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I have a 2006 Dual core Duo MacBook. It is fast enough to do basic photo editing on the go, as my job requires, however I would like to install Lion, to bring it in line with my workstation and devices.

This would mean I need a new processor, minimum Dual Core 2 Duo (as required by Lion), although I would rather install an i3 or i5.

Is this at all possible?

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It is possible if you can replace the whole mother board. –  kukoo Jan 12 '12 at 11:00
    
If you want to keep that particular machine and money is tight consider sticking with Snow Leopard and installing an SSD which will boost performance greatly. Otherwise the way to Lion is a new processor which means a new (or refurb or used) machine. –  Richard Jan 12 '12 at 12:14
    
its about Lion. not speed, installing an SSD is also an expensive option. –  Graeme Hutchison Jan 12 '12 at 12:29
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Since the CPU and GPU are welded onto the logic board (Apple's term for motherboard) such a task would require you to replace the whole logic board!

  • I cannot name specific prices, but this is really expensive. After all, this is the most expensive part of a Macbook. Usually, it is recommended to buy a newer (second hand) computer instead.

  • An upgrade to the logicboard of a non-unibody Macbook with a Core 2 Duo might be possible with e.g. the generation of the Macbook 4,1 since both are build quite similar. You should verify this with the Apple support.

  • An upgrade to the logicboard of a unibody Macbook with i3/i7 is ruled out since the internal structure is totally different. The size and location of logic board, and battery have changed 'vastly' amongst other things.

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Short answer is no, the chipset and socket of the 2006 dual core will be different to the core 2 and i5 CPU

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