2009 iMac 24": MXM slot or not?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Outsider, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Outsider macrumors regular

    Outsider

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #1
    OK, in this thread I'd like to posit something that i have been mulling over in my mind for the past week.

    Before the latest round of updates, we had 2 AL iMac models, the 20" and the 24". We knew that the 20" has a separate motherboard design and cannot accept a different graphics card. But the 24" could, via the MSM slot, and provided it was a mac version. For example, if you had a 2600 PRO and wanted to upgrade to an 8800GS, you could provided you took the damn thing apart to get at the card.

    Now with the new iMac generation, they seem to be all based on the NVIDIA MCP79 chipset and that includes an integrated 9400M GPU and in the higher end 24" you have discreet GPUs. We still have the 20" with it's own motherboard and it will not accept a GPU. But I suspect that the low end 24", the one that is advertised with a 9400M integrated graphics, has an empty MXM slot. My reasoning is that if it doesn't then Apple has to make 3 different motherboards for the iMacs when it would make more sense to only have 2 and install graphics cards into BTO models and the discreet graphics retail models. And it's highly unlikely that the motherboard for the 20" was put into the lower end 24" because these motherboards are not square PCBs but a form fitted and cut to fit around components in the case.

    We'll only know for sure when there is a take-apart for it. So far I've only seen 20" take-aparts.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    It would make even more sense from a cost point of view to not have the MXM card slot soldered to the traces on the logic board...
     
  3. Outsider thread starter macrumors regular

    Outsider

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    How so? For the BTO line wouldn't it make sense to have a bunch of blank motherboards and the line inserts the specific CPU and inserts the specific graphics card, or lack there of, into the motherboard before inserting it into the chassis? The connector is a few cents piece. But I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't solder one on to prevent upgrades like this.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Not sure if there is an MXM licensing fee or not. I assumed there was in my initial reply. No slot/connector = no fee paid...
     
  5. Outsider thread starter macrumors regular

    Outsider

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    Mar 25, 2002
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    North Carolina
    #5
    True. I looked on wikipedia and there was no mention of licensing fees. However, they do say, "The goal was to create a non-proprietary, industry standard socket,..." and to me this, and the fact that other manufacturers have taken so many liberties with the format, implies that there is no licensing fees. But I could be wrong.
     
  6. Mischa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    #6
    iMacs and their GPU cards

    Okay, I tried and found the following:

    The Radeon 2600 from a 2007 iMac 24" ist labelled "MXM", but its slot connector is different from that of the Radeon 4850 GPU card of the most recent iMac 24". The latter is not only longer but the spare hole is different too. Other than that, the cards outline (i.e. the heatsink assembly etc) would fit.

    The "cheap" iMac 24" of the Early 2009 series does not have the MXM connector soldered to the board. The traces end loose, the place where the card would probably be seated is covered by some plastic.
     
  7. Outsider thread starter macrumors regular

    Outsider

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #7
    Damn. Thanks for the info though.
     
  8. Ju2999 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #8

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