Possible to retrofit current iMac with next gen GPU?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wirelessness, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #1
    Does anyone think it will be possible to swap the next generation/updated iMac's GPU with either the 4850 or 4670 GPU on the current iMac?

    It seems like a GPU update is the most sought after feature in the pending refresh. I would really like to get an iMac now (would be my first Mac obviously) and for me the decision to buy now would be a lot easier if there was chance of swapping out the GPU's down the road. Thoughts?
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    It's theoretically possible but the parts are extremely hard to find and pricey plus you don't know does it fit there, let alone does your Mac's firmware support it. So, in real world, no, it's not really possible
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #3
    I hate the 'Real World' :)
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #4
    Yeah getting a graphics driver to fully support the new hardware would be the hard part so the answer is no. Should have gone with a Mac pro if you wanted expandability
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere in PA.
    #5
    Pretty sure the only things iMacs can be expanded apon is hard drive space, ram, and possibly CPU since it uses a desktop motherboard(I think)
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #6
    All mxm cards are pretty much the same size and universal, so it's very possible up upgrade the gpu-- but very tedious work to actually tear the iMac apart enough to flip the motherboard around and replace the gpu's daughterboard.

    Finding other mxm cards on the market is rather hard, but nothing's impossible. I found a stock mxm 4670 that was the same one used in the iMacs rather quickly through a google search, somebody was selling it on ebay.

    Graphics drivers are the biggest issue for osx gpus. If apple provides a universal graphics driver update to osx for future iMacs that carry mobility 58** cards, it might be possible to swap your older mxm card with a newer mobility 58** mxm card. Mac pro users found out they could make nvidia 480s work on the mac pro with the embedded graphics drivers apple had in some versions of osx, so there's always possibilities on the driver front.

    I just gave the sunniest of scenarios though, I would not recommend trying it.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    My best advice is to just buy the computer that you need from the beginning.

    I used to come across a lot of customers who would be cheap and try to save a few dollars buying the crippled sale model of a computer only to a few months (in one case a few weeks) later return and complain, pay restocking fees, or in some cases just be stuck with a computer that didn't do what they needed.

    If you think you will be gaming in the next 3 years, just buy the better (or the best available) GPU option from the start. Don't be cheap on that. I guarantee that everyone who claims they can't spare the 200 or 300 for a better computer that they'll use for the next 3 years wastes much more than that on eating out, going out, silly purchases, etc. That they definitley did not need without blinking an eye.
     

Share This Page