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Model A1418 / Late 2013 / 2.7 & 2.9 GHz Core i5 or 3.1 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Upgrade the Logic Board (Core i5)to Core i5 w.9Ghz?[Edited]


I have an iMac 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with EMC 2638! When I type in its serial number here. I shows up this page. I was wondering if I could buy the upgrade ( I guess EMC 2742 logic board) and upgrade my iMac logic board. If so, is the Logic board installation same as the original logic board?

I have already removed the LCD and removed the logic board and have the right tape to seal the LCD back on the iMac enclosure.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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hi Nick thank you for the prompt response.

I guess I should have rephrase my question! To upgrading the logic board rather than upgrading the CPU.

So the bottom line you’re saying that I cannot swap the core I5 logic board with a core i7 logic board. Correct?


@chikitin You can swap it, but it may be cost prohibitive. It's also downright risky unless you go all out for the top end i7 like I mentioned with AIOs.

i5 to i7? I don't think it's worth the risk unless you have a very low end i5 and can gain ~10,000+ CPU performance points with the top end i7 from your old board.


Just to be clear, was your answer about replacing the CPU and not the Logic board? Right? The price difference of the two mother boards is just 20 dollars. I just need to know if i can simply buy the EMC 2742 logic board and swap it with the old one. Thank you again, Nick for the prompt response.


@chikitin It wasn't specific to CPU or board swaps - it could go either way.


Thank you! I asked you because, a seller of the EMC 2742 logic board had listed the logic board compatible with my logic board EMC 2638 which as Core i5 CPU!


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The 21.5” uses a soldered mobile CPU, so no - it can’t be done without a donor CPU (or a rare NOS BGA CPU that was never used), a rework machine and a lot of experience - and possibly a schematic to fill in the VRM blanks the i7 uses, but not the i5. That, or a new motherboard and the blank board serializer tool.

That’s not a problem on the LGA 27” because Apple builds one board and multiple configurations, but the mobile CPU base board can be cost reduced safely with different parts based on the manufacturing code since the CPU is board specific and not designed to be interchanged - the board gets replaced when the CPU dies whereas on a 27” anyone with the guts and an OOW machine can replace the CPU individually. Refer to the guide and you’ll see how difficult it is to do.

Even if you can, the job is such a burden unless you plan on replacing the board with a significantly faster board, the risk (and expensive repairs if you screw up) is pointless if all you get is 10% more performance because you didn’t spend an extra $50 to max out the CPU. Only do this if:

  • You’re a good DIYer
  • You are willing to max it out CPU wise and go all out (and can afford to!)
  • Will see major performance improvements.

If you will not get all 3 benefits and aren’t willing to get a top end board, don’t.

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I’ll chime in. I upgrade my 2012 to a Late 2013 this way. Both models are built EXACTLY the same and have the same screw mounts. I would suggest buying a new board WITH the CPU on it. Then you can add a 3770s i7, and one of Apple’s blade SSD and then make a fusion based iMac. (Literally what I did) The 2013 boards are different by the fact of the socketed processor and the added GPU. Bump it to 16GB as well. A solid iMac then.

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Chekad Sarami will be eternally grateful.
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