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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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27” iMac 5K 2019 CPU upgradable Or soldered?

I am looking to buy the 27” iMac 5k 2019 but I can’t find a shred of info on if the CPU is socketed (upgradable) or soldered. Does anyone know?

Thanks! -Zach

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I am wondering if this is a possibility as well.

I know you can upgrade the RAM and the Fusion Drive to SSD

no idea about the cpu

HOWEVER, The iMac Pro (2018) Has a socketed cpu so theoretically that could be upgraded. This gives me hope that the 2019 iMac is socketed too.

(I don't have the heart to open my 27 inch iMac (2019))

I just bought mine today, base model 2019 27” iMac. I will be opening it up tomorrow evening, maybe early Saturday. We will have an answer then!

I’ll post as soon as I’m finished

Zack make sure you get the correct tools to take the display off and a set or two of tapes to replace them: [연계 제품이 누락 또는 비활성화 됨: IF174-005-1] The kit has what you need.

Here's the procedure to take off the display iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display Display Replacement

Unless you have a strong reason to go that deep I would hold off opening it just to look around. Review this set of guides iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display (Late 2014 & 2015)

Thanks Dan!

I already have my iMac opening tools and HDD upgrade kit.

I plan to do the following during surgery:

Upgrade the SSD to 1tb

Upgrade HDD to 8tb

Upgrade CPU to i9 9900k

Then in Post OP I’ll upgrade the ram to 64gb.

Wish me luck!

Hey, good luck to ya!

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선택된 해법

I got a little impatient and decided to open it up today before my SSD arrived.

Good news though! Our thoughts were correct! The CPU is socketed (upgradable) in the 2019 27” iMac. :D

I powered it on and booted up the OS and everything ran smooth as butter with the newly installed i9 9900k.

I just need to get my SSD so I can close it up and start using it.

Thank you everyone for all your input and advice!

Chalk this up as another win for the repair revolution :D


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you Notice any thermal throttling ? I know the iMac pro has a better cooling system compared to the iMac and the i9 is notorious for causing comps to thermal throttling.

Was the cooling sufficient ?

Thanks again Zach for this very important update.

I have added this update to my post regarding CPU and NVMe upgrades on 2017 and 2019 27-inch iMacs.


Hi Zach.

Which 2019 27" base model did you buy to upgrade to i9?

same question, which model do you have? base 6 core 8500?


That’s very interesting that you are having a HDD fan speed issue.

I also upgraded the HDD to an 8TB Seagate Barracuda and also did not use the OWC sensor and have had zero issues with the fan speeds.


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The 27” iMac’s have always had socketed CPU’s. The 21.5” models low end models often had soldered CPU’s

But! You have been limited by the EFI to the CPU’s within the series . So in this case iMac19,1 Series CPU options.

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True but that was also true for the Mac Mini prior to 2018 and then they decided to solder the CPU out of nowhere.

Apple reserves the right to make stupid decisions any time they please.

So sadly, it’s just not a guarantee.

I’m starting to think I’m going to just have to buy one and crack it open myself to find out for certain.

The MacBook’s & MacBook Air’s are also soldered.

Which is why I limited my answer to iMac’s.

Yeah, I know.

I was just pointing out that just because something has been one way for so long in the past doesn’t guarantee it will stay that way.

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iMac 27 2019

Can be upgraded to i9-9900kf or i9-9900k

I9-9900kf has better performance.

Can be upgraded from 3.0 base model to 3.7 high end model.

I done it 3 times already.

Remove battery from mother board on 3.0 base model while installing i9-9900kf

After install reinsert battery.

Update (10/26/2019)

here the proof

Block Image

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Are you sure about this? The logicBoard on the iMac 27 2019 i9 model is of TPD 95W, while the base model is 65W, and with different setup, and different heatsink and everything. There is a couple of videos doing the ssd nvme upgrades that shows this.

I am 100 percent sure, I have done it 3 times, upgrade base model to i9.

Hey, I did a 9900k upgrade yesterday on my base mode 27" 2019 iMac and while the system does boot it kernel panics either during boot or when in the finder. This was a fairly difficult install, harder than a 12 core Xenon in the 2013 Mac Pro I did early in the year. I am wondering if I need to re-install 10.15 to get different os drivers or firmware updates? I do not think that is an issue though. Tomorrow I am going to pull the OWC nVME ssd and see what happens. Still has the factory 8GB ram so maybe I should swap that also.

hey , did you know 9900ks (127w TDP )can or can't be install to iMac 2019 ?

Can I ask what the significance is of removing the battery while installing?

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Morning Guys,

I kinda used this thread as the catalyst to go ahead and upgrade my base 27-inch 2019 (only bought last week to be fair).

I wasn't convinced that the i9-9900KF or other higher spec processor would work. Its a big lay out for a punt.

So I opted for the i9-9900K. £450 new.

I opted for this processor due to this being an option straight from Apple. Anything googled online only really suggests the board supports 4 options.

I also upgraded the RAM to 64gb but while is was in, installed a 1TB SSD and 128GB PCIe blade (that I had spare which came out of a 2015 MacBook Pro).

I have to say, not the easiest job.

Two key areas that are a headache:

1. refitting the tension spring to the back of the CPU.

2. Refitting the screen (mainly because it was my first attempt).

However, I have to say, the machine fired back up first time, absolutely no issues.

Key point - The fusion drive, for obvious reasons, splits. Again a noob to this, but actually wasn't so hard to fix. I'm an OCD kinda guy and hated having a separate SSD & PCIe drive. I want the OS to run from the blade and the crap loaded onto the SSD.

Easy process.

Boot from your previously cloned externally HDD. Note - the clone on this drive automatically splits into two volumes when it copied my original fusion drive.

Go into recovery mode at boot up. Takes a few minutes to boot.

Run terminal from the utilities menu and the "diskutil resetFusion".

Reboot the machine from your external drive and clone back onto your newly built fusion drive. You can rebuild a fusion drive with SSD & PCIe.

Job done.

I have to say, the machine is running well. Geekbench scores are pretty much inline with average scores for this new spec.

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Great job, I also switched processors in mine, went from the 8500 to the 9600K, changed the PCIe blade with a 1 TB WD Black SN750 (using an adapter) and removed the hard drive, no issues.

hey guys, totally new to this, was considering building a custom PC because I thought Macs were not upgradable at a ll. So youre telling me I can get a base 27 inch, and upgrade the RAM , the CPU and the DRIVE? No issue to worry about in the future? meaning OS updates or anything like that , should be okay? Also if I opt for the fusions drive, does that mean I need to account for that? If I just want an SSD drive, do I need to get that model?

ALSO, can this be done to the 21 inch then? If upgrading a iMac is as doable as upgrading pcs are then this seems kinda like a no brainer, any advice? One last question, can a RYZEN processor be thrown in then? Those tend to have more cores for cheaper prices.

I make music so I have been using amacbook pro and it doesnt seem to be best option but dont want to go hackintosh. Id massively appreciate any help here

Was this the base model as in 3.0 I5 with the Radeon Pro 970x?

Hi Frank, it was exactly that. Just to say, the Mac has been running perfectly ever since I posted this.

Thanks! Decided to go ahead, and replaced the CPU with an i9-9900K and it runs smoothly. Temperature is normal.

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Hi everyone, I did the core I5 3.0ghz cpu upgrade with Intel I9-9900K and everything went fine.

I only recommend to take out ram Dimm before doing anything, and of course put the ram back inside after iMac reassembling.

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watched LTT on youtube upgrade the RAM and CPU on a iMac Pro

found a link on Cultofmac that shows the CPU being upgradable for the 2017 iMac

the architecture is similar to the iMac pros so I'm almost positive that the 2019 iMac is upgradable for the CPU.

Heres the link:https://www.cultofmac.com/486048/apple-f...

Heres the video of LTT upgrading a iMac pro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvvBh3CI...

Godspeed you maniac!

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dvluong - an iMac Pro is a different beast under the hood. The older iMac 5K is the more similar system.

A smart business decision would be for apple to reuse the similar architecture found in older/other product lines to take advantage of their economies of scale. With the iMac being reused it’s clear that’s what they are pursuing.

Thank god Zack confirmed this and our iMacs cpu is upgradable

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Confirmed today, I took apart my 2019 iMac base 6 core 8500.

Upgraded to Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB - No Issue with the Latest firmware 2B2QEXM7 released on 2019/5/20.

Upgraded to 12TB Seagate EXOS HDD - Have hdd fan speed issue, did not put the OWC sensor. Use Mac Fan Control as alternative solution.

Upgraded Ram Kingston KHX2666C15S4/16G - No Issue.

The CPU is changeable, not soldered - Not upgraded yet, I'm okay with 8500's performance so far. But I'm sure the CPU is upgradeable.

Update (06/24/2019)

Upgrade is fine, but the photos in https://www.instagram.com/p/BzF7bNoIreS/ seems has thermal sensor for the HDD.

BTW, Zach, what is your normal idle fan speed after upgraded to 8TB HDD? Mine idle speed is about 1600-1700rpm, the fan sound is very noticeable. The lowest fan speed is 1200rpm, and the highest fan speed is 2593rpm from the Mac Fan Control settings.


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Hi, can you upgrade the 2019 21.5 iMac with i9 9900k?

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Sorry you can't jump past what the system was designed to support as the systems firmware doesn't support 9th-generation CPU's only 8th-generation CPU's. Besides the 9900k has a TDP 95 W and the 8700 only has TDP 65 W the systems power supply and cooling couldn't support it.

Have replaced the CPU. 3.7 i5 out and 3.6 i9 in.

iMac does not start?

i5 back in and the iMac goes again?

What could be the problem?

You've exceeded the what the systems power supply can offer the CPU as well as the TDP. The 21.5" iMacs can't support the i9 CPU's!

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Hi, I have just done the upgrade from iMac 27 2019, i5 8500k to i9 9900kf. 

You must be very careful changing the cpu, it’s easy to damage the pins under the cpu. Puting back the cooler is the hardest part of the surgery. Also no heat problem or full speed running fan. Everything’s running smooth for now.  

I also install Samsung 980 pro with the hope that it runs at full speed, but there is no benefit at all. Because it’s not running at full speed. You don’t get more than 3000 write and read speed because of Pcie 3.0 x4. 

So I put back my Samsung 970 evo and happy with it for now.

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Be aware Apple uses the onboard Intel graphics during boot up startup which is why you should stick with the i9-9900K Vs the i9-9900Kf

These commands won't work! Mac startup key combinations

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Has anyone tried the i9-9900 launched Q2 ‘19? Looks like the same specs as the 9900K, but it has a 65W TDP vs the 9900K’s 95W TDP, and a lower base frequency.

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