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Model A1174 with 2 GHz Core Duo or Model A1207 with 2.16 or 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo

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Core Duo CPU upgrade to Core 2 Duo CPU?

Hey iFixers,

I have been upgrading all possible components of my early 2006 iMac (HDD and optical drive) with help from iFixit. My next venture is to upgrade the CD CPU to C2D CPU. I know this is possible as it's socketed. I have found a "tutorial" on MacLife to do this but am wondering if anyone here has done it and might have some advice/tips on the best (easiest) way to undertake such a daunting task.

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I'll be happy to look this upgrade over if you give a link.


Here is the link to the MacLife "tutorial".

Take a look and tell me what you think. Thanks for your response.


I was actually looking to replace a MacBook 1.1, 2Ghz Intel Core Duo with a Core 2 Duo processor so I can upgrade my Snow Leopard OS X 10.6.8 to the Yosemite OS X 10.10. Where can I find a guide to do this?


Big Ed, You can use MacPostFactor. Another method is to clone a 10.11 install, and replace the Boot.EFI with a 32bit modded version from

You'll need to run this command in Terminal to unlock the original Boot.EFI file.

To unlock a file:

sudo chflags nouchg file_directory

This You Tube video goes over the steps, do this at your own risk, and I would dual boot with OS X 10.6.8 in case you run into any update issue's.

par is the new link for the maclife article.


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To quote them, "Just as the disclaimer for Jackass: The Movie says: This stunt was performed by a professional, so neither you nor your dumb buddies should try anything shown in this how-to."

That being said, I could be in and out with a new processor in about an hour an hour and fifteen minutes. They must not have had access to the iFixit guide ;-) The hardest thing here is getting it open and replacing the four screws back in that hold the screen in place. What they didn't say was if it worked. I replaced the logic board on a 17" 1.9 GHz G5 an hour ago and it's the same basic machine. The only step I didn't do was replace the processor. I did have to do it twice because I forgot the thermal paste the first time. But I am a professional and I've been into these machines multiple times.


Here's my screen shot on the new 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo processor upgrade

Block Image

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Here's how to do it correctly, I would use this guide rather than there's: iMac Intel 20" EMC 2105 and 2118 Logic Board Replacement


Thanks Mayer, Yes, that looks much more doable than the MacLife tutorial. They made it seem so difficult that I was getting a bit scared of the process. After following iFixIt tutorials to replace the HDD and Optical drive, I am fully confident in my ability to do yet another take-apart of my iMac.

I will post back here after the "fix" and let y'all know how it went, but now I'm off to eBay to find myself a new C2D CPU. Thanks again!


Jason, you're question has inspired me. I now have a 17" 1.83 GHz Core Duo iMac with a new screen, thanks to another question posted here. So I'm going to try it too. I'm also thinking about that 1.9 GHz G5 I mentioned that looks identical to your machine. I'm also interested because Lion will require a Core 2 Duo.


IT WORKS!! I installed a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo into a 1.83 GHz Core Duo 17"

xbench on the original was 117.88, CPU 78.21

New configuration is 154.06, 154.06 CPU. This compares to the 2.66 GHz '08 & '09 machines. Lion ready. It6 took me two hours to do but I was also taking photos and measuring screws so I have all the information to do a guide. The guide on this machine right now is actually for the Core 2 Duo. There are differences and several steps that are not needed. The 1.9 GHz G5 17" iMac guide is better for this machine than the Core 2 Duo 2.0 guide. If anyone requests I'll add a guide for this machine.

P.S. The G5 is not upgradable.


Hey again, My 2.16 C2D CPU is on the way and I will attempt to do my final upgrade sometime next week. I'm glad to hear you pulled one off, Mayer. When you check "About this Mac" it shows the new CPU under hardware? Because that's really all I'm going for so I can upgrade to Lion when the time comes.


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Make sure that you get enough thermal paste! I have not done this, having the late 2006 C2D model, but I have taken many computers apart before. The most important thing to do when taking apart an Apple computer is to take a breath before opening and read before you pull!! Apple's line of computers are very tightly integrated - it will take vigilance and determination, but it is very possible to do such a repair. I've done several similar procedures, and so can you. Be sure not to bend the pins on the CPU. I cannot stress the importance of reading ahead and staying chill. If you maintain your cool, you'll have no problems.

I hope this helps :)

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So my CPU (C2D T5850 2.16G/667) arrived in the mail today. I am anxious to get started on this project but I had a hiking accident last week and broke my jaw so I am going to put it off for a while longer. I will keep you updated on my success/progress/failure/attempt. and post images upon successful completion.


A T5850 ? I see nowhere in their article where that processor was used, I find no iMac that has ever used that processor. I used a T7400 out of a 20" iMac. The T5850 is for a laptop and I have no idea if it will even fit. Why did you order something untested?


Back to eBay to sell my CPU and buy anew. Have to learn to do more homework on socket types.


I was actually looking to replace a MacBook 1.1, 2Ghz Intel Core Duo with a Core 2 Duo processor so I can upgrade my Snow Leopard OS X 10.6.8 to the Yosemite 10.10. Where can I find a guide to do this?


Big Ed (et al),

As much as I would love to tell you that Yosemite will run on your MacBook 1.1, I have to say that it's not going to take. This machine can be tricked into taking 10.7.5 at the most. Requiring some pretty tricky tactics. However, that's the max.

One trick to "Fool" your MAC is to switch the DVD+RW with a DVD+RW/DL most any older models won't even have an RW. The size of the OSX 10.6.x install is real easy to create on an older system. But, 10.7.x is where it all changes. Dual Layer Disks are best to use, since I have yet to find a "hack" that will allow 10.6.x to properly mount a USB device as a Bootable drive (even when created on 10.7.x +... Not as much of an issue with 10.7.x and up, but, can still be a head ache.

Hope this helps a bit.


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Hi guys, don't know if this thread is still active but I upgraded my 2006 Intel iMac a few years ago. By changing CPU *and* BIOS/firmware I've been able to use 4Gb RAM, and machine now registers as iMac5.1 (formerly 4.1). if you're up to pulling stuff apart then definitely do it. Maximum OS X is still Snow Lep though.

(I used a CPU from a PC laptop - maybe T7200; 2.0Ghz anyway. )

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Hello smersh69,

To the best of my understanding, there is generally someone keeping an eye open for the older threads.

I applaud your work, it takes a special kind of Tech to explore this little discussed & often misunderstood world.

From your comment, I believe, the question you're asking is how to get your iMac to accept a newer MACOSX version?

If this is what you're looking to do, there are a few things that you're going to have to "Think Outside the Box" with. The CPU Socket, is the first hurdle. Since you have (had) an orignal 4.1 v. The socket for the CPU, will support a "Core 2" series Intel CPU. This is an LGA775 socket, and (according to Intel) will support up to the QUAD Core, Core 2 Qxxxx CPUs, or for that fact, even the Quad 2 Extreme.

However this is ONLY a physical compatibility. There's more to the picture.


Hi, thanks for the update and your reporting your success. Glad that this thread is being kept alive. I have been considering this upgrade so I sincerely appreciate you report.

I found this for others as well, and on macrumors someone claims success getting Lion on board,

Also, this shows how to get Lion installed. It seems macmini related but I think it might work. There is a video that I have yet to watch, it has a walkthrough.



I believe anything above a Core2Duo 2.33 (T7600) would present an electrical incompatibility. Don't quote me on this but I believe I read this somewhere, I am pretty sure it was on wikipedia as they have pages on the Core2Duo that mentions this.



Sorry it that was confusing. Here's the MAIN thing. The Socket is the biggest "hitch". As long as the motherboard has a 775 socket & not the ZIFF or Soldered CPU, you can make the upgrade to all but a few of the Core 2's. The Voltage & Heat are still going to be concerns with certain CPU's. Generally, the more circuits (generally indicated by the speed) in the CPU, the more heat is generated. The heat is actually cumulative, since the older models ventilation was not as good as later models (there are a dozen reasons why, but, for simplicity. Older runs hotter). So (again, generally speaking), most Core 2 (quad & duo) both 45nm & 65nm CPU's, consume 65 Watts. The iMac PSU (w/iSight) provides 120 Watts to the entire system. Long, story made short. There is a Part # on each board, it's actually pretty clear. But, the best method is, if the socket fits, upgrade it!!! ~hope that helps.


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So after the third tear down, (which I can now do blindfolded by th way) I put the new processor in (model t7600 2.33ghz) the computer fired right up. I was relieved to now I had not damaged this bad boy that has served me very well for the past 4 years!

So the chip I originally tried was the t5850 2.16ghz. The first had some bent pins when I got it so I thought that was the issue. I reordered the same chip because it was cheap and that gave the same results, one blink and no power.

The computer is a lot faster and also the SSD I put in makes a big difference.

If I can help let me know.

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Here's the rest of my comment~


Maybe this has some stuff you can use...

Now you will have to remember this is a simple mechanical thing, meaning that the "Pins" {I place in quotes because these are not actual PINS, they are a much more advanced system that simply applies mechanical pressure onto the gold contact, rather than the traditional socket/pin used in so many other models, both before & after.} will line up properly & make good contact unless they are disturbed or tarnished.

This being said, the next issue you should encounter {at least with the CPU}, will be the power. Since greater processing power, requires a greater amount of power to ensure a properly functioning state. Most CPUs will simply fail to operate. Here's a "Short List" that includes voltages & L2 caching limitations.

Since this is NOT the only issue you will encounter, I'll let you digest the list first. However, you WILL also need to understand that the original power supply in that [4.1] "Maybe" modified. Although you are NOT going to be able to change the specific connector that it uses without some serious work. The BIGGEST issue that you will encounter is the Heat generated by all those additional transistors (although, these transistors actually exist in later models, they are disabled or "Defrocked" segments of the CPUs internal structure).

Now the OEM 3300 series Capacitors will NOT take this additional load for an extended period of time. So don't get too excited if you find yourself exceeding the proper spec's & thinking you've got it made. Those cap's WILL overhead/overload & burst. There are options out these (if you'd like to go into that, I may have a suggestion of two) which may be attempted, if you have the proper tools & skills.

The last thing is to consider the ComboDrive, it will have to be upgraded to a Dual Layer drive to accept the proper upgrade disk. Again, there ARE other ways around this, but, this will stop you dead in your tracks.

~Hope this helps~

However, if I have misunderstood your question, well, nevermind :)

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I am trying to understand what you are outlining. So if I could ask for your patience while I try to position a question.

I took a look at the wikipedia page a few days ago as I am considering the upgrade, to a T7600 CPU. The CoreDuo does appear to use less power, is this correct? If this is the case then you are right that the PSU may not be able to support the upgrade for long without going through some stress. Could you verify my claim because I don't want to mislead anyone, hence discouraging them.

In summary, are you suggesting that an CPU upgrade to a T7600 may not be a good idea after all as it may stress the PSU?

I hope you find time to clarify my concerns. I apologize if I misunderstood your comments.

Kind regards



Hi johngonsalvesjr, I didn't actually have a question and my upgrade was done some 3 years ago. I'm not going to upgrade this iMac any further from the Core 2 Duo (2.0Ghz) it now has although it seems likely a T7600 or similar would work. Don't see much point in an OS X upgrade to another outdated version.

I did want to point out though that CPU *and* RAM can be upgraded though as there seemed to be some confusion. My RAM is now 4Gb and system ID reports machine as a 5.1 iMac.

Cheers, S.



Yeah, I realized that I had addressed my response to you & not NIRV (the poster I should've replied to)... basically duh. So sorry for dragging you back into the conversation.

And, yes, the upgrade did work pretty well with mine too. I've done 2 more since. I really like the way that Mac's use system memory (programmatically @ The Software Layer). The ONLY drawback is the Intel Chipset (including VIA, SIS, Sigma & others licenced mfr's.), is that the architecture reduced the Maximum Memory to 4 GB!!! Really, went from using 64 GB (of 128 GB Max) in my G5 Power Mac & 32 in My G4 to FOUR Gigabytes... Too bad Motorola Chips became impossible to maintain. But, change happens. Now we're back up there. But, WOW the price to put 128 GB in a system today is crazy. Then again, it's (quite literally) 10,000 TIMES faster (DDR ~vs~ DDR4x).

Anyway, thanks S, I appreciate you catching my comment. Good to hear from you again :)


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Would Apple's Lion installer accept this newly upgraded iMac as valid install target?

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There's another question on this posted right at the time Lion came out on this. I had to change one line of code for it to install.


I would add:

Apple would likely have limited the CPU options for one of two (engineering) reasons; Heat emitted by the CPU and/or the Voltage consumed by the CPU. Either of these issues will cause critical system failure (capacitor suspension fluid expanding, causing "Cap Pop").

As I mentioned before, I would recommend not exceeding the Northbridge's caching limit. I believe this is 6 MB (don't quote me on that).

There is a point at which "she won't take the load" and failure will happen. Just remember these machines were notorious for overheat issues at manufacturer specifications, exceeding these specifications will almost certainly increase this potential, I would recommend any type of cooling augmentation.


Mac OSX 10.8.x will not be supported with any known configuration of this Mac.


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Ok I made the upgrade too. I changed 2.0Ghz Core Duo with 2.33Ghz Core 2 Duo. First 3 days impressions are great! It's definetly worth it especially how cheap are the CPUs on ebay now. Xbench results for CPU test changed from 94.09 to 165.17. So its a +75% performance. And Lion works great, but you have to install it with Target Drive utility using another lion enabled computer. Good luck!

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joleisa you will get more appropriate answers for your question if you ask your own Question. Click on the link on the right side of this page and give as much detail as possible. I had noticed your question as answers in multiple places. If you post your own question, the Mac Guru's are going to see it and can help you much better.


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Dear MacHead3,

Although I've seen and experienced a few of these upgrades on my personal machines. I have found that the first series "non-unibody" MBP's although actually, quite a bit easier to do. Seem to have Some fit issues, and never seems to come together "clean' if you get me.

It's a super thing to get that old Dual-Core out of there, it makes a real difference in what you can do. For me, unless I'm moving it to a Socket T, there just doesn't seem to be enough reason to do this upgrade. No offense, just the math. The cost of the replacement board, time and effort, risking damage to all of those little connectors, and then there's the Mac OSX upgrade...

My favorite trick is to get a Unibody (Used or broken for $125) and mod it from there. many more options and the board and socket is better and more useful.

So, as for help with your issue, just be aware, if you haven't taken the system apart yet, the A110n series is a solder on CPU, not really an upgrade option. The next 2 series are ZIFF sockets, much better, then 3rd gen with 775.

By no means is this impossible by any streatch, just do the board swap, don't attempt to re-flow job, it's pretty tricky!

Hope this helps,

My 2 Cents!

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Depending on which specific model this is there are a couple of things to try. First, and quickest is a PRAM Reset (Ctrl+R+P), which you can look up on Apple's site. The second and actually more likely (unfortunately) is that the power supply (it the modulaized component that the A power cord plugs into). I have replaced mine twice in the past 6 years. This is now where near as common as some blogs and groups might lead you to believe.

The single most common issue by far is the Cap-Pop issue. Since you've had the back off, then you've seen them. What you need to do is to examine them very closely. What you are looking for is any bulging or dark residue on the silver "Top" of the capacitors. These are small components that kinda look like small soda cans, with black plastic wrapped around the sides and exposed shinny aluminum tops (normally with a crease indented on the tops in the shape of a "Y" kinda looks like a Peace Sign).

Anyway, if any of these are "Popped" or bulging, this is your problem. Heat is a very common issue with these first years, still a bit on an issue today, but designed for better heat dissipation. Most people give me the 'Scoffing' sound when I tell them that some Apple's have design flaws. Like I'm stupid... LOL. Just believe me, there is NOTHING made by a human that can't have a human flaw!!!

Hope this sheds some light, Good luck

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Jason sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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