Possible to switch from 6770M to 6970M?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Murl, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Murl macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    I found a reasonably priced iMac 27" on craigslist and just wondered how feasible this was to do. Anyone have any insight?
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    VERY bad idea, if it's possible which I doubt it would be expensive.
  3. durruti macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2004
    The video chipset is integrated into mainboard of iMac, so nearly impossible to upgrade separately.
  4. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    I had to register after many years of lurking to point out that this is flat out wrong.

    The current generation iMacs use MXM graphics card boards. They *are* changeable. The main obstacle to doing so is finding a Mac-suitable card. If you are taking one out of a donor 27" iMac then this is solved. Just go slow, and be aware that you will need to change the thermal paste on the heatsink.
  5. durruti macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2004
    I didn't know about this change.

    Cheers for the correction.:)
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Hardware issue aside, what about software drivers?
  7. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    the biggest issue is EFI being present on the EEPROM for the card.

    So it really needs to be a Mac specific one.

    (or someone needs to figure out how to flash them like we do desktop cards)
  8. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    If you consider your "reasonably priced 27' iMac" plus what you will have to pay to get your hand on a specific GPU made especially for Mac (which technically exist only in other and more expensive iMacs), i guess you are way better simply paying for a higher spec iMac in the beginning.
  9. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    There's been a lot of buzz about the 7970M and the 680M on the notebook forums from people with the Alienware laptops that can potentially take them as upgrades - I'd imagine if any EFI flashing was going to be possible those guys would know about it. Of course, this presumes that they even *have* flashable EFIs on them, and the room to take a mac specific one of course. You'd know more about that than I, given your work with the Mac Pro, I assume.

    In terms of what's available for now, the only ones that would be guaranteed to work would be cards that had been removed from other iMacs of the same generation (and then potentially ones from future generations, assuming the thermal profile stays similar), so your sources would be Mac parts suppliers or people selling broken iMacs for parts.

    I had briefly considered going for a 21" iMac and then looking for a busted 27" with the 6970 to swap it over - I don't really need the giant screen, but I did want the more potent GPU. As it stands I've held off since I'm waiting to see what Apple does with this mythical iMac refresh.
  10. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    It's certainly possible, but not feasible.

    1. The cost: 6970M is not your typical video cards, it's a MXM laptop card. Even if it is equal to 6850 in terms of performance, doesn't mean they cost the same. Typically it would cost you $200 - $300.

    2. You have to find a specific 6970M for iMac, not random cards from AlienWare or something.

    3. You risk damaging your iMac, it's not just plug in and out like typical PCI-E on a regular tower. Too many cables and screws you gotta open to reach GPU.

    So, just go with the highest end iMac possible, it's worth it. Better CPU is a bonus too. Especially the refurbed one since they come with alluring price cut.

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