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1.83 GHz Core Duo or 1.83, 2, or 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo A1208 (EMC 2104/2110/2114/2124)

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Trouble upgrading to maximum memory

I recently was given a 2006 Intel iMac by a science museum I did some work for.

I got it home and booted it up and being the tinker I am, I wanted to see what I could upgrade on it.

Using the guide here I was able to upgrade the Core 2 Duo process to the fastest available, the T7600 2.33 GHz. I had an old polycarbonate Mac mini laying a around that uses the same memory except I had two 2GB sticks and wanted to replaced the two 1GB sticks that was in the iMac.

However, the iMac simply won’t boot with more than 2GB in it.

I initially thought maybe they weren’t seated correctly so I addressed that. Then I thought maybe one of the sticks may be damaged. So I attempted a boot with only one of them in the iMac at a time. It boots fine there.

I then tried one 2GB and one 1GB stick and it won’t boot.

I know there’s a limitation of 2GB with Core Duo. The Model Identifier recognizes it as an iMac5,2.

I don’t know what the hang up is. Thanks for any help on offer.

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Sadly, you are trying to push your system beyond what it can support! This series Max memory is only 2GB.

Here’s the specs for your system: iMac 17-Inch 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo (iMac5,2) This model uses the onboard intergraded graphics engine (IG). This is the reason your system is limited! The iMac5,1 models have a dedicated graphics setup (Radeon X1600) thus it has its own graphics memory and don’t need to lock the RAM address space for the internal graphics engine like your system. As an example iMac 17-Inch 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo (iMac5,1) in this model it can address 3 GB of RAM (using either one 2GB and one 1GB DIMMs or using two 2GB DIMM’s) Only 3 GB is accessible by the OS.

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Well, that’s unfortunate. Next question, is there anyway to actually add graphics? I know it’ll require some on-board Soldering but was willing to consider it? Or would it just be better to purchase a replacement board with graphics already?

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Sorry that's a no-go too ;-{

The logic board has no placement for the dedicated GPU chip and the 5.1 models have the chip soldered to the logic board. Newer 2009 models is when the MXM boards where used. And now with the 2012 onward models we are back to soldered GPU's on the logic board. Even if you had a newer MXM model the boards are now hard to come by and you need one with the Apple firmware on it.

Its sounds like its time to get a newer system which meets your needs (used or new)

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This was just for a fun project. This isn't my daily and I'm only looking to do these things to educate myself and push it to the limits in terms of "upgradeability". The graphics wasn't even something on my radar because of the difficulty and cost involved but I honestly thought this thing can be maxed to 4gb memory. That's a bummer. I'd be willing to even try some "backdoor" way. I have the modules from the Mac Mini just sitting here lol. Anyway, thanks for the insight!!

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Some of them can take 3GB, but you need the right one (2006 Core 2). Not all of them do, so it's a trial and error thing. Yours isn't on the 3GB list :(.

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Leverage EveryMac. Its the bible for system specs.

In your case the IG graphics uses a part of the address space just above 2GB with is why you can't extend the RAM. In the other DG model it don't need this space but just above the 3 GB is another area in the address space that is used for the port I/O. Back then addressing was fixed as we didn't have the tech to have it float as we do today. Which is why the Core Duo and For 2 Duo based systems always had RAM limits. The i Series (i3, i5 & i7) PCH chips where the first to allow floating.

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