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

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Can I upgrade my CPU on iMac from i5-2500S to i7-2600?

  • Current CPU: i5-2500S (2.7 GHz Sandy Bridge i5)
  • Upgrade to CPU: i7-2600 (3.4 GHz Sandy Bridge i7)

TPD is 65W on the i5, and 95W on the i7. Both share the same socket (LGA 1155)

I am considering a CPU upgrade (and an SSD upgrade while the beast is on the operating table!). I have heard some success stories on the mid 2010 models.

I want to hear from this community and see what the results are in real life trial (there is information out there that says it might be possible, but without any confirmation).

Cost of i7-2600 : $300

Resale value of the i5-2500S : about $150-$200 (OEMs get it for around $200)

For $150, I don't mind the cost of upgrade at all! :-)

I'll also be adding a SSD off the 6.0 Gb/s SATA port while I have this sucker open, and will also fit a eSATA port (as per OWC guide).

If I do decide to do this, I'll post extensive photos and instructions of the whole process.

I am familiar with the fairly detailed answer on EveryMac: Is it possible to upgrade CPU in the aluminum iMacs?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Hi,

I used regluar i7-2600, not unlocked "K" SKU. So, it should be "BX80623I72600". And now, as I'm using this setup for a week, I can just say that there is not difference in system behaviour. So, system fans are not spinning faster, machine is not noisier, it's 100% stable system... iStat dashboard widget says that CPU temp right now is 43C (CPU fan 938 RPM). Simply, system works as it's supposed to work.

Unfortunately, similar applies for system speed - it's hard to notice big difference if you're "casual user" of computer.

PS: Before I put new CPU instead of old-one I changed termal paste - I used Artic Silver termal compound (2-3 eur/package).

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Thank you for coming back and sharing your experience. Would it be fair to say a casual user will see a faster boot time?

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Everything is stable with the i7 2600k, but I'm stuck in OSX Lion. Mountain Lion don't work!!

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Mountain Lion works with iMac 27" upgraded to regular i7-2600. I'm using it since first day - no glitches at all. Simply I don't see a difference between my iMac at home upgraded to i7-2600 and the one at work that came with i7-2600 preinstaled.

It might be problematic with i7-2600K as that one has similar specs but it has different CPUID code etc... Simply its not the same CPU.

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Portuguese: Deves ter problemas! fiz isso no iMac 27" e não arranca o Mountain Lion, suponho que por razoes EFI(bios).

English: You will have problems! I did it in iMac 27" and it would not start with Mountain Lion, I suspect the problem is the EFI (BIOS).

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Hi,

@ABCellars

I got much faster boot times but that's because I primarily did upgrade because of SSD instalation. I installed Intel SSD 510 250 GB as well so boot time is now just couple of seconds.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/802...

@Aman Patel

Here are some benchmarks. I don't have XBench but you can see here Cinebench and Geekbench.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/20/...

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/703...

PS: OK, I downloaded XBench as well and I realized that it doesn't work under Lion... It hangs on Thread Test... Here is screenshot of test completed but without Thread component...

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/856...

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please stop mentioning SSD upgrade and keep on the original subject with CPU upgrade possibility, because this makes the article too long to read and give no informations about CPU, the SSD upgrade is possible for all mac products and everyone know it.

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I upgraded a year ago. No problems ever. Just make sure you connect all the cables as they were after you are done with the upgrades.

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John:

Which of the two available Core i7-2600 1155 Socket CPUs did you use?

The one with "Intel HD Graphics 2000" in its name or "Intel HD Graphics 3000"?

BX80623I72600 or BX80623I72600K

by

Can you go any higher than the i7-2600 in the mid 2011 imacs?

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The limit here is the socket and the systems power (TPD). Intel so far does not offer a replacement CPU that fits the socket and also meets the limitation of TPD this system has.

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The I7 2600 S will work all the way up too High Sierra ... Also while your in there add a pair of Samsung ssd 's and run them in raid 0 and max out the ram... You'll think your using a 2017... the speed is amazing .I built one a little while ago and I'm about to build another. Oh by the way use a high quality thermal paste on the cpu and gpu while your there... Have fun...Gerard.

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Do you max out the ram for the old cpu at 16gb or will all the other components support the 32gb the i7 will handle?

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Today I took the plunge & was able to upgrade my 2011 27" Core i5 2.7Ghz iMac to a Core i7-2600S. I followed the instructions here using the regular i7-2600S (BX80623I72600S), not the unlocked "2600K" version & using the instructions here on ifixit for the Dual Hard Drive Kit "Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Hard Drive Kit as a guide for disassembly & reassembly.

Everything is working without a hitch. iMac is running like a champ now.

It was tedious, but not that difficult. The hardest part was getting the dust off the LCD between the glass at the end.

Well worth the effort. For the same price of Apple's SSD upgrade cost I was able to get a 256Gb SSD & a Core i7.

Thanks everyone for this thread & site. I probably wouldn't have attempted it without it.

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I can report successful replacement with i7 2600S in 3 iMacs 27" mid-2011 + installation of Samsung 830 series SSD's.

I experience an overall snappier performance due to the SSD; processor intensive tasks like video conversion and photo editing are also significantly faster.

No Mountain Lion issues at all.

Benchmarks: http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/53/sc...

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Hi...

I'm from Portugal, and I was thinking to upgrade my iMac 21'5 2011, from a i5 2500s to a i7 2600k (I can't find the 2600 right now), so... can I upgrade with the i7 2600k??

Tks!

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Could I do this with a 2011 iMac 21.5 in? I currently have the 2.7ghz version and I curious about going to 3.4ghz.

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i had the exactly the same questions as you.

Have you done this upgrade?

If so have you had any issues?

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No, You need to stay with the i7-2600S chip. The i7-2600K won't work with newer OS's per what others have learned (see above).

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There seems to be no clear answer in this thread! I would like to update my iMac 27 - Mid 2011 - Core i5 (I5-2500S) @ 2.7GHz

To a i7 processor and still be compatible with El Captain or Sierra. So far from what I can understand these two i7 processors Apple used in the iMac 27"

  • Core i7 (I7-2600S) 2.8 GHz - S being the lower power version of the i7
  • Core i7 (I7-2600) 3.4 GHz - Locked i7

And then there is also this CPU:

  • Core i7 (I7-2600K) 3.4 GHz - K meaning its unlocked & overclockable

So question is what CPU to use??

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Hi,

I've done the upgrade using Core i7 (I7-2600) 3.4 GHz - Locked i7 : it's working fine with El Captain.

Fabio

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Your only choice is the i7-2600S chip the i7-2600-K version is useless as you can't over clock the system without having both power & thermal issues, besides it won't let you run the newer versions of OS as others have noted.

The standard version of the chip i7-2600 requires more power than the system is able to support.

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i have same problem too, the final answer is i7-2600S????

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As long as its not the "K" version, you will be fine. i7-2600-k does not work.

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Aman Patel will be eternally grateful.
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