Any Possibility of Upgrading Video Card on 24" iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by obinob, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. obinob macrumors newbie

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    Aug 30, 2008
    #1
    A few days ago I was using System Requirments Lab to see how well I could run Spore when it comes out. My system would run it perfectly if not for my video card. So I've decided I am going try and upgrade it. I've currently got a ATI Radeon 2600HD XT.

    I know that Macs in general are supposed to be completely un-upgradable, but I was wondering if there was any chance at all of upgrading. Is it possible that an aftermarket shop could do it?

    If there is even the slightest chance, what card would you recommend and how much is it likely to cost?

    Cheers
     
  2. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #2
    there is none. the best option for you is to sell your imac and to get another with a better graphics card.
     
  3. munson macrumors 6502

    munson

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    #3
    I was wondering about this as well. I know you're not supposed to, but is there a way? Obviously it would void your warranty and all, but I think it might be worth it for some people, like me, who has the base model of over a year ago (20") and is thinking about upgrading to a newer model.
     
  4. RealaT macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2008
    #4
    My understanding is that the video card is soldered to the logic board so it is not possible to upgrade the video card, the upgrade must be purchased at the time of the original sale so that it can be built-to-order

    But i'd be suprised if Spore didn't work fine on your ATI card since it is also supposed to work fine on the x3100 Intel integrated graphics
     
  5. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #5
    I had this conversation with my friend a while back about his iMac, he went as far as saying "Could I not just solder on some more memory to the logic board?" made me laugh...
     
  6. munson macrumors 6502

    munson

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    #6
    HA! HA HA! HAH AHAHAHAHAH!!!

    I was curious about this, but not stupid. Thanks for that tiny anecdote. Wow...
     
  7. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #8
  8. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #9
    Not to mention that the referenced article was posted in September of 2006- and should an upgrade of that fashion have become workable I would sure guess that there would be a lot more talk about it, not least from nvidia since it would be another sales opportunity from them!
     
  9. G-Force macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    MXM does not have to mean upgradeability... MXM is not even for the end-user, it's for the manufacturer.
     
  10. proc macrumors member

    proc

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    The Netherlands, Europe
    #11
    My late 2006 24" white iMac had a 7300GT originally and I have had it replaced by a 7600GT via my Apple dealer. This is not the first time my dealer has helped me out by maxing out an Apple I already had, so it is possible that your dealer may not be that helpful.

    I should warn you however that it is not cheap and you should only consider if your iMac needs to be exactly like this and you're prepared to spend a significant amount of money towards this end. I have decided to go with this because I didn't wanted to buy a new unproven iMac with possible quality issues and certainly not one with many shortcomings, like glossy screens,no power LED, less wireless reception, etc.

    It does raise the internal heat of the iMac however:the PSU does reach new heights you never thought possible (over 85 degrees celsius). You will need to raise the CPU and harddrive fans to about 1800 rpm if you want to prevent any chance of burning out your PSU.

    The upgrade in total cost me about 685 euro where I agreed to exchange my old 7300GT to have a little discount. I paid 685 euros in total , for a 1TB HDD, 4 GB RAM (3 available in a late 2006 iMac) and a 7600GT videocard: this would be about 1005 US dollars (exchange rate August 31 2008)
     
  11. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

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    #12
    $200 more and you could have got another iMac.
     
  12. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    Mar 12, 2007
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    #13
    That refers to the architecture, not the physical slot/card system.

    Spore's minimum specs are the GeForce 7300GT or Intel GMA X3100.

    The Radeon 2600XT is on a par with the GeForce 8600.

    Your Mac is way beyond the minimum specs. The Radeon 2600 can run Crysis and Call of Duty 4. Spore won't be a problem.
     
  13. obinob thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 30, 2008
    #14
    This would be the thing I like the least about macs, the un-upgradability. But thanks heaps for the info :)
     
  14. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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  15. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a

    TheIntruder

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    #16
    Physically? Yes. The service manual for the Al iMacs illustrates the process to replace the video card. If there are no substantial physical differences between the 2600XT and the 8800GS, the latter might be able to be swapped in, or made to work after a little adaptation. I haven't seen the manual for the 2008 models, so I can't say for certain.

    Practically? No. You'd first have to procure the 8800 service part, which is likely to be expensive. Then, you'd have to install it, or find and pay someone to install it for you. Assuming that it plugs right in and doesn't require any other mod work, the next task would be to see if the drivers meant for 3.0/8800 configuration would function properly. Even if they did, it would still be an unsupported configuration that might break down in the future.
     
  16. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #17
    Macs hold their value though, so you can just sell every 3 years on ebay and you've got a large chunk of cash towards the latest version.
     

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