iFrankenstein

iBighouse

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 11, 2012
585
230
It seems to me, that as someone who's built and worked on PC's that one of the weaker points to my 27" retina iMac is the video card. In the PC world I would have pulled that video vp are and replaced it long ago for better performance. But, as this is my first Mac and I did my research first, I know that's not possible...at least don't THINK it is...

Are there folks out there who have managed to replace key components on an iMac with more robust components like a much higher end graphics card and cooling system? I realize it would take hardware and software hacking to get it to work, but I know there are people who enjoy the challenge...so, anyone know of any such iFrankenstein machines?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,303
1,695
Be virtually impossible for anyone other than Apple themselves. Keep in mind there is no graphics "card" most everything is on a single logic board. And the AMD processors (290 and 295) are modified to work with Apples TCON.

Even passed that point you'd be dealing with cooling limitations of an all-in-one design which in my opinion are already at the bitter edge. Even things like crosstalk (signal bleed into the screen from other components) would need to be reconsidered which Apple did a good job addressing.

Hate it or love it Apple really did release a truly remarkable piece of tech at its price point regardless of what a lot of the haters say.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,157
2,128
You're starting to understand the downsides of the all-in-one form factor.
 

Chippy99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2012
973
27
Be virtually impossible for anyone other than Apple themselves. Keep in mind there is no graphics "card" most everything is on a single logic board. And the AMD processors (290 and 295) are modified to work with Apples TCON.

Even passed that point you'd be dealing with cooling limitations of an all-in-one design which in my opinion are already at the bitter edge. Even things like crosstalk (signal bleed into the screen from other components) would need to be reconsidered which Apple did a good job addressing.

Hate it or love it Apple really did release a truly remarkable piece of tech at its price point regardless of what a lot of the haters say.
I agree it meets all of its design objectives in a truly remarkable way, probably hard to better.

I don't agree with the design objectives unfortunately.

As slim as they could possibly make it, is a mistake for me and aesthetically an irrelevance given that no-one looks at an iMac side on. No removable rear panel for upgrades is also a mistake imho. So the lines are smooth and unspollt... on the back??? Again who cares. And not using things like MXM graphics cards? Again, a shame. A screen that you have to cut open to get at the insides? Bonkers.

It's perfect for what Apple wanted it to be. For me, it's a shame they didn't want it to be something else.
 
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Kissaragi

macrumors 68020
Nov 16, 2006
2,338
361
You should google about a hackintosh if you want the freedom of upgrading components but still using OSX. Upgrading the imacs graphics card is basically impossible
 

iBighouse

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 11, 2012
585
230
No, I love the look of my retina iMac. The screen and the housing are all fantastic. I'm happy with the speed and all, I'm just a little disappointed with the way it won't handle working in 3D with materials, textures, advanced viewport displays, etc...and rending inside of something like Revit. I know my five year old NVIDIA card can outperform my brand new stateoftheart iMac when it comes to spinning 3D info around in real time.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,303
1,695
I agree it meets all of its design objectives in a truly remarkable way, probably hard to better.

I don't agree with the design objectives unfortunately.

As slim as they could possibly make it, is a mistake for me and aesthetically an irrelevance given that no-one looks at an iMac side on. No removable rear panel for upgrades is also a mistake imho. So the lines are smooth and unspollt... on the back??? Again who cares. And not using things like MXM graphics cards? Again, a shame. A screen that you have to cut open to get at the insides? Bonkers.

It's perfect for what Apple wanted it to be. For me, it's a shame they didn't want it to be something else.
IMO Apple puts themselves in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation with aesthetics.

If they made it thicker and it ran as quiet as previous iMacs under a load then no one would have known how noisy it would have been with the same thin design. Therefore everyone would have bitched about how thick it is.

As far as power and user serviceability, well Apple makes a Mac Pro so that seems like a moot point to me. Those are things that can be determined from pictures and specs prior to purchasing.
 

Chippy99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2012
973
27
IMO Apple puts themselves in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation with aesthetics.

If they made it thicker and it ran as quiet as previous iMacs under a load then no one would have known how noisy it would have been with the same thin design. Therefore everyone would have bitched about how thick it is.

As far as power and user serviceability, well Apple makes a Mac Pro so that seems like a moot point to me. Those are things that can be determined from pictures and specs prior to purchasing.
I agree you can't please all of the people all of the time. However, if they made some of the changes I describe, whereas some people would doubtless complain, I think the majority would regard it as an improvement.

Perhaps not all my suggestions, but is there ANYONE who thinks that no ram upgrades possible on the 21" iMac is a good idea? Is there ANYONE who prefers the sticky tape screen attachment to a more user-friendly approach? Some of these changes would be to the benefit of many and the detriment of no-one. A removable panel on the back where you could install an SSD upgrade for example? Would that be so terrible for anyone? There's surely many who would like it.

Slightly off topic, but how about enabling TRIM for non-Apple SSD's. Or rather not disabling it! It seems to me some of the choices Apple makes are actually to maximise their profits even if it incoveniences the user.
 
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hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,566
276
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
Although I don't like it for non-ease of access ... the "sticky tape screen attachment" should seal the display better against dust entry and mitigate the dust-under-the-screen issue seen by many with the older magnetic iMac screen mounting. A rear access hatch for disk/SSD replacement would be very nice.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,303
1,695
I agree you can't please all of the people all of the time. However, if they made some of the changes I describe, whereas some people would doubtless complain, I think the majority would regard it as an improvement.

Perhaps not all my suggestions, but is there ANYONE who thinks that no ram upgrades possible on the 21" iMac is a good idea? Is there ANYONE who prefers the sticky tape screen attachment to a more user-friendly approach? Some of these changes would be to the benefit of many and the detriment of no-one. A removable panel on the back where you could install an SSD upgrade for example? Would that be so terrible for anyone? There's surely many who would like it.

Slightly off topic, but how about enabling TRIM for non-Apple SSD's. Or rather not disabling it! It seems to me some of the choices Apple makes are actually to maximise their profits even if it incoveniences the user.
This has always been Apple business model. They are a hardware company after all. You'll see RAM upgrades disappear from the 27" eventually.

Compare all their devices to the direct competition and look at the user serviceability difference and amount of ports/connections/etc.

I'm not defending Apple in that regard however and you can already see it happening ALL electronic manufacturers WISH they could get away with what Apple does. Apple leading the charge just makes them a target.

I'll answer you question with a question. Do you think a PC manufacture could get sales similar to the 21" iMac with the same user serviceability (or lack thereof)? Personally I could see myself owning a 21" iMac however a 21" AIO PC with the same specs and serviceability.....no way in hell.

EDIT: I bolded some of your comment. I forgot the new forum doesn't show your entire quote.
 

hkoster1

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2012
131
22
The Netherlands
The OP might want to look at running an external GPU in a Thunderbolt PCIe enclosure. With Thunderbolt-2 you wouldn't be able to run 5K, but 4K would be possible. Just google eGPU... for about $1000 you could run a nice NVidia card.
 

iBighouse

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 11, 2012
585
230
The OP might want to look at running an external GPU in a Thunderbolt PCIe enclosure. With Thunderbolt-2 you wouldn't be able to run 5K, but 4K would be possible. Just google eGPU... for about $1000 you could run a nice NVidia card.
Thank you, this really interests me! I will google away.