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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 I upgrade the CPU in my mid 2011 21.5 inch

Can I upgrade the CPU in my Mid 2011 21.5” system?

Currently it has the intel 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5. If I can upgrade what is the best possible CPU to put in?

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you could upgrade to a newer faster CPU, however some people have reported boot problems with certain CPU models. some of the imacs had the option of the faster 3.6 GHz "Core i5" I5-680 processor which should work well with your model as long as its the same socket, lots of people has had success doing this upgrade to their existing iMac.

For more info check out this page:


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Yes, your system can support a better CPU. But you are limited to what Apple offered 2.8 GHz Core i7 (I7-2600S) as the most powerful in this series. This is due to the CPU socket - LGA 1155 and the TDP limits the system can support.

But! Before you go down that direction, you might find other improvements will get you more performance for less money and/or work!

As an example:

  • Upgrading your RAM to 16 GB which is the easiest to do
  • Upgrade your HDD to either a SSHD or SSD
  • Or, install a second drive here a SSD. While the hardest offers the best performance for the least amount of money (you don’t need as large a drive as above)

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If my softwares (Chrome) are no longer being updated for my current hardware will more RAM or going solid state address this or is it a full meal deal CPU that is necessary?


Chrome is a RAM pig! Max the RAM!! It is also multithreaded so if you have an i5 you'll want to get an i7.


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Yes to I7 quadcore it's easy to do.

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I bought more RAM and the i7 CPU. Wonder about backing up data before tackling. CPU and RAM are mostly about processes not data so wonder if that is such a worry.

Thanks for the confidence boost


@beaualta - Its always smart to have a backup in case something goes wrong.

I would start off upgrading the RAM first making sure it works before you alter your processor.I assume you have also ready gotten a SSD and installed that as that would get you much more performance than the CPU if you already have an i5 chip.


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