Changin GPU in iMac 2011

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Drask, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Drask macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2012
    Hello there,

    I just read at another post a guy who changed his GPU 6970 1GB for a 2GB one, I got the base model with 512MB (bad move getting this one) and I really don't want to change the whole computer, can I upgrade to the 6970 1GB? (or even the same 6770 but with 1GB VRAM? If so, where can I do this? apple? any other site?
  2. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Keep in mind that's a pretty expensive card. Apple won't sell them as they aren't considered to be user replaceable. If you ever require warranty service, you would need to reverse the procedure or take your chances that they won't catch it.
  3. Drask thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2012
    I realize that, but still, is it possible? or is that GPU card not compatible with the base model? and how much $$ is pretty expensive?
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Probably $400ish. Apple won't warranty it which is why I mentioned to reverse the procedure if you require service. I've read a couple claims on here that from people who have done this. I've never personally confirmed it. They set refurb pricing pretty aggressively on the imacs. It might be better to sell and trade up once the next generation hits if the gpu is a good upgrade. Usually it takes some time for refurbished units to become available, but the discount was significant this round.
  5. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    Well, you'll be increasing the amount of heat in the chassis.

    I'm not sure if you want to do that.
  6. kennyap macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2012
    Cayman Islands
    Hi, I just successfully upgraded my iMac to 3.5ghz processor, 2gb Graphics Card, and 32gb ram -- see my post:

  7. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Beside RAM upgrade (which is allowed), you can always change your CPU, GPU since it uses the same socket found in a regular computer.

    But be warned that you lose your warranty/AppleCare, not just for the parts you replaced, but for the whole machine.

    Apple won't replace your WiFi card when it fails and they found out your machine has 6970M and i7 2700k in it, while it's not supposed to. They can easily spot your original spec by machine ID number.

    I don't understand the whole idea of upgrading iMac guts by their own. I mean, sure it's doable with some patience and difficulties. But why would you do that?

    You lose your warranty, you risk the whole machine, and it could end up being a worthless scrap if things going sideways while we know iMac ain't exactly a cheap machine.

    Isn't the point of all-in-one desktop is simplicity? You knew the risk from the beginning and you bought it anyway. It makes life easier in exchange of upgradeability? If I were going to upgrade by my own, I would build a PC. Way cheaper and safer to do a DIY installation. It's designed to do that. Or at least going all out with MacPro.

    Being that said, it's your machine .. it's up to you how to treat it. But I'd go and sell my machine, then get the iMac with the right spec.
    Oh I'm capable enough to tinkering with CPU socket and all. If I'm feeling adventurous. I'd buy a super cheap ancient iMac to tinker.
    But as I bought a relatively new iMac (still under AppleCare), I realize that I'm not supposed to tinker it too much. I think that's the point of AIO?
  8. Drask thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2012
    That's amazing! but way to complicated of me, haha. Thanks for sharing though, excellent job!

    I read the forums that sometimes, when your machine fails apple offers you to upgrade something? Of course charging you for it, but I would still keep my warranty (I mean just in case something bad happened, when I fist bought it HDD died within a week, got a new one).


    I thought It'd be as easy as adding an external hdd, seems like its a bit mome complicated, think the best option is to sell it and get a new one.

    Btw you know if the 6970 1gb is better than the 650m on the rMBP?
  9. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    It's actually as easy as replace hardware on regular desktop, except they're crammed in a slim chassis behind LCD and fragile cables which can screw your whole system in a snap.

    I am aware 6970M on 2011 iMac is still a better GPU than 650M on rMBP. If you want a real improvement over it, might as well go with GTX670M or beyond.

    Again .. your machine, your way. I was just suggesting that it's much easier to sell your machine and get whichever iMac suits you best. It's an AIO anyway, and that's the trade off of having something as simple and neat as an iMac.

    Not to mention you'll have lower resale value once you replace something inside (except for RAM), simply because you kill any official support and warranty for the machine by doing so.

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