Graphics card on iMac 24" is fried. What can I upgrade to?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Apple!Fre@k, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Apple!Fre@k macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    It only took me a year to figure it out, but I've confirmed that the problems I've been having for the past year with the screen freezing (thought the computer was freezing) are owed to a bad graphics card. The card I have in my 2.16GHz 24" iMac (purchased Sep '06), NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT, is indeed ready to die. I found some articles that said the graphics card is easily upgradable in my iMac. If true, which replacement card should I buy? And is this something I can install myself, simply by removing the cover, pulling out the old card and installing the new?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    aren't the graphics chips soldered on to the logic board?
  3. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Pretty sure I heard it was different with the 24" iMac. I found articles back from September 2006 that said the 24" iMac's graphics card is "easily" upgradable.
  4. Pur3 Macs macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    How would one remove the back cover? I really need an ATI radeon instead of my nvidia 9400m:( I've checked the back but no screws there just a slot for a little lock device, we may be able to lever it open:eek:

    And how much would I be looking at for the ATI radeon 4850 I think it is?...
  5. H&Kie macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2004
    The glass displayscreen is held by magnets and can be removed using suction caps (try searching "remove glass iMac"on YouTube). After that you'll have acces to the inners of the iMac.
  6. ruku macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    dont lead them on guy, theres no upgrading the imacs with an intergrated nvidia 9400. your answer is to sell your computer and buy what you really want. you might not lose too much if your lucky.
    to the OP, if it truly is only your graphics card that is broken then it is within the realm of possibility that you could buy a broken 24inch model of the same era and take out its graphics chip. those were replacable but apple dare not give imac users such an easy upgrade path so never made them available for sale. i dont believe they even would have had them in their repair rooms either, choosing instead to just replace the whole logicboard when graphics problems arise. so good luck with finding and scrapping another imac. it wont be cheap and it may not even be the sole cause of your problems but it could be worth a go and definately interesting. make sure you post back how it all goes.
  7. G-Force macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2006
    The white 24-inch iMac is indeed "upgradeable" in the sense that, if you can find one, you can upgrade to an NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT (Apple original part). There is no other card that will work on this iMac.

    As for the 24-inch iMac with de NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, you can't upgrade it. The GPU is built into the chipset so there is no MXM slot for a new graphics card.
  8. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    the late 2006 24" has an nvidia card that is replaceable. either geforce 7300GT or 7600GT.

    the late 2006 20" has the ATI X1600 GPU soldered onto the logic board.

    both imacs have the graphics glitches and freezing/shutdown problems. heat is the culprit. some have had their graphics card replaced or their logic board, and the problem returns a few months later.

    if you replace the nvidia card, you may want to take the extra step of adding additional ventilation to the imac casing, like what this guy did:

    or just run the internal fans faster.
  9. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    I installed the Fan Control utility and in two minutes dropped the GPU temp by 20 degrees from 123F to 103F. :eek:

    The Internal HD was running the hottest at 132F. (Woah.) It's come down to 116F. CPU was at 115F. Now it's at 94F.

    Will report back tomorrow the actual results of these reduced temps.

  10. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    It's been 6 hours and so far, NO crashes. ZERO graphic anomalies. Before today, sometimes I'd have to hold down the button to restart from it freezing 3 times in an hour.

    What's astonishing is that the Internal HD has leveled off and stayed around 103F (down from 132F) for all the tasks I've been doing. And the GPU has hovered at 99F.

    If this works and I have no issues for the next few days... holy cow. I was ready to drop $2K on a new computer. Why doesn't Apple just tell everyone to install the Fan Control and double the speed of their fans?!? (I can't even hear the fans either. It made no audible difference doubling the fan speeds.)
  11. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2005
    I had the 7600GT fail 3 times in 4 months on mine earlier this year and apple ended up replacing the machine. :D
  12. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    you must work in a fairly noisy environment, because at your the fan speed settings in a silent room, it would be fairly noticeable. that said, i don't think it would be too bad if apple set the minimum cpu fan setting at 1600 instead of 1000. what's even worse though is that on the 24" the cpu/gpu fan blows hot air over the power supply in order to reach the vents above it.

    glad the fan control app worked for you. but remember, it's only a temporary workaround and the freezing/shutdown problems may return later as more dust collects inside and cakes onto the fan and other components. the defective part causing the glitches will still be there. eventually running the fans at full speed may not alleviate the symptoms, but at least you've bought a few more months of usage out of your imac.
  13. Pur3 Macs macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have seen multiple videos of people doing it but it looks like there could be some risks in doing so.

    And why do apple solder their current nvidia 9400m's to the logic board?They didn't do it to their previous models........:confused:
  14. Joskalj, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012

    Joskalj macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2012
    All my problem gone!

    Bless u much to much, my iMac runs as new just few minutes i installed Fan Control. It is to early to say but i feel all is ok now since rear of iMac is not hot as it was just 10 min. before, i vil update case. Thanx buddy!!!!!
  15. Ismelito macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2008
    They removed my message at the Apple Community Discussion Forums so let's spread this around here:

    A new petition. I'm tired of fighting via telephone with Apple to try to solve this problem. Let's see if this time they do something right.

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