Model A1418 / Late 2012 / 2.7 & 2.9 GHz Core i5 or 3.1 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Where to find a processor upgrade

I'm installing a SSD and while I am at it I'd like to upgrade the processor from an i5 2.7 to an i7 3.1 or faster. I'm hoping this will help with video editing and big photoshop files.

The i7-3770S processor was available on the late 2012 iMac so I was going to upgrade to that. There are several on ebay but none specifically state they are mac compatible. The ones I have found only list the platform as "PC" or don't specify the platform. Is there a way to know which processor will work in my iMac?

If anyone knows of a source for iMac compatible processors I would greatly appreciate the info.

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Hi Dan,

from my experience you can definitly use all processors that were sold within the available configurations from Apple directly.

These were the configurations sold through Apple:

Intel Core i5 (3330S, 3470S) or Core i7 (3770S) ("Ivy Bridge")

Processor Speed 2.7 or 2.9 GHz (Core i5) or 3.1 GHz (Core i7)

At a maximum you could use the Core i7 with 3.1 GHz.

Hope that helps.


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Correct! You are limited to the CPU's Apple has used for the given series (EMC 2544). You maybe also limited here as some of models in this series had a soldered down CPU which will prevent you from replacing it.

Good point. I believe the late 2013 models have a soldered processor. Here is a nice article showing the difference between the late 2012 and late 2013 iMacs in both the 21.5" and 27" sizes.


Это мой видеоролик, прошу заценить и подписаться, также сменил проц 5K iMac 27

все заменил и работает стабильно уже больше года

Занимаемся монтажем роликов 4K и рендер спецэфектов, сдаем imac в аренду продакшн центрам, температура в норме.

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Sorry to answer a 2 yrs old question, but this might be worth it to clarify other users. As far as I know, you actually can upgrade the processor of this iMac to any other processor which consumes the same power (TDP) as it's predecesor.

For example, the most powerful processor for this iMac is the i7 3770S, which has a TDP of 65W, the same as 3330S and 3470S i5s. Of course there are other i7s with more power than the 3770s, but with a higher TDP (77W, even 130W). You can actually install them on the socket, but the system won't boot up!


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Well... Yes & No here.

The 21.5" models are a bit tricky as many have soldered down CPU's which really means they are not upgradable! As an example the i5 2.7 GHz chip is soldered.

The 27" models so far have socketed CPU's

I have an EMC 2544 21.5 inch iMac, and it has a socketed CPU, checked by myself (2,9GHz i5).

Can anyone confirm if i can upgrade my base model imac late 2012 2.7 cpu with an i7 3660s? according to website you can only upgrade if you have the 2.9 cpu from this link

Hi, I just completed an upgrade of my iMac late 2012. It was base model, 2.7Ghz, 8 GB RAM and 1TB mechanical HDD. I changed processor (from i5 3330s) to i7 3770s, upgraded RAM to 16 GB and replaced the mechanical drive with an SSD 500GB Samsung EVO 860 model. Compatible memory for Mac used. It works like a charm and was not that hard. Took some hours though and was my first time. I found a used CPU 3770s for around €125 i Sweden.



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