Dumb question but want answer anyway 2011 Imac GPU?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DrJack6, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Here's the dumb question that I will get yelled at for asking but I might as well entertain the question anyway...

    Is it possible to put the GTX 690mx in the 2011 Imac?
  2. macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Can i get a reason? I know nothing about mobile gpu
  4. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    I've never heard of the 690MX. I thought it ended with the 680mx. They aren't soldered in, so that's one thing. It would be expensive. You'd have to look up the power consumption. No one on here can guarantee it would work. It's likely that no one that will see this has tried, and it's one of those things where you won't be sure until you try. Last year it would have been cheaper just to use things like refurbished options than spend $400+ to swap to another mobile gpu. If you want the latest graphics, you're better off with a PC tower where you're primarily dependent upon the output of your power supply.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    The 2011 iMacs come with Radeon GPUs. The motherboard contains a custom daughter card that contains the GPU. Theoretically, a different graphics daughter card could be put in. But Apple never made one. So someone would need detailed design information about custom add-on cards from Apple in order to create a product with an NVidia GPU.

    The iMac contains a custom-designed logic board. It isn't like a PC where you can just swap a card into a PCIe slot. There are no standard PCIe slots in an iMac. It's all mobile chipset custom designs. Only Apple could make an "upgrade" and they are interested in you buying a new iMac, not upgrading an existing one.

    The only "upgradable" Mac that could be user-modified like you want would be the Mac Pro.

    Look on iFixIt for a tear down of the 2011 iMac and you'll see how almost impossible it would be to replace the GPU with a different one.
  6. macrumors 68000


    Jul 22, 2002
    I agree, even if it was a technical possibility it wouldn't be supported by Apple and would cost too much. Sorry if you want to do those like of changes then get a Mac Pro or PC tower.

    Outside of repairs the only upgrades you can do on the iMac is HDD and RAM and with the new model it's harder to do a HDD replacement now in both models and all but impossible in the 21.5 to change the RAM.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    To be fair, the daughterboard is a MXM one, so it's standard in that sense, but you would need a card that had EFI firmware to boot properly which would be the problem.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Sorry i meant 680**
    Cpu is also upgradable. I did it, so have others.
    Gpu. So the slot is the same socket? If it is, cant i just plug in and see if it boots?
  9. kennyap, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2012
    Cayman Islands
    This is highly doubtful. I upgraded my base 2011 iMac GPU & CPU (see my signature). My GPU is now the 6970M which is the highest supported by the 2011 line. I have not seen anyone who has even attempted a higher-end GPU replacement, but from a CPU standpoint, those who have tried to upgrade to anything other than the highest supported by the 2011 product line (ex/ Ivy-Bridge CPU's) have run into major compatibility issues. Most cases the iMac will not even boot up.

    One exception would be the core-i 2700k which I installed. Since this upgrade I've been using my iMac heavily; new program installations, updates, everything works fine. No problems at all except for the fact that I cannot upgrade to OSX Mountain Lion.
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    I have the 2700k in also
  11. macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2012
    Cayman Islands
    Regarding your GPU upgrade question: in all my searches I've not seen or heard of someone attempting this. If you read about any such upgrade attempts make sure post here about it as I for one would be very interested.
    If you attempt the upgrade yourself please let us know the outcome.

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