iMac 27" with a broken graphics card, repair or buy new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ronchu, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. ronchu macrumors newbie


    Sep 13, 2017
    I'm a professional photographer and videographer, I give an intense use to the computer, using Final Cut Pro and Lightroom / Photoshop. I have a 2012 27" iMac (i7 3'4Ghz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 512Mb). Yesterday out of a sudden the screen became black and full of moving lines, leaving the computer impossible to work with. The Apple Care program expired last year.
    I went to the Apple dealer and she told me that the problem is the graphics card and changing it would cost me €550 ($650). She recommended me to buy a new iMac of 2017 generation, told me that next year my actual iMac will become "vintage" and won't be able to repare it anymore, and that with the use I give it won't last longer tan 2 years more. She also told me that the lowest version of the new iMac generation is more powerful than the one I have and should be fine with it.

    What would you recommend me to do? Repair it? Buy a new one? In that case, which one?

    Thanks a lot for your feedback.
  2. Razzerman macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2007
    Hello there,

    I'd certainly recommend having a go at fixing it. 'Reflow' the graphics card and hope for the best. You've nothing to lose after all. There are varying degrees of success. Personally, I've done three, and all three are fine. This is about eight weeks after doing the reflows, and they have been getting some hammer. Install macsfancontrol (to keep temps down in the imac) if you're successful. Good luck.
  3. Lightsaber macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Repair on this typically requires replacement of entire logic board (the graphics card cannot be upgraded without replacing logic board.). Due to age you would most likely get refurbished logic board and would reuse your current cpu. I would imagine a good repair shop would provide at most a year warranty on their work. Consideration would be failure of newly refurbished logic board or other parts failing after warranty period - how much more would you be willing to put into it if/when that happens?

    Other option would be to ebay it describing it as needing repair and use the money towards new.

    Getting five years of "intense" work out of your imac is a pretty good return on your investment. Seeing how you use this in a professional context it might be worth your time to move on (assuming you have the budget).
  4. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2011
    New England
    2012 27 inch Core i7:

    Single Core: 3888 Points
    Multi Core: 12524 Points

    2017 27 inch Core i5:

    Single Core: 4738 Points
    Multi Core: 13814 Points

    Unless you shelled out ~$2200 or so, you're basically getting within 10% of your current i7 with the base 27 inch i5. I can't find any sites that compare the two graphics cards.

    You'd also be getting a 5k display with the 27 inch, which would be nice.
  5. _Kiki_, Sep 15, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

    _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2017
    I'm not sure what Apple representative said but if we talking about GPU in the cheapest available model from 2017

    base model iMac 21.5" 2017 Intel Iris 640
    3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score 1418

    iMac 27" 2012 GeForce GTX 675MX
    3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score 2831

    who cares if 2012 is going to be vintage, repair by Apple is anyway to expensive and isn't worth investing this amount of money with repair old machine by them

    probably best solution you can go to little gamble and buy used logic board on eBay/Amazon/3rd party vendor for around €200-300 and DIY the repair using guide from iFixit after that keep iMac for next 2-3 years (it still good machine with powerful i7 quad core CPU and even quite nice GPU) or sell for still nice amount of money, this model fully working is worth about €750-850 depends of storage (HDD, Fusion or SSD), after that this money you can invest with purchase new or refurbished machine from 2017 lineup like 27" with 5K Screen
  6. jeyf macrumors 65816

    Jan 20, 2009
    iMac disassembly and open heart surgery on your pet cat are both difficult. It might get you buy tho.

    All good; but a 2012 computer is sorta back dated. If Apple comes out with a new mac mini would it work out just as well?

    Will post millennial Apple Inc be able to grow your business. Likely NOT. I have both a relatively new iMac and a MBP and both do not represent good value. Consider other situations, i read up new trend is an external GPU box.

    You just have to go to where the best value, no romance is allowed, is when you use it every day.
  7. Khaleal macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2013
  8. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    That depends wether it is an mid 2011 or the slim late late 2012.

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7 September 13, 2017