iMac 27" Video Card Upgrade

luispa91

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2012
3
0
I've been playing around with the clock of my card under BootCamp and it has shown to be formidable, but not for my taste.

So I've been doing some research and contrary to what every apple rep would say, the card is not a part of the logic board, it is connected to a socket.



I plan to upgrade my iMac's GPU. The problem is, so far I've only seen it upgraded for 2011 iMac's GPU. I'm looking for a 7970m but I'm not sure if it will support it because of the limited TDP.

Does anybody know the specific socket type (MXM a or b, 2.0, 3.0?) and/or the max TDP i can look for in a possible upgrade card?
 

Nihilius

macrumors newbie
Aug 7, 2012
23
0
I have studied this subject and as far as I know you can't install just any GPU in iMac. GPU must have Apple firmware or something like that. Just any GPU won't work in your iMac even if you could physically make it fit.

I know people have upgraded their 2009 iMac GPUs with 6970M, which is used in 2011 iMac. So at least some iMacs can be upgraded with GPU used in other iMacs.

So to my understanding you're out of luck. None of the current models have used 7970m GPU. The best you can get at the moment is 6970m 2GB version.

This topic might provide useful information: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3029120?start=0&tstart=0
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,234
352
Yeah, too bad you can only get as far as 6970M 2GB. Even then we're looking at $500 - $600. And by the way that costs $200 - $300 more than 6970M 1GB card for iMac. Pretty crazy if you ask me, considering you can get GTX 680 or Radeon 7970 for even a bit cheaper.

It's a very expensive upgrade. You might wanna sell and upgrade the whole machine instead?
 

TMRaven

macrumors 68020
Nov 5, 2009
2,099
1
Or just build a cheap gaming tower to game with and use the iMac for display.
 

luispa91

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2012
3
0
Thanks for the replies, a bit disappointing but that's kind of what I expected :/

One last question though, if I have a spare 6970m (not from apple), is there any way I could flash the firmware of this card with Apple's firmware and make it work?
 

rkaufmann87

macrumors 68000
Dec 17, 2009
1,760
38
Folsom, CA
Thanks for the replies, a bit disappointing but that's kind of what I expected :/

One last question though, if I have a spare 6970m (not from apple), is there any way I could flash the firmware of this card with Apple's firmware and make it work?
Nope, not unless you want to end up with a brick.
 

kennyap

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2012
147
1
Cayman Islands
Thanks for the replies, a bit disappointing but that's kind of what I expected :/

One last question though, if I have a spare 6970m (not from apple), is there any way I could flash the firmware of this card with Apple's firmware and make it work?
I upgraded my 2011 27" iMac from the 6750 512mb to 6970 2gb. I know others with 2009 iMacs have installed the 6970 2gb card, but no reports for the 2010 iMac yet.
In my research I wasn't able to determine whether the 6970m had apple-specific firmware pre-installed, or just had to be compatible with the motherboard chipset. So if you can get your hands on a spare 6970m, why not try it and see if it works. It's what I would do if I were in your place. I would first make sure the GPU sockets are the same though.
 
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