Upgrading 24" iMac Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 2600 Pro to Geforce 8800 GT

Discussion in 'iMac' started by brandonbrandon, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. brandonbrandon macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    Hello everyone. I'm not sure if this has been asked before, and I'm sorry if its an annoyance but I do need some advice.

    I purchased my Mac a few weeks ago, wanting to both upgrade my computer.......and play Diablo 3 :)

    I do always want the best out of my systems and the person who sold me the mac told me it would be fairly easy to upgrade the card...well he was wrong. He also told me a few days later not to worry about upgrading since the system is already great.

    I went to a local Mac store and asked about the upgrade and found out it would be close to or above a grand for the part from Apple and the labor.

    Heres the breakdown:

    $875 - Card
    $130 - Labor
    $15 - Shipping (from apple)

    Are there any other ways to find this part online cheaper and just hopefully pay for the labor?

    I just really dont want to pay a grand just to upgrade my damn video card, and I know within the new year Apple will release a much better fast computer and I'll be mad. I really wish it wasn't such a hard upgrade...

    thanks for reading.

  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    You'd probably be better off selling your iMac and buying a new one with the 8800M GTS preinstalled. Don't let the sales people convince you to spend your money like this again.
  3. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    LOL, sounds fishy to me as I dont know why apple would do this upgrade for you when theyd be much happier selling you a brand new machine with the proper video card in it.

    Welcome to the world of iMac where you are tied to your graphics card (remember the MXM thing a bit ago where iMac were supposed to be upgradeable? Yea, what ever happened to that!?) and have to upgrade the entire machine to get a better one.

    I just plonked down $2000 to go from my X1600 20" to the 8800GS 24" because I wanted Spore and CoD4 to look good.
  4. brandonbrandon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    man, what a bummer.

    thanks for the help anyway.
  5. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    Take it back to the store you bought it at, tell the sales associate that he is full of it, and demand to get your money back. Then go buy the iMac with the GeForce. You'll get a bigger HDD and faster processor as well, for less than half the cost of Apple's "upgrade".
  6. tonyl macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2006
    I didn't know Apple can upgrade video card in iMac.
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Yes it is easy, you go to the Apple store and click on the box for the card upgrade -- as you custom order the machine or buy the top machine.

    The card is unlikely to be online cheaper, since it has to be the actual Apple card you need.

    At the MXM site, they have tried without success to swap cards ...
  8. tonyl macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2006
    I see, the cards are not soldered on logic boards (checked some disassembly photos). Is it possible to get a PC version card and flashed it with Mac EFI rom to get it work? Could you give me a link for MXM site?
  9. brandonbrandon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    Well I'm totally screwed here.

    I've given up, and only see myself bringing my machine back to Future Shop and waiting on the new iMacs (which is disappointing since I do love the system right now, but it can be better)

    Heres the pinch I'm in:

    Future Shop only offers the system I have, as their most powerful iMac.

    24" screen, a new Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2.8GHz, the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory.

    Apple offers the 512MB graphic card option with faster features etc etc...

    Thing is, I can't special order the "better" system since its only an option from Apple. I also can't order directly from Apple now because I bought my computer with a Future Shop credit card which allows a 12 month no interest/no money down plan(which works for me financially). I dont have a real credit card and definitely dont have the money to try to pay off $2500 in 21 days without gaining interest from Visa.

    What do you all suggest I do?

    Because I'm definitely leaning towards bringing the computer back and just waiting...

    I dont want to be in 3rd place with my system when the new iMacs come out. A 256mb graphics card is not something I will want to be proud of.

    thanks for reading.

  10. Berlepsch macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    From the looks of the game, it does not seem too graphical intensive. So, I don't see why you absolutely need to upgrade your ATI card just for Diablo. After all, people report that the HD 2600 in the 24" iMacs can be used even for Crysis, which is one of the most demanding games on the market.
  11. brandonbrandon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    I want to be ready for the upcoming year. I was running COD4 earlier and it ran, but it can run better.
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
  13. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    I'm sure you will be just fine with the video card that you have. 128mb is plenty for a game like that.
  14. spyd4r macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    why not just order directly from apple?
  15. Namnorkimo macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2008
    The graphics card in that iMac is a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT (even if Apple speaks of a Radeon 2600 pro, that is not the one inside the iMac). That XT is better than the pro! The ATI is quite fast for gaming too. No need to change the iMac for another graphics card! You can also clock the ATI card to your own suggestions if you need. This gives you a speed plus of 20 % in Windows games. :)
  16. sneezymarble macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2008
  17. Namnorkimo macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2008
    If you think the ATI card is not good enough for you, it will be the same with the Nvidia. Buy a PC with a SLI system or a Mac Pro with that if you really think you need.
  18. IroquoisPliskin macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2008
    Take it back. Its obvious the salesman lied to you so he could get his commission on the sale.
  19. MIKE666 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2008
    Why tell him to waste his money on SLI/Crossfire, he only wants to play a few games. The Nvidia probably would be good enough for him. its much better for games.
    I would definitely agree with the Mac Pro though in the UK you can get the quad core one for £1200 or the 8 core one for £1450 if you are in Higher Education, or know someone that is.
  20. Namnorkimo macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2008
    I can play many games at full 1920 x 1200 with decent fps with my ATI card. If he likes to play horrible 3D games like Crysis, the Nvidia won´t help him much.
  21. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    You can't upgrade the card as far as I know. Apple will probably replace the whole logic board, or just give you a new one and sell yours as a refurb.
  22. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    Take it back, you relied on his advice for the original sale and it was wrong. Don't accept any 'restocking fees' or the like, it's misrep.

    Then buy one, after seeking reputable advice, that you will be happy with. You're clearly not happy with what you've got for your money at the moment - and that's the important point here.

  23. mastershakess macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Bel Air, MD
    I have the ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT in mine and both Spore/COD4 look great. I also run Bioshock/Far Cry 2/Fallout 3 on XP without any problems, they all look good.
  24. Niklaas macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
  25. UrFatMom macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Maybe 7 months too late?

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