So I decided to upgrade Heather's ( my girlfriend ) iMac ( early 2009, Core Duo @ 2.66 ghz each, cannot hyperthread. ).
Mostly this is an attempt to shorten the amount of time she has to spend everyday editing her photography.
Saving files and running filters in Photoshop from larger Raw files is tedious and time consuming.

My aproach was to find out her iMac's cpu socket ( if it even had one ), find any totorials on the process of opening up an iMac of her type. Figuring out what tools I would need, and then planning out an evening where both of us had the time to commence the experiment.

So from this article on Everymac.com, I figured I found the correct cpu socket, ( LGA 1156 ) and from this chart on CPUBenchmark.net I figured the fastest CPU for that socket was the Intel Core i7-880 @ 3.07GHz. There was a Xeon, but there were too many unknowns if the iMac could even use it. So I found the CPU on ebay for $180 used coming from China. The experiment was well on it's way. I got her an OCZ Trion 100 SSD Hard drive @ 960gb. ( $250 ).

The results were a spectacular failure. For one the CPU in her iMac is not a socket LGA 1156. It's a Socket P ZIF socket cpu. These have been around a long time, but I dind't think I would ever see one again. Completely different. The CPU's for that are not even lidded. Meaning they don't have an integrated heat spreader. For comparison here is a cpu without the IHS ( integrated heat spreader ). And here is one with the IHS. The i7 that I purchased is lidded. The pins are completely different. The i7 has contacts for the pins, the Socket P chips actually have the pins on the CPU and not the other way around.

Well... so much for that, at least I can still upgrade her Hard drive to an SSD right? Wrong!!! The OCZ trion 100 was a dud. Brand new ssd. Won't boot. Can barely read or write. Crashes the computer. Formating takes upwards of 30 minutes if it even completes. I have since found out from OCZ that if your Mac has an NVidia Sata chip, that it is incompatible with their hard drives. HUH?, whah.... How do you not post that bit of info on your website or on the packaging for the drive....? The iMac has an NVidia Sata chip. Blurgh!!!!!! I had to swap that one out for an Adata 960 gb. Now her computer is at least usable. Eventually I found the correct CPU for the socket in her iMac, which is Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 3.06GHz Dual-Core. This cpu represents a 15% increase in processing speed. Benchmarks should see a gain of about that much at least.

The biggest speed boost to ther system however has been the ssd.

Below is a video and screenshots of the results of my efforts.





-Cheers,
Julio Martinez.