Upgrade Graphics Card on new iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Blakely028, May 14, 2008.

  1. Blakely028 macrumors regular

    Blakely028

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    I need to upgrade my Graphics Card on my iMac. It has the ATI HD2600 Pro 256MB version included. I was wondering if I would be able to upgrade the graphics card to a 512MB version, doesn't have to be an ATI card tho.

    Is there a list of graphics cards that are compatible with the iMac as I don't just want to have one other card to upgrade to y'know :)

    Thanks.

    P.S. I do a lot of web design and photo editing as part of my job and hobbies
     
  2. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    Oct 3, 2006
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    #2
    The only way to upgrade the graphics card on an iMac is to purchase a new iMac.
     
  3. shinchook macrumors regular

    shinchook

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    Yeah essentially the imac is just a glorified laptop with a big screen on a stand. Everything is soldered on and built in. The only things you can really upgrade on an iMac is the ram (which is user upgradeable) and the hard drive which is a pain in the rear and will most likely void any guarantee. Buy a new imac or save your money and get a mac you can upgrade later. The mac pro is a powerhouse and is fully upgradeable.
     
  4. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Yep

    Sorry, not gonna happen.

    I was under the impression that 2D design wasn't all that graphics card intensive. Wouldn't more ram/faster hard drive be more cost effective (and possible, I suppose)?
     
  5. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #5
    The iMac is a perfect computer for NON graphics intense applications. The only why I would have recommended that to a GFX pro is if they were getting the very very top model. Even then it's only if they'd rather have a machine that isn't upgradeable, or the Mac Pro is too much machine for them.

    If you really need the GFX then I suggest either selling your current iMac and grabbing a used/refurbished Mac Pro, getting the cash for a new Mac Pro, or grabbing a new top of the line fully upgraded iMac and trading up every two years or so.
     
  6. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    Aug 16, 2007
    #6
    Yeah, can't be done. Taking an iMac apart would be like trying to get into Fort Knox.
     
  7. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #7
    Can I ask what you need the graphics card for?
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    But that is the point -- Web design apps and Adobe CS3 do not utilize 3-D graphics acceleration, nor do they benefit from 512 MB of VRAM. Only games and selected 3-D modeling and video production apps can benefit in any large way from an upscale video card.

    From Barefeats.com:

    In fact, the ATI card handily outperformed the 8800 in 2-D graphics.
     
  9. Blakely028 thread starter macrumors regular

    Blakely028

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    Yeah, I need the extra graphics power for my job which is a Pro Web Designer and I use my iMac at home to do some bits and pieces as well as my wife uses the iMac to do lots of design and graphic design at home for her own business. Very graphics heavy our household :D

    Me and my wife play games on it as well, with her playing Sims and me playing GTA and FIFA 08
     
  10. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #10
    Please read CanadaRAM's post and repeat after me.

    WEB DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN, PHOTOSHOP, DO NOT BENEFIT FROM A "better" 3D CARD.

    WEB DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN, PHOTOSHOP, DO NOT BENEFIT FROM A "better" 3D CARD.

    WEB DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN, PHOTOSHOP, DO NOT BENEFIT FROM A "better" 3D CARD.

    Your iMac will work for Sims and GTA.
     
  11. shinchook macrumors regular

    shinchook

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    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #11
    Many people may not know this but having a high end graphics card helps with rendering photoshop effects as well as rendering video. Its not all processor and hard drive and ram. Although these are important to the whole, it is important to keep this in mind.
     
  12. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #12
    Unless Photoshop was reprogrammed to take advantage of Core Image (and to my knowledge that never happened), having a faster video card will not impact photoshop work or video. Its totally CPU bound work.
     
  13. shinchook macrumors regular

    shinchook

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    #13
    we also have to remember that cs3 has multiple 3d capabilities now as well
     
  14. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #14
    I actually keep forgetting that. Seriously. You are right about the web and design apps. Photoshop, even when working in video, doesn't utilize the GFX card.

    The only time the GFX card is used in video is when rendering footage or with Real Time Extreme (Final Cut), and even that feature needs A LOT of RAM to work flawlessly.
     
  15. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #15
    I respectfully disagree.....

    The iMac works very well with intense graphic design applications! I have the first version aluminum iMac 2.8 Extreme. i use it 12 hours a day 5 days or more a week! I use all the major design programs. It is fast. Programs open almost instantly. Manipulating photos etc., just works on the iMac!
     
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
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    #16
    I never said anything to disagree with. Or, maybe I should have said, anybody that want a machine to upgrade in the future should get a Mac Pro.

    I would grab a 24" iMac in a heartbeat, it's plenty fast for everything I do, especially since I do most of it on a 17" MBP. But I just love being able to put 4TBs, two optical drives, and 32GB of RAM in my machine down the road.

    When I got my G5 tower two years ago, I couldn't pay the $700+ for 16GB of RAM. Now, it's only $400 and it's faster than the stuff out 2 years ago. If I had gotten the iMac, it would still be kicking, but I would have finished upgrading it years ago.

    Oh, I see that you disagree with my first statement... I can dig it.
     
  17. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #17
    The only image editor that I know that uses the graphics card is Pixelmator and until 1.5 is released it isn't any good for webdesign due to the lack of a good save to web feature.
     
  18. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    So true! This really needs to be put into a FAQ file.

    Sadly, even a lot of so-called experts have this mis-placed notion that an expensive 3D GPU will somehow help anything and so "graphics related".

    Outside of a handful of specialty applications and some games, there's not a whole lot of software that's going to benefit from a "better" graphics card. The vast majority of software uses the CPU exclusively. In some cases, a few operations may benefit somewhat from a GPU, but it usually won't be anywhere close to the degree people expect.
     
  19. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #19
    Yes...

    Yes, it helps, but not much.
     
  20. thunder80 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #20
    8 GB and 8800 GPU good enough?

    Would a G5 with 8GB and a 8800 graphic card be good enough to graphic intensive video in motion 3? The G5 is about 3 years old but it does have OS X 10.4.11.
     
  21. sharoldking macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #21
    imacs are more upgradable than you think

    It is possible to upgrade your alum imac, here is the link, http://www.amfiteatar.org/content/view/155/78/lang,en/. it is an extremely good guide, just make sure when you do it read first, and read the comments. it is a guide to upgrading your hard disk and ram, among other things possible.
     
  22. SteveGe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    #22
    It's like buy an expensive Mercedes only to find out the engine is crap.

    Games and such that are being released need much more GPU processing power - (and don't quote games that are 5 years old pls, we aren't talking about 'GTA' here).

    I'm disappointed to have spent all that money - great OS, but what good is a great OS if you can't run the latest game. I would think Apple would value great graphics, but it appears it's a $1000 + video card upgrade for a card that isn't even considered high end.

    Apple needs to make future iMac video cards upgradable.

    Love the OS, but this might be the last iMac I get unfortunately. It's only a year old and I can't play the newer games on it.
     
  23. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
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    do you rly want to know?
    #23
    What you need is a non all in one computer. not an imac with upgradeable gfx because thst simply won't happen. desktop gfx have never been in the imac. only mobile series which are always soldered down. not many consumers have to know how to unsolder a gpu and then solder the new one in.
     

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