2011 iMac Graphics Card Upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MichaelDT, Jun 14, 2013.

Thread Status:
The first post in this thread is a WikiPost, and can be edited by anyone with the appropriate permissions.
  1. noble95, Jul 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016

    noble95 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    #501
    Hey guys, just made an account so I can post my results after lurking on this thread for quite a while. I recently acquired a 27 inch iMac (mid 2011) with a 3.4 Ghz i7 2600 that had a graphics card issue. After exploring my options and realizing I didn't want to shell out $600 for a new graphics card from Apple that would just fail again in 6 months I decided to upgrade it.

    After reading this thread multiple times I decided the GTX 780m was my best option as far as compatibility and performance. Many hours were spent on Ebay looking for the cheapest card and once I found one for a little over $300 I said screw it and bought it. The guy I bought it from said it was from a Dell Alienware machine with the bios version of 80.04.AF.00.03. Here's the link of what I purchased: http://www.ebay.com/itm/152157228276?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT.

    I didn't take pictures of the disassembly as they're are already plenty of them on this thread. I made sure to set up screen sharing on the iMac just in case the internal screen didn't power on and installed the Nvidia web drivers for El Capitan 10.11.6. Once it arrived I went ahead with the surgery. The entire process was very straightforward and after applying thermal paste and thermal pads, in the new card went. It was literally the same form factor as the old card so it was basically plug and play.

    Now was the moment of truth, I pressed the power button and hoped for the best. Lo and behold after a few seconds of blank screen: there it was, my login page. Success. I immediately checked the about this mac page and it was right there labeled correctly. Sweet. Did some benchmarks and proceeded to be extremely happy with the immense performance boost.

    Not sure why but in Windows 7 with Parallels I can't seem to make it so the card is detected with either Nvidia inspector or GPU-Z, but there doesn't seem to be any performance problems caused by this. As far as the lack of brightness control I installed brightness slider from the mac store and bound some empty function keys to control brightness that way. The app doesn't actually control back light brightness, it just makes the screen darker, but is fine enough for my standards. I don't have a boot screen but I really don't care because the SSD I installed makes boot times around 20 seconds.

    Included is the picture of the about this mac page and the system report page.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ajsimeon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #502
    I just scored a 27 inch 2011 iMac for $160 on Craigslist with the dreaded 6970m issue. Found a 6770m cheap on ebay and awaiting for it to ship. Will this fit OK on the 6970m heatsink? Looks like it will as its shorter than the 6970m but just wanted to see if anyone has done this "downgrade". Not really a gamer and just wanted everything to work. Also what should I do with the 6970? Should I try to get it repaired for a backup video card.
     
  3. luke9511 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    #503
    is the 6770m an apple video card or is it from a dell or hp? i am just wondering cause i have the same imac but need a video card for it and i have been thinking of getting one of these but the non apple version
     
  4. ajsimeon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #504
    I got the apple 6770m card for $49.99. Apparently it was from a working pull. Hopefully it works! If this all works, $200 for a 2011 27 inch with i7 and 16gb of RAM is a pretty sweet deal!
     
  5. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #505
    OK, folks, I did the 6770M -> 6970M swapout this morning. All is well, it's running fine.

    I'll post a separate thread with lots of pictures, in case anyone wants to know how to apply thermal pads to it.
     
  6. luke9511 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    #506
    Apple or non Apple 6770m?
     
  7. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #507
    It was the Apple 6770M. I just posted a new thread, so check it out if you want to see the VERY obvious difference in heatsinks, and how you should apply the thermal pads.
     
  8. luke9511 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    #508
    I'll check it out, I'm just waiting to see if anyone will get a non Apple 6770m and see if it works, I would but atm I cannot
     
  9. bjoroy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    #509
    So, i finally got around to slaughtering the iMac and putting it back together. A few times. Unfortunately the 780M did not work at all (3rd diagnostic LED not lighting up), so it's on it's way back to the seller. 12>>24GB RAM, HDD>>SSD and i5>>i7 made a great difference so far though :) It's quite amazing how much life you can squeeze out of a 5 year old computer...

    Thumb_13c9.jpg
     
  10. Chronos376 macrumors newbie

    Chronos376

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    #510
    Good day to all, I just wanted to ask all of those users who have successfully made a nvidia 780m work with an Imac 27" mid 2011 model, do you guys really simply plug and play the card (780m) into the Imac..? Coz i have mine but it was stock for a long time and last week i was able to buy 780m card but unluckily the imac has no more hdd. so to put it simply can you guys give me an idea on how to make my imac running again..? do i have to also buy a hdd with a mac osx already installed in it..? as of now as i turn on the imac I just hear the bootup chime sound but it only stays in black screen.

    Please help me. Thanks in advance
     
  11. noble95 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    #511
    Did you actually try to boot it with the screen attached? Because when I first tested mine I did it without the screen and the third LED never came on. Still, I put the screen on and it worked just fine.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 27, 2016 ---
    What do you mean by no more hdd? Does it not have a hard drive? Or no operating software? I'm not sure what you're asking but all I did to make mine work was I installed the Nvidia web drivers, plug in the 780m and boot up. Nothing else.
     
  12. Chronos376 macrumors newbie

    Chronos376

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    #512
    i mean before our imac was hidden away because its original vidcard which is 6970m got totally busted, its hdd was also taken away, meaning also its mac os and all of its contents got also totally wiped out and was used on our windows desktop. and now i just bought a new hdd but without a mac os of course.. what can you suggest sir..?
     
  13. ajsimeon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #513
    So the 6770m I bought off eBay doesn't look like it worked. It was a as is pull from working machine apparently so it was a risk. It was a scare because the iMac wouldn't boot, however, when I put the 6970m that has problems back, it booted straight up. The 6970m has issues with restarting upon trying to boot to the OS, so I looked online to see if there is anything that can be done and I read an article on "baking" the video card. Guess what! The card works! I don't expect it to last too long, however, it gives me time to look for a cheaper card. I'm going to ride this out till it's completely dead. Can't believe that actually worked.
     
  14. noble95 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    #514
    Ok does your iMac work at least a little bit so you can boot from a USB to install Mac OS on the hard drive? Because if it doesn't work at all you're going to need access to a Mac computer and a USB to SATA adapter to install OS X on the hard drive without installing it in the computer.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2016 ---
    Yeah I did the same thing with my 6970m and it worked for the couple of weeks before I installed the 780m. As of now it works so I'm glad I've got a backup in case I ever need to install the old card for something like the boot menu
     
  15. luke9511 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    #515
    i remember someone saying something about desoldering the bios chip from say a 6770m and soldering it to a new non apple 6770m but i cant tell if anyone tried this and it worked?
     
  16. noble95 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    #516
    I highly doubt that would even be worth the effort for something that old.
     
  17. luke9511 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    #517
    A cheap 1gig 6770m instead of a $400-500 dollar Apple version is better to get a 2011 iMac up and running does not need to be a gaming machine that's what Windows is for
     
  18. Double-G macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    #518
    As the 780m is hardly available at all (and lacks support for the white boot screen) and the iMac 2011's 6790m are massively failing now we need a proper replacement.
    There is thread at netkas regarding imac gpu flashing but it is only about transforming a generic 6790m into an apple compatible.

    This can only be a recent MXM3 GPU with flashed firmware that allow the white bootscreen to work.
    Does anyone have contact to netkas.org or knowledge with flashing?
     
  19. Double-G macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    #519
    I have opened a new thread on netkas regarding the
    search for RECENT GPUs that work in 2011 iMacs.
    This includes flashing the rom if necessary or maybe backporting graphics drivers from the newer 2012+ iMacs into the 2011's efi rom.
    If you have suggestions, please add them to the thread there and here.
     
  20. fusionid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2015
    #520
    any more info double-G?

    my imac is on its last leg
     
  21. richardhancock93 macrumors newbie

    richardhancock93

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    #521
    I have been following the forum on Mac Rumours for quite some time and decided to register. I have a 2011 with this problem and have been working on trying to sort it for a few weeks. I purchased a Dell Nvidia 660M from eBay and have flashed with a UEFI BIOS. Works perfectly in Bootcamp with Windows 7, so know the display routing is correct (?) but nothing displayed in OS X on built in display but working Remotely and displays the correct card in about this Mac.

    As soon as i install the Web Drivers, machine won't boot! Shows built in display as 1280x1024. Is there anything I can do to get this to work in OS X?

    Disabled System Integrity Protection etc, are there any parts of the Hackintosh Clover Bootloader do you think that would allow OS X to be modified to use the new graphics card properly?

    See attached IORegistry screenshot, can anything here be changed to default display to Displayport / LSDAn port of the 27 inch panel? I have been researching display routing and editing BIOS ROM Files for the display routing but can't find much guidance!

    Any help would be really appreciated !
     

    Attached Files:

  22. passatgt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #522
    So after reading through this thread, i have some questions. I have a mid 2011 21.5 iMac and looks like the GPU started to die on me. (Artifacts on the screen when cold, ghosting etc...) Not that bad, but i guess i need a replacement eventually.

    I'm looking for a plug & play solution and i want to keep boot screen and brightness control too. 6970M from a 27 iMac would work like that? And i can keep my current heatsink, or i need that one too from the 27 iMac?

    Also, slightly offtopic, but for the CPU, its much easier right? So a i7 2600S upgrade(from 2400S) would be a simple plug&play?

    Thanks
     
  23. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #523
    CPU upgrade is plug and play, and very easy once you get the logic board out. Use good thermal paste and clean out your fans.

    If you want a fully functional GPU, I haven't heard of anything but the ATI 6xxx cards that will work. I am SO hoping a 780M will eventually be flashed to do this.
     
  24. yifuhood, Aug 24, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016

    yifuhood macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    #524
    I have recently sticked some heatsinks behind of the graphic card s heatsink, and I think it did something. the temperature of the gup went much lower if I increase the fan speed a litter under heavy load. but if I do not increase the fan , the temperature dose not make much different than with out those heatsinks.

    in the photo was not the the final version , all the heatsinks was plugged to high up, so i had to movie it down a bit in oder to fit into the iMac . forgot to make photos of the final version . sorry.

    at this moment room temperature 24C , the GPU is 50 to 51C, GPUH is at 47, default fan speed. tested by playing Batman Arkham City with fan speed 1100rpm CPU,1570RPM HDD,1350rpmODD,GPU temperature end up at 70-72C,GPUH was at 64C.

    But I have a question, or a problem that i do not understand , my GUP temperature is little jumping under light usage,like load web and blogs with pictures. it goes up and down 51c-56c-53c-59C, I cannot remember what was it before I add the heatsinks, or maybe I have shocked thermal past,it is not perfect contact anymore , so I have to repaste the GPU thermal paste?

    please let me know
     

    Attached Files:

  25. yifuhood macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    #525
    hello guys
    yesterday was a hot day 26-27C in the room. the graphic card GUP went over 77C by playing Batman Arkham City, I start to doubt if adding those heatsinks really did anything. I must say until there is a perfect graphic cards upgrade solution, I would like to keep this HD 6970m as long as possible,(it has dead on me once, and replace by apple 2 years ago). we all love this iMac 12.2,it is the best iMac ever make until now to me ,do not want to burn it or replace it anytime soon.
     
Thread Status:
The first post in this thread is a WikiPost, and can be edited by anyone with the appropriate permissions.

Share This Page