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Can logic board of 2009 iMac to be used in 2010 iMac, both 21.5"?

I have a mid 2010 iMac, 21.5”, A1311, can’t startup at all, no chime tone, black screen, but fan running ok. I have checked the power unit, it works, so suspect either GPU or logic board may be broken.

There are many forums on how to replace/upgrade GPU for old iMac, and how to choose right GPUs, but there were few sharing on how to choose right logic boards, so like to hear from you guys on how to choose and identify right logic boards to fix broken iMac.

For instance, it is possible that the logic board of 2009 iMac cab be used for replacing logic board of 2010 iMac, both 21.5"? Any official sites to find out how to identify logic boards for iMac? If two iMac have same model no., say, A1311, can their logic boards can be used for two machines ?

Thanks for sharing

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Sorry no, the logic boards are not compatible!

If your GPU failed you can swap out the MXM board with another board.

Can you explain in more detail what the problem is.

For reference:

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Thanks for the two urls, I noticed that logic boards have different model numbers for different CPU speeds, looks like to swap logic boards between two iMac two machines must be from same year, and CPUs with same speed.

Am I correct to say that to swap out logic boards is rather difficult in comparison with GPU? because you have to find the exact model of iMac which matches your broken iMac, even CPU speed much matches.


Its a bit more complicated! While the case looks the same within all of the A1311 models there is sub divisions we use the ID key to break down which parts work across the models.

So if we look at the 2010 models the key iMac11,2 share the same logic board with different CPU's installed.

With rarity does different ID systems share the same logic board design or can support a different board. As an example the iMac10,1 and the iMac11,1 21.5" systems share the same logic boards! This due to the transition from Intel Core 2 Duo to I-Core CPU's. While the CPU is the same Clarkdale design your system uses the logic board is not setup the same. The next in the series from yours iMac12,1 which introduced the Sandy Bridge CPU's which used a different socket and logic board once again!

The same can be stated for the Mobile PCI Express GPU Module Here there are a few different variations, your system uses a MXM-II board. The systems power and heat sink limits what you can put in to run properly.

In addition to the physical board, the board is programed with custom Apple firmware which is needed to work properly. And the OS also needs a software driver so both limit which board can be used. People have reprogramed Dell and other MXM boards with the needed firmware. That only limits you to the what the OS has for drivers then.

Some people have forced the larger MXM-III board into the 21.5" I personally have needed to pull them out as the system is just not able to support the power and thermal load to get the system working again.

The best way to think this is you have an old 1962 VW beetle with a dead engine what would you put in? A older air cooled engine or you decide to put in a 2000 water cooled engine as you want all of the power it offers! After you do it you realize the rear is too heavy so the front wheels barely touch the pavement so you can't go past 20 MPH !! Cool car! Useless as a car! There is a balance that needs to be achieved, exceeding it doesn't work.


Hi, Dan, thanks for sharing, I have learned a lot from you, appreciate your kindness


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I see a few differences in the 2009 and 2010 boards, it might not work.

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Can you elaborate a bit on what are the differences: physical dimensions of the boards, connector sizes, etc. ? thanks


@David444 I see an extra heat sink in the 2010 board and some other slight oddities like chips moved slightly. My conclusion mostly came from the processor change however


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