Danger
Potentially Dangerous
Injury may result if this procedure is not followed properly. Use caution and follow all warnings.
Danger

Introduction

Replace or upgrade the CPU. Don't forget to apply a new layer of thermal compound before reassembling your iMac.

Follow our thermal paste guide for instructions on cleaning and preparing the thermal surfaces and applying a new layer of thermal compound onto the CPU and GPU dies.

Before beginning any work on your iMac: Unplug the computer and press and hold the power button for ten seconds to discharge the power supply's capacitors.

Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

Image 1/3: The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage. Image 2/3: The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage. Image 3/3: The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.
  • Starting on the left of the display, near the power button, insert the iMac Opening Tool into the gap between the glass panel and the rear case.

  • The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.

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Image 1/3: Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle. Image 2/3: Run the tool up along the left side of the display. Image 3/3: Run the tool up along the left side of the display.
  • Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center.

  • Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle.

  • Run the tool up along the left side of the display.

I found the 'pizza cutter' surprisingly smooth at cutting through four-year-old adhesive.

Gerry - Reply

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Continue wheeling the tool up around the top left corner.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

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Image 1/2: You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible. Image 2/2: You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.
  • Continue along the top of the display.

  • You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.

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Image 1/2: At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible. Image 2/2: At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.
  • Finish pushing the opening tool to the bottom of the right side of the display.

  • At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.

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Image 1/3: Set the iMac face-up on a table. Image 2/3: Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, insert a plastic card between the display and frame. Image 3/3: Be careful not to insert it more than 3/8", or you may damage internal components.
  • While the opening tool did the lion's share of the work, the display will still be slightly adhered to the case. A plastic card will be necessary to free up the last of this adhesive.

  • Set the iMac face-up on a table.

  • Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, insert a plastic card between the display and frame.

    • Be careful not to insert it more than 3/8", or you may damage internal components.

I actually DESTROYED my display (black vertical strips) by pushing the card in a bit TOO DEEP. So it is REALLY important to insert the card only a bit (1-2mm) more than the cutter wheel, in particular at the top side, where many flat cables connect the panel with the PCB. These can be damaged very easily!

Peter Fischer - Reply

Image 1/2: Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4". Image 2/2: Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".
  • Gently twist the plastic card to open the space between the display and frame.

  • Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".

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Image 1/3: Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive. Image 2/3: Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive. Image 3/3: Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.
  • Be sure to stop cutting before the iSight camera in this step, or you may damage it.

  • Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner.

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Image 1/2: As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass. Image 2/2: As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.
  • Gently twist the card, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame.

  • As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Insert the card back into the top left corner.

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Image 1/3: With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards to increase the gap between display and case. Image 2/3: If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the adhesive in the problem area. Image 3/3: Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.
  • Only lift the display a few inches—it is still attached to the iMac by data and power cables.

  • With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards to increase the gap between display and case.

  • If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the adhesive in the problem area.

  • Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.

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Image 1/2: Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8"). Image 2/2: Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").
  • While holding the display up with one hand, use the other to unplug the display power cable.

    • Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").

Mark all cable connectors with a spot of white correction fluid before removal. This will remove the risk, when reinserting them later, of getting them the wrong way round. Yes - I know they will only plug in one way round, but it does make life easier if you are not in perfect lighting!

Alastair Lack - Reply

Image 1/3: Disconnect the display data cable. Image 2/3: This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac. Image 3/3: This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.
  • Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

  • Disconnect the display data cable.

    • This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.

where can i purchase the power and data cable from?

wei - Reply

I replaced HDD to SSD and assembled parts again. When I boot up the iMac, I found black lines on display (looks partly not broken).

I searched Internet, and some says graphic card problem, but I didn't touch anything but cable to lift up.

Could the damaged display data cable cause this situation? I hope I could fix this by just replacing the cables..

chansung park - Reply

Same trouble here, is it cable trouble or connector trouble?

redfoxydarrest - Reply

I think whenever words like "...is a delicate connection that can be broken. Be sure to pull the [cable in a certain direction] ANYTIME.... It is worth either a closeup or 2, maybe one with annotations or insertion directions and maybe a motion direction arrow with the something like and 'X' char or a circle division slash over the wrong one.

john - Reply

I agree! +1

Jim Reitz -

Image 1/2: At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times. Image 2/2: At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.
  • Lift the display up to a near-vertical position.

  • At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.

There are two strips left and right along the bottom, and where they reach the outer edges the last 20mm has no adhesive, effectively making right-angled lift-tabs, so you can remove these strips completely by carefully pulling them off from the outer ends.

Stef - Reply

Thank you Stef, that's what i will do next time, i cracked the lower part of the screen went opening very slowly, that's probably why those "tabs are for !!

dforgues - Reply

Thanks Stef, this has saved me! Simple yet very effective.

David Zemsky - Reply

Image 1/3: Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red). Image 2/3: Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red). Image 3/3: Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).
  • If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.

  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).

Would have been helpful to box the same red area when using the plastic card to separate the glue. Since the red blocked picture is inverted, if someone doesn't pay close attention it may not be obvious that the area of concern is at the right top of the graphic pictures in which the plastic card use is being demonstrated..

Wizbang FL - Reply

Image 1/3: Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac. Image 2/3: It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive. Image 3/3: It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.
  • Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass.

  • Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac.

  • It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.

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  • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs can be completed with the iMac laying down, but are faster and easier with an iMac service wedge.

ONLY FOR EXPERIENCED MASTERS WITH NON-HUGE (big fat) FINGERS.

On a 27" Retina, I skipped to step 34 and did not remove the speaker nor the Hard Drive. When the instructions instruct removing the left HD Rail, you know it's wasting your time. Go to the power supply and unscrew the 4 T10 screws. *Not in the guide, un-attach the small connector in top left corner, then gently lift and twist the board out. **Next unplug the small plug behind it, in the bottom right corner by pressing the release on it. Lastly dis-connect the large plug which does NOT slip right out until you depress the snap-clamp holding it on the back side.

To reassemble, do the same in reverse but keep power supply board more upright than slanted down when re-inserting it in to the lower right corner. The lower right screw post has an protrusion under/behind it and the Power Supply's small 2 wire plug must fit between the front of your Mac and the obstruction. Then it just slides right in and then screw it down.

Dan H - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove two 10.0 mm T10 screws.

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Image 1/3: De-route the cable from the gap between the hard drive and logic board. Image 2/3: If the gap between the hard drive and logic board is too narrow for the speaker cable, disconnect it and leave the cable in place. Image 3/3: If the gap between the hard drive and logic board is too narrow for the speaker cable, disconnect it and leave the cable in place.
  • Unplug the left speaker cable from its socket on the logic board. Be sure to pull straight up out of the socket.

  • De-route the cable from the gap between the hard drive and logic board.

  • If the gap between the hard drive and logic board is too narrow for the speaker cable, disconnect it and leave the cable in place.

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Image 1/3: Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board. Image 2/3: Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board. Image 3/3: Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board.
  • Be careful not to touch any solder joints on the back of the power supply. Capacitors may be charged enough to give you a dangerous shock.

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the power button connector from its socket on the logic board.

Can someone explain what are the solder joint? Or tell me what it looks it?

brianyu - Reply

The silver spots on the circuit boards. You may not want to tackle this alone. If you touch these areas, you can possible get a shock -- harming you and your computer.

Robert -

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Lift the left speaker straight up, until the power button cable is exposed (about 0.5").

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Gently de-route the power button cable from its groove in the left speaker.

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Image 1/3: If the gap between the hard drive and logic board was too narrow to free the speaker cable earlier, gently pull it free as you remove the speaker. Image 2/3: Push from the connector end as you pull from the speaker end to thread the cable under the hard drive's right bracket. Image 3/3: Push from the connector end as you pull from the speaker end to thread the cable under the hard drive's right bracket.
  • Lift the left speaker straight up and remove it from the iMac.

  • If the gap between the hard drive and logic board was too narrow to free the speaker cable earlier, gently pull it free as you remove the speaker.

    • Push from the connector end as you pull from the speaker end to thread the cable under the hard drive's right bracket.

I found it wasn't necessary to remove the speaker from the left side to remove the hard drive. You can remove the screws, and then slide it over to the left — giving more than enough room to access the hard drive.

Robert - Reply

me too. don't need to remove it if you only want to change the hd

Alber Einsten -

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Pull straight up on the SATA data/power cable to disconnect it from the drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove two 7.3 mm T10 screws securing the left hard drive bracket to the rear case.

If you have the iMac sitting upright, there is a potential risk of dropping the screws into the iMac casing. Be cautious or lay it down flat.

Robert - Reply

Been there done that. Had to flip it and shake the heck out of it to get that srew to fall out!

webmail54 - Reply

Image 1/3: Tilt the left side up away from the rear case, and slide the assembly to the left. Image 2/3: Remove the hard drive and left hard drive bracket from the iMac. Image 3/3: Remove the hard drive and left hard drive bracket from the iMac.
  • Grab the hard drive and left hard drive bracket together.

  • Tilt the left side up away from the rear case, and slide the assembly to the left.

  • Remove the hard drive and left hard drive bracket from the iMac.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the left hard drive bracket.

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Image 1/2: Disconnect the power supply control cable from the power supply. Image 2/2: Disconnect the power supply control cable from the power supply.
  • When working on the power supply, be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

  • Disconnect the power supply control cable from the power supply.

I found this cable very difficult to disconnect, be very careful because the cable is between a black tape and it's stuck very hard to the logic board and the cable is very short and you don't have space to move and separate it from the connection! Be patient and take the time you need

MrSchaeffer - Reply

I found than putting the flat end of the spudger at the center of the cable, and tilting it got the cable out without an issue.

jimboom006 - Reply

Image 1/1: Two 23.7 mm T10 screws.
  • Remove the following four screws securing the power supply to the rear case:

    • Two 23.7 mm T10 screws.

    • Two 7.3 mm T10 screws.

In the iMac I just bought (2016), these were not T10. I believe they are T9. Can anyone confirm?

Morgan Crossley - Reply

Regarding the screws on the power supply board (step 35), I can confirm these are not T10 screws as shown in the guide. In my Late 2015 Retina 5k model, the screws are T8. Morgan mentioned T9 and depending on your T9 driver, it may just barely fit but can easily slip and strip the screw. A T8 driver goes deeper in and holds the screw properly.

smudge -

Image 1/3: Move the power supply board towards the left edge of the case and up to free it from the notch in the logic board. Image 2/3: Move the power supply board towards the left edge of the case and up to free it from the notch in the logic board. Image 3/3: Move the power supply board towards the left edge of the case and up to free it from the notch in the logic board.
  • Do not attempt to remove the power supply from the case; it is still attached to the logic board by two cables.

  • Move the power supply board towards the left edge of the case and up to free it from the notch in the logic board.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Pull the DC power cable straight out of its socket on the back of the logic board.

Remember to push in the disconnect tab on the large connector. Carefully insert your finger and push on the tab before you pull on the connector.

Manuel Collazo - Reply

Thank you Manuel, this was a tricky one.

David Zemsky - Reply

Image 1/3: Flip the top of the power supply towards you, like opening a mailbox, to reveal the AC inlet cable connector. Image 2/3: Disconnect the AC inlet cable connector. Image 3/3: Disconnect the AC inlet cable connector.
  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

  • Flip the top of the power supply towards you, like opening a mailbox, to reveal the AC inlet cable connector.

  • Disconnect the AC inlet cable connector.

To reassemble, do the same in reverse but keep power supply board more upright than slanted down when re-inserting it in to the lower right corner. The lower right screw post has an protrusion under/behind it and the Power Supply's small 2 wire plug must fit between the front of your Mac and the obstruction. Then it just slides right in and then screw it down.

Dan H - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove two 10.0 mm T10 screws.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Gently rock the right speaker slightly to the right, to allow access to its cable's connection on the logic board.

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Image 1/3: Pull the connector to the right to remove it from its socket. Image 2/3: Pull the connector to the right to remove it from its socket. Image 3/3: Pull the connector to the right to remove it from its socket.
  • Use a spudger to loosen the right speaker cable's connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the connector to the right to remove it from its socket.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Lift the speaker straight up and remove it from the iMac.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the fan cable's connector from its socket on the logic board.

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Image 1/2: Leave the tape in place on the exhaust duct, you only need to expose the joint to free the fan. Image 2/2: Leave the tape in place on the exhaust duct, you only need to expose the joint to free the fan.
  • Peel the black tape connecting the fan to the exhaust duct back slightly.

  • Leave the tape in place on the exhaust duct, you only need to expose the joint to free the fan.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove three 12.4 mm T10 screws securing the fan to the rear case.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the fan from the iMac.

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Image 1/3: Note the original positions for each connector when reconnecting the cables. From left to right on the card, the antennas are connected in the following order: Image 2/3: Leftmost Image 3/3: Top
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect each of the four antenna connectors from the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

  • Note the original positions for each connector when reconnecting the cables. From left to right on the card, the antennas are connected in the following order:

    • Leftmost

    • Top

    • Upper right

    • Lower right

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Image 1/3: Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the iSight camera cable. Image 2/3: Pull the camera cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac. Image 3/3: Pull the camera cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.
  • This is a delicate connection that can be easily broken.

  • Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the iSight camera cable.

  • Pull the camera cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.

During disassembly, I taped the cable up and out of the way, as it tends to get in front of things.

Tony Ross - Reply

Image 1/3: Gently push the cable out of the way. Image 2/3: Gently push the cable out of the way. Image 3/3: Gently push the cable out of the way.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the headphone jack cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • Gently push the cable out of the way.

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Image 1/2: Two 23.7 mm T10 screws Image 2/2: Four 7.4 mm T10 screws
  • Remove the following screws from the front of the logic board:

    • Two 23.7 mm T10 screws

    • Four 7.4 mm T10 screws

    • One 20.8 mm T25 spacer screw

    • One captive T10 screw

      • This screw is beneath a hole in the logic board. You'll need a fixed screwdriver or the 60 mm extension from an iFixit driver kit to reach it.

The central screw is very difficult to reach! Use a long and very thin T10 screw driver

MrSchaeffer - Reply

Image 1/3: Pull the cable and connector through the right hard drive bracket. Move the cable to the right side of the iMac, out of the way of the exhaust port. Image 2/3: Pull the cable and connector through the right hard drive bracket. Move the cable to the right side of the iMac, out of the way of the exhaust port. Image 3/3: Pull the cable and connector through the right hard drive bracket. Move the cable to the right side of the iMac, out of the way of the exhaust port.
  • The hard drive SATA cable can't be removed just yet, but will get in the way of removing the logic board.

  • Pull the cable and connector through the right hard drive bracket. Move the cable to the right side of the iMac, out of the way of the exhaust port.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove two 5.7 mm T10 screws from the top of the heat sink exhaust duct.

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Image 1/3: Lift the logic board straight up and out of the iMac. Be careful not to snag on any of the screw posts attached to the inside of the rear case. Image 2/3: Lift the logic board straight up and out of the iMac. Be careful not to snag on any of the screw posts attached to the inside of the rear case. Image 3/3: Lift the logic board straight up and out of the iMac. Be careful not to snag on any of the screw posts attached to the inside of the rear case.
  • Tilt the logic board slightly forward.

  • Lift the logic board straight up and out of the iMac. Be careful not to snag on any of the screw posts attached to the inside of the rear case.

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Image 1/2: You can use a USB flashdrive or ethernet cable to ensure the logic board is seated correctly while you screw it in. Image 2/2: You can use a USB flashdrive or ethernet cable to ensure the logic board is seated correctly while you screw it in.
  • When reassembling your iMac, be very careful to align the exterior I/O ports correctly. The logic board can sit crooked even when secured with all its screws.

  • You can use a USB flashdrive or ethernet cable to ensure the logic board is seated correctly while you screw it in.

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Image 1/3: These screws are set inside large, spring-loaded Phillips #2 screws. To prevent the larger screws from spinning when you loosen the T9 screws, hold them with a fingertip or Phillips #2 screwdriver. Image 2/3: These screws are set inside large, spring-loaded Phillips #2 screws. To prevent the larger screws from spinning when you loosen the T9 screws, hold them with a fingertip or Phillips #2 screwdriver. Image 3/3: These screws are set inside large, spring-loaded Phillips #2 screws. To prevent the larger screws from spinning when you loosen the T9 screws, hold them with a fingertip or Phillips #2 screwdriver.
  • Remove the four 7.5 mm T9 screws from behind the GPU on the logic board.

  • These screws are set inside large, spring-loaded Phillips #2 screws. To prevent the larger screws from spinning when you loosen the T9 screws, hold them with a fingertip or Phillips #2 screwdriver.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the bracket from behind the GPU heat sink.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove four black stickers from the back of the CPU heat sink.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove four 12.3 mm T10 screws from the back of the CPU heat sink.

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Image 1/3: Lift and remove the backing plate from behind the CPU heat sink. The backing plate has two posts that fit into alignment holes in the logic board. Image 2/3: Lift and remove the backing plate from behind the CPU heat sink. The backing plate has two posts that fit into alignment holes in the logic board. Image 3/3: Lift and remove the backing plate from behind the CPU heat sink. The backing plate has two posts that fit into alignment holes in the logic board.
  • Remove the spring plate from behind the CPU heat sink.

  • Lift and remove the backing plate from behind the CPU heat sink. The backing plate has two posts that fit into alignment holes in the logic board.

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Image 1/3: The CPU will most likely stick to the heat sink, so be careful about where you put it down. Image 2/3: The CPU will most likely stick to the heat sink, so be careful about where you put it down. Image 3/3: The CPU will most likely stick to the heat sink, so be careful about where you put it down.
  • Lift the heat sink up from the logic board.

  • The CPU will most likely stick to the heat sink, so be careful about where you put it down.

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Image 1/3: Insert the flat end of a spudger between the CPU and heat sink. Image 2/3: Gently pry the CPU up by slightly twisting the spudger. Image 3/3: Remove the CPU from the heat sink. Be careful not to touch the contacts.
  • The CPU will most likely be stuck to the heat sink with thermal compound.

  • Insert the flat end of a spudger between the CPU and heat sink.

  • Gently pry the CPU up by slightly twisting the spudger.

  • Remove the CPU from the heat sink. Be careful not to touch the contacts.

  • To install a new CPU, see our thermal paste guide for instructions on cleaning and preparing the thermal surfaces and applying a new layer of thermal compound onto the CPU and GPU dies.

  • The GPU side has a gap between all memory chips and the cooler. Once you remove the cooler the thermal compound will break up leaving partial amounts on the cooler and memory contact points.

Putting the heat sync back on your new CPU is really difficult. I over tightened and borked my new CPU. Also, it's quite possible that you're going to put a great deal of stress on your Logic Board if you are putting an i7 processor in an i5 board. There is extra cooling installed on the i7 boards with bigger graphics cards. I wound up getting new logic board designed for i7 and having a repair shop do the upgrade (Which is a difficult feat in itself as it's difficult to procure Apple parts on your own). I still came out ahead over buying new or buying a used model with the full specs. But only barely. I'd highly recommend working with a friend or someone that has taken an iMac apart before. Look very carefully at how much tension and is applied on the current CPU before disassembly of the heat sync and adding a new one. Once you've done it once it's not to complicated.

Chris Bernard - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse and use our adhesive strip replacement guide to reattach the display glass.

24 other people completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

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21 Comments

So is the CPU soldered on to the board or not? Your guide says it's soldered but the pictures show it as being stuck to the heatsink.

dibble9012 - Reply

Can i use the cpu lga 1150 for desktop i7 4790 to replace for the factory's cpu. Please reply to me soon.

When i removed the display to upgrade. After that, i have a hardware problem, can i use apple care or not

Thanks all

thaipl1991 - Reply

I do believe the 2014 is the LGA1150 socket however in late 2015 after intel released the Skylake platform the socket most likely has changed to the LGA 1151. Upon further reading on the page under the link the description states soldered so no more cpu swaps i Guess short of a clean room and some really skilled electronics technicians. This is the link where I found the info on the Late 2015 iMac 17.1: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/im...

Muchofmyservice -

Someone finished this successful in the late 2015 model? Worked fine after?

Alber Einsten - Reply

Confirming successful replacement of Core i5 with Core i7 6700K with the late 2015 model iMac. It is possible, but you need to be very careful when attaching the heatsink to the CPU -- it is possible to tighten the screws so tight that it damages the processor.

Aleksi Asikainen - Reply

Any tips you can give me? I'm also planning to do the same and also replace the SSD.

lprather1995 -

where to buy ?

lghr95 -

Question...

If you update the processor from an i5 to an i7 on the LATE 2015 iMac... can you upgrade the memory to 64GB as well?...

thanks,

R

RLinhares - Reply

can.get it from OWC. here's the link https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20...

Vincent Oh -

Can you upgrade the CPU in a Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015 to a Intel® Xeon® Processor E7-8890 v4?

Thanks

Jacques Kloppers - Reply

Can you upgrade the 2015 5k imac to a kabylake cpu, for example a 7700k?

ghostlp12345678910 - Reply

I'd really like to know if someone has tried this as well!

Aman Patel -

Can anyone confirm if there's anywhere to go with a Late 2014 iMac r5K that already has the 4.0ghz i7?

For example, is there a 6-core version of this chip available that would run with the same chipset on the board?

Barry - Reply

You really need to replace the thermal compound on the GPU memory, which was a giant pain to find out after having the disassembled system in front of me.

I cleaned up and re-applied the old stuff – taking care not to contaminate and had screen artifacts from RAM over heating upon reconnecting. The previous year thread recommended Fujioply 100x15x.5 pads – this pad is not tall enough to make proper contact. I read the 1.5 was too high, so I might suggest you get a 1.0mm pad. You also dont need two, they are expensive, just cut the pad so that it covers only the memory chip tops and one pad fits with just a little left over. Went with K5 after the first pad didnt fit.

Confirmed that late 2015 3.2 to 4.0 i7 works. Thank you for the tip to not over-tighten the CPU, if you look under the board, you dont want to see the base of the screw coming through the hole or you are going too tight.

I am going to try the K5 paste route though, dont want to waste another 15$ on a pad that doesnt fit quite right.

Charles - Reply

Is 5K iMac compatible with Xeon E5 v3 processors if I want to upgrade?

Aaron Chen - Reply

Who would be willing to do this for me?? And for how much? I'll have in writing that you will not be held responsible if bricked. Let me know please bigfanpod@gmail.com live in Southern California

Big Fan Podcast - Reply

Sharaz101@yahoo.com message me

sharaz101 -

VALID QUESTION: Does the stock PSU and cooling system have enough capacity to handle higher power CPUs? Can anyone answer this?

fyun89 - Reply

The problem isn't the output voltage of the PSU it's if the logic board supports the cpu.

sharaz101 -

So here i was upgrading my CPU in my iMac late 2015 everything was put back perfectly. I tried turning the Mac on and the first led turns on but not the second one which was supposed to. I disassemble the Mac approximately X5 times and put it back X5 times but no luck. So the last time i did it I noticed the heat sink was bent I straightened it out and wobbled it alittle and reassemble the iMac and wala it boots perfectly. Sometimes the heat sink bents and tbe cpu doesn't sit straight on the logic board pins.

Also when disassembling the display and are on the slat step there's two strips you could pull instead of trying to work on the last adhesive strips.

sharaz101 - Reply

огромная благодарность Авторам статьи, я сам в домашних условиях заменил в I MAC RETINA 5K MK472 процессор на Core i7 - все работает идеально! Правда есть определенные тонкости ......

Андрей Касаткин - Reply

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