Graphics card for 2011 iMac

TVreporter

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 11, 2012
353
375
Near Toronto
Does anyone have recommend sites/sellers for a replacement graphics card for the 27-inch iMac?

Mine bit the bullet and the authorized repairman said financially it really wasn’t worth it as they aren’t cheap and that many third-party sellers are shady.

Really don’t want to break open the wallet for a new Mac if I can avoid it. So frustrating as everything else is in perfect working condition.
 
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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,665
1,656
Has anyone tried baking a graphics card to revive it?
No but it's something I might do on a rainy day just to see. I just got a cheap replacement from eBay. In retrospect, it may have been someone's failed card that was baked and sold quickly for all I know, since it was about half the cost of similar cards at the time but it has held up well so far.

I did reflow a card for my Mac Pro when it bit the dust and that worked at the fourth attempt.
 
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Guy Clark

Suspended
Nov 28, 2013
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London United Kingdom.
Has anyone tried baking a graphics card to revive it?
I have baked the Graphics card on several 20" iMacs usually released around 2007-2008 when there was a massive issue with the Graphics chip overheating. The results were mixed. Baking is a temporary fix and by no means guaranteed. It would be a better option to source a replacement which will set you back roughly £300 but the outlay is hardly viable although the 2011 27" iMac is a great machine. A fully functional late 2012 27" iMac can be picked up for as little as £500-£600.
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,665
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The cheaper alternative would to be look at other cards that work but do not provide a boot selector screen, such as the GTX765. Those can be had for about £100 and support Metal but you lose the boot selector screen, any EFI updates Apple may yet release (unlikely) and Recovery.

You would also have to trim away parts of the heatsink to accommodate the slightly different arrangement of components on the new card.

See this thread 2011 iMac Graphics Card Upgrade
 

Guy Clark

Suspended
Nov 28, 2013
1,036
943
London United Kingdom.
The cheaper alternative would to be look at other cards that work but do not provide a boot selector screen, such as the GTX765. Those can be had for about £100 and support Metal but you lose the boot selector screen, any EFI updates Apple may yet release (unlikely) and Recovery.

You would also have to trim away parts of the heatsink to accommodate the slightly different arrangement of components on the new card.

See this thread 2011 iMac Graphics Card Upgrade
An interesting and impressive mod and in theory should support Mojave.
 
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Redlight-Records

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2018
18
2
The Basement
So frustrating as everything else is in perfect working condition.
Tell me about it.

So lets say that there are more than a few poor 2011 iMac owners that for whatever reason either can't or won't go through with the bold move of installing an NVIDIA replacement. That leaves only one choice, right? get a re-ball off ebay. Which is not a comforting thought made even less comforting by the fact that for every listing, you're not entirely sure if it's:
1. an original card that's failed already and been baked.
2. an original card that hasn't failed. yet.
3. an Apple replacement card that's failed already and been baked.
4. an Apple replacement card that hasn't failed. yet.
5. an unbranded knockoff

Which leads me to some important questions.

A. Is there a way to tell the difference between the original 6970m's and the ones Apple supplied as part of their much-too-short recall? Or did they just replace a defective card with another identically defective card?

B. Is there a way to spot an unbranded knockoff?

I want to know:
are there certain makes of the 6970m cards that have a lower probability of failure?

Looking through pictures of 6907m listings on ebay you see some with the BLACKCOMB tag on the left or right in big or small text or not at all. Some have an additional HF / e l mark on there as well. As for the chip itself, some have a clear AMD brand silkscreened on them and some don't. Some are made on black, brown or even blue PC board. Some sellers include the tag "Bespoke" as part of the item information. All that I've seen have either 109-C9657-10 or 109-C9647-00 screened on them, but it doesn't differentiate the memory size so I'm not sure what the difference is.

Does anybody out there know what, exactly, a legitimate 6970m should/shouldn't look like? and if those markings and appearance could lead a buyer to get a make that had the best chance of survival.

I've posted some screen shots of some of the variances between card images. These are all listed as: APPLE IMAC 27" A1312 Mid 2011 RADEON HD 6970M 1GB GPU VIDEO CARD
except the last one listed as a 2GB
 
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Redlight-Records

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2018
18
2
The Basement
We have an enormeous thread on just this topic. You may want to search next time.
send a Link or thread? Believe me, I've spent more time trolling this forum in the last week than I've spent with my family, but if I've missed something, I'd like to see it.
If it's the monster 51 page thread:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2011-imac-graphics-card-upgrade.1596614/page-51
then I've read through all 51 pages, and I didn't see anything that addressed my particular query.
I usually didn't chase down threads that were ten years old or had fewer than 5 replies, so maybe I missed something obvious.
 
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T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,065
4,349
Denmark
send a Link or thread? Believe me, I've spent more time trolling this forum in the last week than I've spent with my family, but if I've missed something, I'd like to see it.
If it's the monster 51 page thread:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2011-imac-graphics-card-upgrade.1596614/page-51
then I've read through all 51 pages, and I didn't see anything that addressed my particular query.
I usually didn't chase down threads that were ten years old or had fewer than 5 replies, so maybe I missed something obvious.
My post was mended for OP. Sorry about the confusion.