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A2115 / 2019 / Processors from 3.0 GHz 6-core i5, up to 3.6 GHz 8-core i9. Released March 19, 2019.

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Known differences in logic boards of the 27” iMacs in respect to CPU?

So, similar to Zach in other posts, I have successfully upgraded a 2019 27” iMac with 9600k and Radeon Pro 580X to a 9900k.

I am interested in doing the same for one of the 2019 with either the 8500 or 8600 CPU’s.

Looking at Apple’s site, the 8600 with 575x does have an option to upgrade to a 9900k.

Does anyone know whether this would be a possible user upgrade?

I see someone has unsuccessfully done so with the 8500 27” iMac base model. Understandably, this could be a limitation of the EFI; however, I question whether that was also just a poor installation of the 9900k. The retention mechanisms are tricky to reassemble in these iMacs.

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To start with Zack’s system was an older Mid 2017 model which is why his couldn’t support the CPU’s he was looking at i7-8700K & i7-8086K as his EFI predates these CPU’s iMac18,3

OK lets look at your system:

Your systems series iMac19,1

Genrally, Apple reuses the same logic board across the series just putting in the different CPU’s. Things are a bit different between the AMD Radeon Pro 570X, 575X or 580X. The AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 is a very different chip and uses a different logic board configuration.

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AMD Radeon Pro 570X, 575X or 580X

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AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48

I have not gotten into upgrading this series so I can’t tell you if the low end boards have the needed EFI support for the higher end i9-9900k CPU.

Given the costs and risks I think it safer to just get the higher end models from Apple than trying to upgrade such a new system to save a few hundred bucks and loose any warranty coverage.

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Thanks Dan! There was an individual who had the base model 2019 imac with the 8500, claiming it would power the USB and other components but the screen would be black. I’m suspicious that he merely didn’t sit the cpu correctly in the socket or over tightened it.

I hear you on spending the extra the have the peace of mind. It’s partly a hobby for me and I tend to setup friends and families with home built or upgraded systems. So, I was just trying to determine whether Apple may have deviated from using the same logic board and EFI across the entire 2019 27" iMac line.

I agree I don’t think any average consumer should tear open a new iMac. This is a hobby for me where I make some side cash helping family and friends. Upgrading from the 580x, 9600k (which it is unlike LTT reported) to the 9900k worked well, although despite using no grizzly kryonaut sparingly, I could not get past ~31000, multithread Geekbench.


Dan, Out of curiosity do you have an iMac that you think when bought used and upgraded is an amazing value? Any of the 27" 2015 or 2017 iMacs?

Kudos though, I’ve noticed you provide lots of good feedback here!


Sure, upgrading some systems do offer value! The trick is sticking within the series as I outlined here as an example. As an example taking a 2010/11 i3 and goosing it to an i7. As well as doing 2012 & 13 models. You start loosing the value as you get newer.


@danj thanks for the advice! I have a 2012 I'll have to try disassembling.


To be clear only the CPU's in this series iMac13,2 - 2012" iMac systems


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