iMac 27" Video Card Upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by luispa91, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. luispa91 macrumors newbie


    Aug 20, 2012
    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?
  2. Nihilius macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2012
    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:
  3. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    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?
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Or just build a cheap gaming tower to game with and use the iMac for display.
  5. luispa91 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 20, 2012
    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?
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Nope, not unless you want to end up with a brick.
  7. kennyap, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012

    kennyap macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2012
    Cayman Islands
    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.

Share This Page