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Model A1311 / Mid 2011 / 2.5 & 2.7 GHz Core i5 or 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Can a 21.5" Mid-2011 iMac be upgraded to an i7 2600?

So my iMac is a 21.5" iMac from Mid 2011 with a core i5 2400S as default, now I know you can upgrade it's processor since it's socketed and that's just what I'm going to do.

But what I don't know is if I can only upgrade to a low power chip (S suffix) or if I can upgrade to a full power desktop chip (no suffix). I've seen people upgrade their i5 2400S 27" iMacs to i7 2600, but I've never seen anyone tried a CPU upgrade on a 21.5" imac before let alone the highest end CPU offering from Apple on the 21.5" Mid-2011 iMac is only an i7 2600S.

Now the performance difference between the i7 2600S and i7 2600 is negligible for me, but the problem is I can't souce any i7 2600S but I can fine loads of people selling their i7 2600.

So if anyone can answer, please do as I will apreciate it greatly and if anyone is selling or knows someone who sells an i7 2600S that can ship to Indonesia please answer too. :) Thanks in advance.

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The 21.5" iMac power supply is not quite as powerful as the 27" model while it will work you will burnout the power supply prematurely as it will overheat.

It's best not to tempt fate here stay with the lower power chip series (2400S). Here's what I could find: Amazon listing here in the states. I'm sure you can get someone to ship to you.

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So I could technically use the i7 2600 in it? Are you sure? Because I really don't want to blow a lot of money on something that might become a paperweight... Here's the problem I'm in Indonesia and I can't find anyone that can ship the i7 2600S to me.


Man, the 2600S sure is expensive in Amazon, I can find a 2600 locally for 2.200.000Rp or $180 US easy here. But I can't find the freaking i7 2600S!


Stick with the 2600S unit at that is what the system was designed for.


Maybe it would be cheaper to look for a used system to either replace yours or gain access to its parts to fix yours.


Sadly, they are a more expensive chip.


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@danj I have a 2011 iMac with the i5 processor. My overall investment is really low in it thus far, and it's my current DD computer (I have other computers on hand just in case, however). I am going through with a processor upgrade, SSD addition, and GPU upgrade to put myself onto the newer Mojave OS (I want to keep 32 bit support for the time being). I understand that the i7 2600 TDP is greater and would put strain on the PSU, especially if I'm adding in an MXM-A card not designed for the system; I'm planning on using the Quadro K2100M. However, I'm having the same issue that the original user has. The 2600s is significantly more expensive than the 2600.

My question for you is this - could I get the 2600 and undervolt it to 2600s levels to keep the TDP down? What does your experience say would happen?

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Simple Answer - No!

The CPU and upgraded GPU bd (which you need a different one than Quadro K2100M) will over tax the PSU and the systems cooling.

You can't alter the CPU's voltage system (VRM's) as they are fixed. The GPU board needs to be one designed for iMac's You can't throw-in just any MXM bd. The GPU bd has firmware which is custom to Apple.

Last issue is Mojave is not supported in the 2011 iMac from Apple You will need to ether need to stick with High Sierra. I only recommend Sierra on these older SATA drive'd systems's due to the file system change from HFS+ to APFS as APFS just isn't very good on SATA and High Sierra still has issues! To get to Mojave you will need to use a patcher from DOSDude While a fun thing the limits of the graphics will hold you back as there just isn't any metal GPU bds for your system.

Best to buy a newer system (used or new) than making these changes. I still have a 2011 27" which I use it meets my needs so I will run it awhile longer.


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Hi I have a 2011 21.5” iMac with 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 [2400s]

I want to upgrade to i9 CPU my main objective is to make my iMac as fast and powerful without buying a new system.

But I've been told I can only do upto a i7 2600 3.4GHz which is not a problem, however doing some more research i found that there is now a (2600s) version.

So my question is can I buy a 2600s from ebay or amazon and that would work? or stick with the 2600 series?

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@avie39673 - Sorry not possible. The i9 requires a newer EFI code than what this system offers besides the power issues as explained.


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