Intel iMacs with Upgradable MXM Graphics(EFI UGA Hacking)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cuda, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Cuda macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #1
    With 10.6 on it's way soon, and OpenCL a Hot topic.

    We maybe able to keep some older iMacs in the Loop so to speak, with some good old EFI UGA Rom hacks.

    Here is a list of Intel iMacs with Upgradable MXM Graphics.


    It's work in progress, so check back as I have time I'll to to keep it up to date.

    MA456LL

    Core 2 Duo 24"
    CPUs (T7400)2.16 GHz/(T7600)2.33 GHz

    Graphics: 32bit EFI or (EBC)
    MXM Type II Slot:NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT/NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT

    Upgrade Path: MXMII GeForce 7xxx

    OpenCL 8xxxm,9xxxm,(no known 32bit EFI UGA Rom)(no EBC)

    MA876LL

    iMac Core 2 Duo 20" Aluminum
    CPU (T7300)2.0 GHz

    Graphics:64Bit EFI or (EBC)
    MXM Type III Slot: ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT

    Upgrade Path: MXMIII ATI Radeon HD 2xxx

    OpenCL GeForce 8xxx,9xxx,GTxxx/Radeon 4xxx( Can be upgraded with Apple OEM 8800GS)(ATI Radeon HD 4850 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 130)

    MA877LL

    iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4 20" (Aluminum)
    CPU 2.4 GHz (T7700)

    Graphics:64Bit EFI or (EBC)
    MXM Type III Slot: ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO

    Upgrade Path: MXMIII GeForce 8800 GS

    OpenCL GeForce 8xxx,9xxx,GTxxx/Radeon 4xxx( Can be upgraded with Apple OEM 8800GS)(ATI Radeon HD 4850 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 130)


    MA878LL

    Core 2 Duo 2.4 24" Aluminum

    CPUs 2.4 GHz (T7700)/ 2.8 GHz "Extreme" (X7900)CTO

    Graphics:64Bit EFI or (EBC)
    MXM Type III Slot: ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO

    Upgrade Path: MXMIII GeForce 8800 GS

    OpenCL GeForce 8xxx,9xxx,GTxxx/Radeon 4xxx( Can be upgraded with Apple OEM 8800GS)(ATI Radeon HD 4850 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 130)

    (MB323LL/A)

    iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 20-Inch Aluminum (Early 2008)
    CPU 2.4 GHz (E8135)

    Graphics:64Bit EFI or (EBC)
    MXM Type III Slot: ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT

    Upgrade Path: MXMIII ATI Radeon HD 2xxx

    OpenCL GeForce 8xxx,9xxx,GTxxx/Radeon 4xxx( Can be upgraded with Apple OEM 8800GS)(ATI Radeon HD 4850 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 130)

    (MB324LL/A)

    iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 20-Inch Aluminum (Early 2008)
    CPU 2.66 GHz (E8335)

    Graphics:64Bit EFI or (EBC)
    MXM Type III Slot: ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO

    Upgrade Path: MXMIII GeForce 8800 GS

    OpenCL GeForce 8xxx,9xxx,GTxxx/Radeon 4xxx( Can be upgraded with Apple OEM 8800GS)(ATI Radeon HD 4850 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 130)


    (Early 2008/Penryn)(Apple Part # ?)

    iMac 3.06 24" Aluminum
    CPU 3.06 GHz (E8435)

    Graphics:64Bit EFI or (EBC)
    MXM Type III Slot: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS

    Upgrade Path: MXMIII NVIDIA GeForce GT130

    OpenCL Supported ,9xxx,GTxxx/Radeon 4xxx(ATI Radeon HD 4850 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 130)


    (MC015LL/A)

    iMac 20" Aluminum (Early 2009/Education Only)

    CPU 2.0 GHz (P7350)

    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M Chipset Integrated(May also have MXM Slot)

    MXM (Unknown?)

    OpenCL Supported

    (MB418LL/A)

    iMac 2.66 20" Aluminum (Early 2009)
    CPU 2.66 GHz (?)

    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M Chipset Integrated(May also have MXM Slot)

    MXM (Unknown?)

    OpenCL Supported

    (MB419LL/A)

    iMac 24" Aluminum (Early 2009)
    CPU 2.93 GHz

    Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GT 120( Assumed MXMIII/ Unknown?)

    Upgrade Path: ATI Radeon HD 4850 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 (Assumed?)

    OpenCL Supported

    (MB420LL/A)

    iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 24-Inch Aluminum (Early 2009) features a

    CPU 3.06 GHz (E8435)

    Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GT 130( Assumed MXMIII/ Unknown?)

    Upgrade Path: ATI Radeon HD 4850

    OpenCL Supported

    That's the quick and dirty list.
    It still needs editing and fact checking, DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, YET!!!


    I'll try and Add some HowTo's for making EFI Rom's/Flashing PC MXM Cards and Upgrading with Apple OEM EFI Cards, as time permits.

    As to Opening the Case and Installing the cards, You Are On Your own!!
     
  2. mzd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    thanks for the very detailed info and upgrade paths!
    but to my knowledge, no one has successfully upgraded an iMac Core 2 Duo gfx card. ever. i hope that doesn't mean it is impossible, but the aluminum iMacs have been on the market for almost two years now. seems like a long time for no one to have attempted this yet. also, the earlier white iMacs had MXM graphics as well and that goes even farther back. again, i've never heard of anyone being able to swap gfx cards to date. hopefully...
     
  3. Niklaas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #3
    The iMacs 20" Aluminum ( witch doesn´t use integrated chipset) can not use MXMIII cards, because there isn´t enough space for it.

    24" MXMII/III
    20" MXMII or integrated
     
  4. Ju2999 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #4
    Are there any news?

    I opened my iMac7,1 mid2007 24 and the graphics board seems to be a standard MXMII oder MXMIII board from AMD. Nothing special with it.

    So in combination with NVEnabler is there still a reason why an mxm upgrade would not work?
     
  5. lion10, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    lion10 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    #5
    An very interesting thread...

    However, something confusing is the "mixing" of the MXM generations. According to Wikipedia there are actually two INCOMPATIBLE MXM versions, "Generation 1", and "Generation 2". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_PCI_Express_Module)

    "Generation 1" MXM are ALL (MXM based) iMacs until end 2008.
    "Generation 2" MXM are ALL (MXM based) iMacs from early 2009.

    Therefore, it is NOT POSSIBLE that an Geforce GT 120 / 130 or Radeon 4850 card will fit physically into an earlier iMac before 2009.

    To make the confusion perfect, there seems to be a difference in the "EFI dialect" of "first Generation" MXM in Apple's 24" plastic iMac's MA456LL. These MXM (1Gen) cards talk to the logic board accordingly the EFI 1.10 specification. The ALU iMac series MXM (1Gen) cards talk to the logic board accordingly EFI 2.x specification ALTHOUGH they only have EFI 1.10 level!!! Absolutely frustrating....

    The following models DO NOT have any MXM slot: MB418LL/A, MC015LL/A

    It would be interesting if the original author "cuda" will explain these "EFI UGA Rom hacks" more precisely. It is possible to change the communication protocol of ALU MXM (1Gen) modules to be compatible with these Plastic iMac 24" MXM (1Gen) ones?

    I tried to install an Radeon HD 2600 MXM card out of an ALU iMac into an 24" plastic one, - but because of the different "EFI communication" it doesn't work. All other physical & electrical aspects seems to be absolutely compatible...
     
  6. ygryk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    #6
    Hello,

    I'm just complete to install the MXM II ATI HD4650 on my 20" T7700 iMac Aluminium 2007 MA877xx by replacing standard HD2600 PRO.

    Unfortunately the screen appears black after power on :(

    I'm still looking for solution or hacks on how to make it work. May be someone can help me with that?
     
  7. Niklaas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #7
    that can not work, we only talking about replacing apple cards with apple cards here, because of the EFI.
     
  8. lion10, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

    lion10 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    #8
    As Niklaas says, this will NOT work so easy...

    You need for your "PC based" Radeon HD 4650 MXM card a (more or less) working Mac EFI compatible firmware/vBios.

    Here starts the first problem, there was never any MXM II (1Gen) Radeon HD4650 card for your iMac model line. As follows there is simply no possibility to "grab" a corresponding "MXM Mac EFI firmware".

    For yours generation iMac there were officially only the Radeon HD 2400 / 2600 and the Geforce 8800 GS series MXM cards available. So, if someone has the knowledge, it would be only possible to make such gpu based PC MXM cards iMac compatible.

    Otherwise you should ask netkas, the "Master of the EFI UGA Hack universe". ;) http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/board,5.0.html
     
  9. takeshi81 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    #9
    imac mid 2007 MA878LL

    Hi i have a MA878LL 24" 2,4Ghz can i upgrade only to 8800GS? I've found other video card with MXMIII format... they can fit in but i need a custom firmware after installing the video card?
     
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    I want to resurrect this thread on the basis that it contains some useful info that may have been forgotten. I am hopeful that we can end up with a public repository of which cards work in which iMacs.
     

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