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Model A1224 / Early 2009 / 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Help upgrading CPU on my iMac, any ideas? It's old

I would like to upgrade the CPU in my system,

the specs are below in the screenshots. I don’t mind spending money on the CPU. I like the system because it is vintage, I am a collector of this generation apple products and I like to keep the usable in modern day, I know the bus speed is not high but I don’t mind on the motherboard.

I am aware of risk, I am a technician so it does not bother me. I already replaced the LCD and the motherboard. (Just saying, future LCD’s are compatible with this device if you’re creative ;) )

Does anybody know any CPU’s that will work? Thanks

I’m also changing the RAM to its actual cap of 16gb

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Sorry guy you’ve got the best CPU this logic board will support! In addition the North Bridge chip does not have the needed address lines to support more than 8 GB of DDR2 RAM.

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Things you might want to do is max the RAM to 8 GB, replace the HDD with either a SSHD or a SSD. You will still be limited to El Capitan the last OS-X supported by Apple on this system.

Best to save your pennies to get a newer system. I would look at a 2013 21.5” iMac as being a good buy or if you can go for a 27” model.

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Hey, I put Mojave on this system with the use of MojavePatcher. It's really sad that I can't use anything else... But I've heard of core 2 duo extreme being used in this system, or even really old quad cores.

Do you think this is possible, or some sort of motherboard work can be done?

Thanks, all this thing needs to do is to write essays and watch videos and basic programming.



Running Mojave is not wise. Yes, using a thunker service to get it to work on this older system is possible as you've discovered, but the OS's foot print is larger than El Capitan which limits the available RAM for your apps and data.

This is the only other Socket P (PGA478) CPU that might work in your system. I personally wouldn't waste the effort as the amount of performance gain is so small.

3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo (E7600)

The extreme processor you pointed out would not offer any improvement at all from what you have.

2.80 GHz Core 2 Duo Extreme Processor (X7900)


Hey thanks for the help! The processor only costs 10$ used, so I think I'll pick it up. The Ram is pretty cheap too so I'll get that. The SSD will need tinkering, I have to transfer the temp sensor from the old HDD but I'll get it working somehow.

In fact, that's what I did with the LCD. I'm going to make a guide on how to do that, good to contribute sometimes.

I'm upgrading this cause the system looks cool and I like the project, it's fun. Got it for free, customer abandoned it and it will work just fine for my workload. Spent 100$ total on this thing, not a bad deal.

Thanks again!


Don't forget your systems SATA port is only SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) so make sure the drive you get supports the slower standard many drives are dropping SATA II support. Review the spec sheet and/or speak with the maker to be sure.

This is not a walk in the park replacing the CPU! I personally wouldn't risk it and if you mess up you loose the system. Stick with the easier upgrades.


Hey Dan,

upon further inspection I think you've got the wrong system. Mine is DDR3 and the CPU you gave me is the wrong socket. I checked and appearently Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 2 GHz Quad-Core is the same socket as my system, which is P socket 478.

Where did you get that diagram? I'm looking into if my mobo can handle the power draw. Also, I need to find third party EFI that I can get so it recognizes my CPU... I know this sounds stupid to you, but is it technically possible?

:) youre a big help


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I don’t think a CPU upgrade will do you much good, but a 500GB SSD backward compatible, (now about $100) would give you a dramatic boost. Also max the RAM at 8 GB. Then see if you even feel a need for a CPU boost.

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