two hours to do but I was also taking photos and measuring screws so I have all the information to do a guide. The guide on this machine right now is actually for the Core 2 Duo. There are differences and several steps that are not needed. The 1.9 GHz G5 17" iMac guide is better for this machine than the Core 2 Duo 2.0 guide. If anyone requests I'll add a guide for this machine. P.S. The G5 is not upgradable.

by mayer

Hey again, My 2.16 C2D CPU is on the way and I will attempt to do my final upgrade sometime next week. I'm glad to hear you pulled one off, Mayer. When you check "About this Mac" it shows the new CPU under hardware? Because that's really all I'm going for so I can upgrade to Lion when the time comes.

by Jason

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Make sure that you get enough thermal paste! I have not done this, having the late 2006 C2D model, but I have taken many computers apart before. The most important thing to do when taking apart an Apple computer is to take a breath before opening and read before you pull!! Apple's line of computers are very tightly integrated - it will take vigilance and determination, but it is very possible to do such a repair. I've done several similar procedures, and so can you. Be sure not to bend the pins on the CPU. I cannot stress the importance of reading ahead and staying chill. If you maintain your cool, you'll have no problems.

I hope this helps :)

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So my CPU (C2D T5850 2.16G/667) arrived in the mail today. I am anxious to get started on this project but I had a hiking accident last week and broke my jaw so I am going to put it off for a while longer. I will keep you updated on my success/progress/failure/attempt. and post images upon successful completion.

by Jason

A T5850 ? I see nowhere in their article where that processor was used, I find no iMac that has ever used that processor. I used a T7400 out of a 20" iMac. The T5850 is for a laptop and I have no idea if it will even fit. Why did you order something untested?

by mayer

Back to eBay to sell my CPU and buy anew. Have to learn to do more homework on socket types.

by Jason

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Would Apple's Lion installer accept this newly upgraded iMac as valid install target?

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There's another question on this posted right at the time Lion came out on this. I had to change one line of code for it to install.

by mayer

I would add: Apple would likely have limited the CPU options for one of two (engineering) reasons; Heat emitted by the CPU and/or the Voltage consumed by the CPU. Either of these issues will cause critical system failure (capacitor suspension fluid expanding, causing "Cap Pop"). As I mentioned before, I would recommend not exceeding the Northbridge's caching limit. I believe this is 6 MB (don't quote me on that). There is a point at which "she won't take the load" and failure will happen. Just remember these machines were notorious for overheat issues at manufacturer specifications, exceeding these specifications will almost certainly increase this potential, I would recommend any type of cooling augmentation.

by John Gonsalves

Mac OSX 10.8.x will not be supported with any known configuration of this Mac. http://support.apple.com/kb/SP654

by John Gonsalves

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edit:

Ok I made the upgrade too. I changed 2.0Ghz Core Duo with 2.33Ghz Core 2 Duo. First 3 days impressions are great! It's definetly worth it especially how cheap are the CPUs on ebay now. Xbench results for CPU test changed from 94.09 to 165.17. So its a +75% performance. And Lion works great, but you have to install it with Target Drive utility using another lion enabled computer. Good luck!

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joleisa you will get more appropriate answers for your question if you ask your own Question. Click on the link on the right side of this page and give as much detail as possible. I had noticed your question as answers in multiple places. If you post your own question, the Mac Guru's are going to see it and can help you much better.

by oldturkey03

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Would this increase maximum RAM capacity, or is that still motherboard/chipset limited?

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RAM stays the same

by mayer

You are correct. Maximum memory is based on the motherboard not CPU.

by John Gonsalves

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Is there a list of compatible CPU model numbers anywhere?

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any Merom code named CPU is ok T5600 T7200 T7400 or the best T7600...

by joleisa

Although this is not specific to this Macintosh model, there is a list of compatible CPU's that may help understand the basics. Please read my prior comments, hopefully this will help. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_chips...

by John Gonsalves

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I have an iMac 20'' 2ghz, 2gb intel core duo. Going to be soon upgrading the cpu it to a intel core 2duo 2.33ghz T7600.

Anyone know if you can upgrade to 4GB after upgrading cpu?

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I have just tried for the second time to upgrade my Core Duo iMac 20" to Core 2 Duo.

When I try to turn the machine it the power light blinks on for a few seconds, then all power is lost.

I can put the original processor back in, and everything works fine.

I have tried this with 2 new processors but the same issue each time. And original Core Duo works fine.

Any thoughts please ?

thanks

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@sold4money Thanks for the feedback. Hope you have some success with that and I'd love to hear back. I fiddled again today, checking Firmware version etc but still no go. The CPU's I tried were off the Apple list but I hope it is as simple as that. cheers

by Mark

Success.... I manged to find a T7400, would have preferred a 7600 but generally these chips are like hens teeth here in Australia. It's running fine which is a relief, however it will not upgrade to Mountain Lion. I get a message saying the machine is not suitable for Mountain Lion. This is driving me nuts. I'll open a new thread for this but if anyone has a suggestions I'd appreciate it. thanks

by Mark

Have you tried a PRAM reset (control + option + P + R)? If that fails, try disconnecting the CR2032, power up then, shut-down and restart in "Safe Mode".

by John Gonsalves

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I have the same issue as you mark. I think though, our issues are the type of processors we are putting. I originally ordered the incorrect model which was a 2.16ghz. I just got in the 2.33ghz t7600 and will be installing in the morning. Hopefully this will get this bad boy going again.

Post back later with hopefully some positive results.

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So after the third tear down, (which I can now do blindfolded by th way) I put the new processor in (model t7600 2.33ghz) the computer fired right up. I was relieved to now I had not damaged this bad boy that has served me very well for the past 4 years!

So the chip I originally tried was the t5850 2.16ghz. The first had some bent pins when I got it so I thought that was the issue. I reordered the same chip because it was cheap and that gave the same results, one blink and no power.

The computer is a lot faster and also the SSD I put in makes a big difference.

If I can help let me know.

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Does anyone know if a Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.20GHz would work in this situation? I have an iMac (4,1) early 2006 and am wanting to upgrade the processor. I'd prefer the T7600 but they seem to be expensive ($90+) as well as shipping (I'm in Canada). Even a T7400 would be ok but if I'm going to go to the trouble of taking out the mother board etc. I'd rather get the most powerful CPU but the T7600s are a tad pricey.

Andrew

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Dear MacHead3,

Although I've seen and experienced a few of these upgrades on my personal machines. I have found that the first series "non-unibody" MBP's although actually, quite a bit easier to do. Seem to have Some fit issues, and never seems to come together "clean' if you get me.

It's a super thing to get that old Dual-Core out of there, it makes a real difference in what you can do. For me, unless I'm moving it to a Socket T, there just doesn't seem to be enough reason to do this upgrade. No offense, just the math. The cost of the replacement board, time and effort, risking damage to all of those little connectors, and then there's the Mac OSX upgrade...

My favorite trick is to get a Unibody (Used or broken for $125) and mod it from there. many more options and the board and socket is better and more useful.

So, as for help with your issue, just be aware, if you haven't taken the system apart yet, the A110n series is a solder on CPU, not really an upgrade option. The next 2 series are ZIFF sockets, much better, then 3rd gen with 775.

By no means is this impossible by any streatch, just do the board swap, don't attempt to re-flow job, it's pretty tricky!

Hope this helps,

My 2 Cents!

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You are right, no doubts on it; but the delicius itching idea of extending the life span on this units is the only justification to take the challenge. I believe it is a hobby we pursue distracting the kindly attention of technicians and engineers whom keep putting up with our queries. I appreciates your remarks and suggestions that, for myself, a farmer, are great fertilizers.

Thank you, and let's have a cup of coffee.

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I just upgraded my 2006 20" Core Duo to the T7600 and it won't power on at all.

I can hear a click in the inverter board when I plug it in, but the machine does nothing when I hit the power button. I replaced the inverter (had broken a plastic socket on the bottom edge) and rechecked all connections for fit and tightness, but no luck. Any advice?

I've tried replacing the board battery, reseated the RAM modules, held down the power key for over a minute both before and after plugging it in, tried other outlets…but no luck. :-(

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Bigmark,

Depending on which specific model this is there are a couple of things to try. First, and quickest is a PRAM Reset (Ctrl+R+P), which you can look up on Apple's site. The second and actually more likely (unfortunately) is that the power supply (it the modulaized component that the A power cord plugs into). I have replaced mine twice in the past 6 years. This is now where near as common as some blogs and groups might lead you to believe.

The single most common issue by far is the Cap-Pop issue. Since you've had the back off, then you've seen them. What you need to do is to examine them very closely. What you are looking for is any bulging or dark residue on the silver "Top" of the capacitors. These are small components that kinda look like small soda cans, with black plastic wrapped around the sides and exposed shinny aluminum tops (normally with a crease indented on the tops in the shape of a "Y" kinda looks like a Peace Sign).

Anyway, if any of these are "Popped" or bulging, this is your problem. Heat is a very common issue with these first years, still a bit on an issue today, but designed for better heat dissipation. Most people give me the 'Scoffing' sound when I tell them that some Apple's have design flaws. Like I'm stupid... LOL. Just believe me, there is NOTHING made by a human that can't have a human flaw!!!

Hope this sheds some light, Good luck

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Hi, in the middle of an upgrade to a t7600, just wondering on the stability long term. It's going into a 20inch 2ghz core duo. 2gb ram.

This is for my little neice to use as a computer but I'm finding Safari is just too slow on it, am I right in thinking a lion upgrade would enable her to use the 64bit up to date version of safari?

And will this over heat and destroy her beloved iMac?

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Thieeal, The Lion upgrade has more to do with how the new OSX version understands what IT thinks you are running than just the CPU speed. There is a chance that this upgrade will resolve your issues. But, if you are looking to speed up the system, you may find that a RAM upgrade will do more for Safari than a CPU upgrade. As for running 64 Bit browser, really not necessary. To simplify this answer, just think of it like this. Software that is 32 bit (in almost all cases) will NOT run faster, or even more reliably in a 64 bit version. Actually, in most cases it may become more glitchy. And Overheat, well that's an issue with all iMac's (as a general rule) the higher the CPU speed, the more heat it will produce. Just more transistors to generate heat. Most common indicator, prior to failure is a slight to moderate buldging of capacitor tops (this is not the same in never iMac versions using much higher tech capacitors - blue or black striped sides). Good luck!

by John Gonsalves

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Jason will be eternally grateful.

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