Mid 2011 iMac GPU option?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DrJack6, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. DrJack6, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    DrJack6 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2012
    #1
    I have decided to NOT upgrade to the 2012 Imac because of limited internal storage options. Not giving up 1gb/s speed for a better GPU. Soooo, here comes the idiotic question of the day.

    What do we think about putting the GTX 680M or 680MX into the 2011 Imac?
    Looks like the same socket type.. Why not?
    Don't get me wrong, the overclocked 6970m is doing a fine job, but... well... yeah its just no GTX...
     
  2. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    #2
    Impossible. Unless you make your own MXM daughterboard and add Apple EFI codes?
     
  3. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2012
    #3
    Yuph, Apple is a biotch about controlling their devices.
     
  4. iHailCarlo macrumors 6502

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #4
    Apple dont like you messing with their stuff. haha.
     
  5. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2012
    #5
    Figuratively, you could build a hackintosh though...
     
  6. DrJack6 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2012
    #6
    Why would I need to make a daughterboard? Apple has already made one. Its in the 2012 imac.

    ----------

    Negative. Every component of the 2011 imac is upgradeable. SSDs. HDDs. CPU. RAM. GPU. I just want to know if it will take the GTX 680MX.
     
  7. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #7
    Uh...you don't give up speed on the 27" iMacs; they still use the same type of hard drives with the same type of SATA connections that were available before. Plus, you have the Fusion Drive options to make them faster. Jus' sayin...

    Physically it ought to fit as they're both MXM boards. You might want to check on the 680MX's cooling requirements and see if it'll work with the same heatsink and cooling stuff. That's probably where you'll run into most problems. You should also look into it and see if the thermal sensors on that card are compatible with your 2011 iMac. iMacs, in general, are very sensitive and tempermental when it comes to third-party and/or aftermarket components and sensors.

    The GeForce GTX 680MX, if I'm not mistaken, comes on an MXM board, as does the GeForce GTX 675MX. I'd imagine they both have their own EFI codes unless they have to correspond to the specific EFI on the Late 2012 27" models.

    The poster you are replying to here is correct though, Apple really doesn't want you messing around inside of an iMac. In fact, out of all Macs, that's the one they want you messing around inside the least. Sad, annoying, but true. You stand a high likelihood of running into problems stemming from firmware and/or thermal incompatibilities based on their design (both externally and internally) of this machine.

    That said, another poster suggested a Hackintosh, and frankly, if you're not afraid to open up your iMac and mod it with a GPU that stands a good shot of causing you headache, you might as well say screw it and go the Hackintosh route. What you'll end up with will be substantially more powerful for the price.
     
  8. kennyap macrumors regular

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    Jul 14, 2012
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    Cayman Islands
    #8
    Even if EFI is contained within the 680mx module, you'd have to flash the 2011 iMac with the correct 2012 iMac bootrom. This is where we hit a wall with the Core i7-3770 install on the 2011 iMac. The machine won't boot/boot properly without it. With Hackintosh you can modify kexts to get around this.
     
  9. wmy5 macrumors regular

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    upstate NY
    #9
    You do have to. GPU is soldered directly onto motherboard in 2012 iMac.
     
  10. DrJack6 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2012
    #10
    Yebubbleman

    Your first response is inaccurate. 2011 has 2 SATA III ports and 1 SATA II port. 2012 has 1 SATA III port and 1 flash stick. That means I have to lose my RAID. So thats what I meant when I said Im not giving up 1gb/s for a better GPU. You didnt honestly think I was referring to a stock Imac configuration of 1gb/s? lol

    ----------

    Im a little confused about what you meant here about the cpu. Why would the i7-3770 be in the 2011 imac? I didnt install it. Unless thats not what you meant?
     
  11. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #11
    Uhm, thunderbolt?
     
  12. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    #12
    There are no MXM daughterboards in the 2012 iMac. The GPU is rather permanently attached to the mobo itself.
     
  13. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #13
    You look like a smart guy, so you must realize that no one has done this. As to thoughts, there are about a dozen reasons it might not work or might be problematic (thermal design, sensor pinouts, OS confusion, etc).

    So go ahead and order the part, install it, and let us know how that pans out for you.
     
  14. DrJack6 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2012
    #14
    oops, meant to say internal storage.
     
  15. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

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    Sep 1, 2010
    #15
    Apple went back to all surface mounted on the 2012, best you can do with the 2011 iMac is the 6970 2gb from the 27inch, easy if your just upgrading a 27inch

    but, i believe does fit in the 21 inch, but needs heavy handed work inside the case to remove a support post, no idea if the PSU will run the card without blowing up, or if the extra heat generated by the more powerful card will cause issues within the small case.
     
  16. kennyap macrumors regular

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    #16
    No that's not what I meant. I mean that for the same reason that the 2011 iMac won't boot with an i7-3770 installed, it may not boot with a 680MX in it. The machine will check for compatible hardware during boot. Hackintosh's get around this through changing out kexts to enable compatibility.
     
  17. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #17
    Huh. So the EFI of either iMac is designed to only take a specific MXM board...figures. Also sucks.

    I wasn't referring to your graphics card, I was referring to your drives themselves. Since you can't have a RAID card in that iMac, your RAID has little, if any, speed advantage whatsoever. It also requires that you had your 27" 2011 iMac configured with an SSD drive to begin with and then you replaced the hard drive with an SSD, which would've caused you a ton of problems as the firmware on that iMac NEEDS to see a hard drive in that slot, otherwise the SMC and fans go nuts and ramp up at full speed while causing all hardware diagnostics pertitnent to the sensors and the hard drive to fail. So, I'm gonna rule that out now.

    As for the 2012 iMacs (both 21.5" and 27"), you have two SATA III connections. One is a normal SATA connection, and the other is an mSATA connection. What type of connector it comes in is irrelevant, it's still SATA III. So, no, you don't lose out on any speed.

    He was saying that you can't install it because the EFI prevents it from taking, despite the fact that the socket and Intel chipset both otherwise support it being there.

    In the 2012 21.5" iMac, you are correct. In the 2012 27" iMac, you are not; there is still an MXM board on those models.
     
  18. DrJack6 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2012
    #18
    Yebuubleman

    Maybe we should just stick to the GPU topic.. I don't think you're up on the drive info.. Just to clarify any confusion.. My Imac came with HDD in SATA III port, Optical Drive in SATA II port, and no SSD. I installed an OWC SSD in the empty port. I installed a second OWC SSD in place of the optical drive. I used the cable running to the HDD for that SSD. I then re-routed the SATA II cable that was in the optical drive to the HDD. And RAID, although you say wouldn't be effective, was indeed very effective. Software RAID 0 with WIndows Server 2008 R2 sent me from the high 400s to the high 900s. Also, regarding fan issues, I use a custom fan program on windows that controls all my fan speeds. I just didn't want to start going back and forth about drives, so that's what I've got. :)

    On a different note, I'm getting mixed answers about MXM board and whether it is soldered on or not. This thread is about a 27 inch. Can someone definitely say whether it is removable or not? (R.O.G. if you're out there, you should know)

    Regarding the i7-3770, oooohhhhhh ok yes I knew that, temporary brain fart. :p
    That makes a lot of sense. I guess I'm just gonna have to try it someday, press the power button, and see what happens...
     
  19. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    #19
    Link? The teardown pics I've seen, the only thing separate from the mobo is the HDD.
     
  20. mariner69 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    #20
    I did it!

    Hi!! I did it... I ordered the part and installed on my 2011 Imac 27"...
    The physical installation is not extremely difficult but make the GPU working is a different story...
    Mine didn't...I had the chime and then the black screen... Did pram reset and smc reset too, no way, safe boot, no way either.... no way also to access the imac via remote desktop
    After putting back the radeon everything is now back to normal...

    Now of course I'm stucked but willing to find solutions ( if any )
    From what I see around it seems that somebody succeeded in the operation... I've already write n them but no answer so far...

    Any idea, clue or hint highly appreciated...
     
  21. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #21
    No, you are incorrect. The late 2012 iMac models, both 21" and 27" DO NOT have MXM boards. The GPU is soldered to the logic board in both models.

    This is the entire logic board on the Late 2012 27" - note the location of the heat sink brace in the middle of that board? The GPU is on the other side. The CPU heatsink backing is the one of the left, but the CPU is socketed and replaceable. The GPU is not.

    http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/3BUpXN5OrCS6neWt
     

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