Contribute
Register

MacOS upgrade for an old iMac ...

Joined
Mar 14, 2012
Messages
61
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z87X-OC
CPU
i7-4770K OC @ 4.75 GHz
Graphics
GTX 780
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Hi m8s,
I found an old iMac (21.5", mid 2010, i3 3.06 GHz, Mavericks OS X 10.9) perfectly working and almost unused.
I intend to upgrade the memory from 4GB to 16 GB and to replace the old 5400 rpm HDD with a SSD (I know, transfers speed will be limited by SATA 1 interface).
What are my concerns? According to Apple, this iMac could be upgraded up to High Sierra (10.13) but I would like to force it to install Catalina (10.15).
What do you think, will be possible?
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
16,020
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Android
What do you think, will be possible?
It's possible but we don't support that approach here. You'll have to search the internet. We primarily focus on macOS installs on PC hardware not on Macs that Apple sells.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2018
Messages
6
Motherboard
Gigabyte H370M-D3H
CPU
i5-8400
Mobile Phone
Android
I was able to upgrade an iMac with similar specs up to Mojave using DosDude1's Mojave Patcher.

The problem is that it has AMD Radeon HD 5xxx graphics so it doesn't run very well. For me that's fine since I am just using it as an Xcode build server and I never need to touch it, but if you want to use it for anything like a normal desktop computer, it will be practically unusable.

If your machine doesn't have the problematic AMD Radeon HD 5xxx/6xxx series graphics, you can definitely use DosDude1's tool.

You might be able to go all the way to Catalina (using DosDude1's Catalina Patcher), but I have not tested that myself. (The only reason I updated to Mojave was to run Xcode 13, so I don't need Catalina yet.)
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
16,020
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Android
problematic AMD Radeon HD 5xxx/6xxx series graphics
Those iMacs, 21.5" mid-2010 i3 models, have Radeon HD4670 256 MB graphics which probably are the bottom of the heap for that era. There's no way to upgrade the CPU to one with even 2nd gen Intel igfx so it's basically a dead end at High Sierra. See the chart for how the AMD card ranks. Almost 200 points below HD4600 Intel.

Screen Shot 1.jpg
 
Last edited:

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
16,020
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Android
That's not listed as being a problem.
If the OP tries to run Catalina on that iMac I don't think it will do very well. If they try it maybe they'll post how it went.
 
Top