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  1. #1

    Member Since
    May 09, 2011
    iMac 27" Major Upgrade (Late 2009)
    i am a proud owner of the imac 27" (late 2009). however with the latest 2011 imac release i am seriously considering replacing it.

    although all hope is not lost. instead of spending 2500$ on a new upgrade could be an alternative solution.

    i have the i7 2.8ghz quad core processor which i believe is good enough and it doesnt need touching.

    the memory is a pc3-8500 (ddr3 1066mhz) which could be upgraded to pc3-10600 (ddr3 1333mhz). other people have successfully managed this upgrade (more info here -> 27" iMac Late 2009 1333Mhz RAM upgrade Success! - MacRumors Forums) =>significant performance increase

    an upgrade to the hdd could be done as well (since the 1tb western digital that came with the imac is a noisy piece of ...hardware - louder that the imac fan if you ask me...the only thing that bothers me). it can be easily replaced with an ssd of about 120GB (if you dual boot). there is a problem regarding the temperature sensor (which for the wd 1tb hdd is internal) but solutions are available. fairly expensive upgrade but well worth it (up to 10x faster random access times).

    and now comes my final problem...the video card. i have found upgrades available on various websites. i have the hd4850 and at the moment there are hd57xx series (hd5750 has 1gb gddr5 memory -> Apple 661-5578 27" iMac (Mid 2010) ATI Radeon HD... in stock at OWC) which can swap out the stock video card. i believe these cards are from the mid 2010 imacs.
    my question is...will i be able to go beyond that and upgrade to the nice and new hd 6970 with 2gb gddr5 memory which is on the 2011 imac.
    i looked around on the internet for the 27" late 2009 and 27" 2011 model tear-downs and the video card and heatsink sizes give me hope. here are the links:

    27" late 2009 teardown: iMac Intel 27" Teardown - iFixit

    27" 2011 model teardown: 2011 iMac Unboxing & Teardown | Other World Computing Blog

    ifixit anly has the 21" 2011 teardown: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2428 Teardown - iFixit

    leave your thoughts and opinions below. thanks

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    My advice: Sell the 2009 iMac and buy a new one. You could wind up spending hundreds of dollars on trying to upgrade and have it not work or even break something that was working right.

    The only Mac in my opinion that is really suitable to be upgraded is the Mac Pro.

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