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iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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CPU upgrade worth it? Which SSD?

I’m looking to upgrade everything possible on my late 2009 iMac.

It appears I can upgrade to a Core 2 Duo 8600 3.3 GHz for 24 bucks lol. I currently have the 3.0 GHz core 2 Duo, not sure if that’s even worth while. What do you guys think ?

I’m planning on maxing out the RAM to 16 GB, currently have 4 GB

I’m looking to upgrade to an SSD, I was wondering if I can put any size SSD or if I have to keep the matching 1TB size. I was considering the 2TB Samsung 860 EVO?

I was also looking at my GPU options, currently have the ATI Radeon HD 4670. Will upgrading to the 4850 be worth it? What do you guys think?

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You realize you have a transition system! The 2309 is the Core 2 Duo and the 2374 is the iSeries version. Its the same hardware except the CPU’s!

So you also have the Core i5 (i750) 2.66 GHz, or Core i7 (i860) 2.8 GHz Either one will give you more bang than the 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo.

As far as the SSD, you only have a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) interface in your system so what ever drive you get needs to support this I/O speed, as an example the Samsung 860 EVO SSD offers support as you can see in the spec sheet here “SATA 6 Gbps Interface, compatible with SATA 3 Gbps & 1.5 Gbps interfaces” Make sure the drive you get states it in the spec sheet if not don’t buy it!

Did you say you wanted a 4 TB drive? ;-} There are even bigger drives like 16 GB!

As you can see you have quite a few options here with the Samsung drive. Don’t go too large! Just because you can doesn’t make it a sound investment! Lets say in a year your system dies and you decide to go with a newer system what would you do with your SSD? Get a case for it and use it as a backup drive?

As far as your GPU, while it would be nice to have a more powerful GPU you systems age makes this iffy! All you can get are pulled GPU boards from parted out systems so you could just be getting one that’s well worn. Save your money for your next system.

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Shoot! I was under the impression since I have a core 2 duo I could not upgrade to the i7. Thanks for the heads up. Is that the only i7 I can upgrade to?


The Core i5 & i7 chips are the very first and share the Core 2 Duo socket (LGA1156). The newer models use a different socket and require more power & cooling.

So simply no, you have only these two CPU's to choose from.


Thanks a lot for the help. I look forward to hopefully getting a couple more years out of my iMac.


@joey5170 - Don't forget to score the answer and accept it if you're set. Enjoy the new zip your system will offer with your upgrades!


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Hello there is it possible to use the INTEL Core i7-11700K as CPU for the late 2009 iMac 2007?

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There is no 27" 2007 model and the 2007 24" is strictly a Core 2 Duo system.

The 27" 2009 the Core i5 (i750) 2.66 GHz, or Core i7 (i860) 2.8 GHz are your only options! They both use the LGA1156 socket.

The Core i7-11700K uses a FC-LGA14A socket which is not compatible with the older logic board.

Also note the power needed and heat these chips produce. You just can't do it!

An old Ford Model T would make a great speed racer with a jet engine mounted to it on the Bonneville Salt Flats!


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Joey zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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