All-in-one desktop computers from Apple. iMacs have been equipped with Intel processors since January 2006.

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Intel iMac 20'' to 27'' housing upgrade?

Hello Everybody,

I have a 20'' intel imac 2008 model, reliable machine used as my media center in the bedroom .

Would it be possible to move the whole inside setup to a 27 or 24 housing and screen ?

I am pleased with the performance of current machine ... just find that the 27'' imac are way overpriced.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


The 2008 Imac is actually not that old (obviously is the all aluminium case) and has Sata drive and PCI-E bus. Model is probably MB324LL/A

I am not looking to buy anything except the chassis and the screen .

I was just thinking of buying a new housing and a the correspondent screen and move the complete guts to the bigger size housing

logic board, video card, hdd, dvd, simms and all .

It actually is about if the guts will fit the bigger size chassis with some adjustements phisical adjustments for holders of different components.

I know PC hardware very well, but not imac hardware.... but have a good understanding of computer hardware in general .

I do no see why a bigger size screen would not be driven by the same video card as long as the connector is the same.

Thanks for the insight though.

I know that it sounds a bit convoluted, but as a media center it's performance it's just fine.. but a bigger screen would be great.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Which exact type of mac do you have? You can use our ID your Mac tool to find out.


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From the get go, I'd say no it's not possible here.

You state you have a 20" iMac and want to move to a 24 or 27" iMac taking the guts from your 20" to a new chassis.

Here's why:

  • The logic boards between the different series of systems are different so that won't work.
  • The memory SIMM's needed in todays systems are faster so your current SIMM's won't work if you tried reusing them in a newer systems logic bd.
  • The HD could be put into an external case to be reused, most likely you have a ATA Vs the new SATA I/O'ed drive so it won't work with a newer systems logic bd.
  • The display can't be used as it's a different size and uses a different video driver logic.

The cost of creating such a system with your own case (not Apple) would likely cost 2 or more times than buying a new one complete.

Time for a new system! Sorry ;-{

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For all of the hassle and time and frustration, just find a USB to HDMI adapter and by a larger monitor.

The adapter is about $60 US and a new 1080p 27" monitor can be had for under $300.

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Or a mini-DVI/HDMI adapter, which is even cheaper, and uses the external port+video card already built into the iMac. Or mini-DVi/DVI adapter and a DVI monitor, whichever.

But yes; if you can't find a 1080p 27" monitor for under $300, you're not googling hard enough.


So you want to be a Mac systems modeler ;-}

Sorry to say there's enough differences to make this not workable.

Changing out like for like for the same model is one thing. Here you have two major elements (Case & Display) which you want to exchange out to different model. The cost factor alone make this prohibitive.

Still cheaper getting a used bigger screened iMac.


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I do not understand why people say this things, YES! you can move the hardware to the larger 27"case, however, I have never seen the connector for the 27" display, (biggest one I've had is 24 "). It is only a matter of checking if in fact they are compatible.



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@Jorge Falcon...What about the rest of the hardware? Does it use the same video driver board? There are no difference in HDD, and no difference in the simple things, like mounting brackets, sensor locations etc.?


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