The late 2013 27" iMac's processor is an i5-4570 at the bottom end. At least that's what Geekbench tells me (fwiw, that's not my box's stats, but one of the hits when I was looking it up).

That gets a decent result at (7035), though the LGA 1150 socket has some interesting possible upgrades. It's a bear to get to the iMac's motherboard, but I've been considering doing it at some point so that I can have SSD, and figure I should consider upgrading the proc at the same time. (These are the trials and tribulations of buying bottom of the line refurb to get the cheapest cost of entry to 27" iMac-dom a year or two ago. Really wish I could've gotten VESA too, but no refurbs with that were available.)

Now all that said, it looks like some LGA 1150 options really aren't options for the iMac:

Additional readers -- in particular the very helpful Andy Hucko of Bratislava, Slovakia -- were able to confirm that there are not logicboard firmware restrictions, and the above upgrade was restricted only by power, or specifically, the TDP (Thermal Design Power), which refers to the heat dissipation capability of a particular CPU cooling system.

That thread reports being able to insert an Intel Core i7-4771 Haswell Quad-Core 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) successfully, which ain't a slouch (9944), but isn't quite the bruiser that the i7-4790K is (11240).

I realize one metric isn't the be-all end-all, but that's just to get a general idea of what we're talking about.

Anyhow, there you go. Some iMac upgrade options. I'd like a little more power, and keep trying to price out a portable performance build, something like the ASRock M8 Mini ITX, which is a pretty neat looking package, and still relatively attractive at $330 even though it's a few years old. It's still pretty big -- here's a picture of it next to an XBox -- and there are probably smaller options, but you get where I'm going. If you could find an exceptionally quick, tiny whitebox, throw in a portable, USB-powered monitor and a bluetooth keyboard, we're nearly talkin'. This ASRock Mini-ITX X99 with four RAM sticks looks awesome, for instance.

Performance laptops are insanely expensive. For instance, this new Razer Blade laptop is exactly what I want, but also runs approximately one million dollars and has a video card I don't need. I "just" want something's that's insanely fast, but still portable enough to take to Starbucks that doesn't necessarily have a battery.

I can't find many laptop barebones leads right now. It looks like a Clevo/Sager is the only game in town; example barebones laptop for ~$400 here. I mean, who can resist a "Lightweight & Carefully crafted with snappy keyboard & astonishing speed Laptop."? But that's mostly dual core stuff, I think. I'm nearly back to either maxing out the iMac or piecing together another AMD whitebox and hoping for the best doing most of my perf-intensive stuff at home.

I hate it when I start feeling my boxes' ages. It's fun to look at what's state of the art, but also insanely timesinky.

Note: No clients were billed during the construction of this blog post. ;^)

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