Upgrading Early 2009 iMac 24" GPU

Discussion in 'iMac' started by harrydebest, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. harrydebest, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

    harrydebest macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    #1
    Hi,

    As the title says I'm feeling adventurous and want to upgrade the GT120m currently in my iMac. The GT120m is simply too damn slow for any relatively new game. I know that I can 'easily' upgrade to the GT130m or the 4850 but those cards are hard to find and quite expensive.

    After doing more research I found out that the cards are really just MXM 3.0 Type B GPUs. This led me to the thought that I could buy the 4850 from the Late 2009 27" iMac, take it off the heatsink and install it on my 24" heatsink. Wouldn't the 5750 also work in my 24" iMac, it is also a MXM 3.0 Type B card.

    After searching high and low on the internet, it seems to me that one brave soul has tried to upgrade their broken 4850 with a 6750 from a newer iMac.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/152110/Can+I+upgrade+early+2009+iMac+Graphics+card (scroll to the bottom)
    He was rather brief on the iFixit Forums and said that the computer still ran but with a black screen. The computer still ran as in he could hear the Windows start up sound etc. Also I read somewhere that when a newer GPU was put in, it would show an error of MXM Mismatch or something.

    I am really tempted to just simply buy a 4850 or a 5750 from one of the 27" models and install it in my iMac, but I'm in Australia and the costs are just too high to experiment and not succeed. While the 5750 (5850m) does not perform as well as the 4850 it has almost half the TDP. This would mean I wouldn't get any of the heat problems that plagued the early 2009 iMac 4850 adopters.

    So overall, is it possible to upgrade my GT120m to any physically compatible GPU from a newer 27" iMac?

    Cheers
     
  2. sab2el macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Bangladesh
    #2
    Dont Bother

    If you want my honest opinion....don't bother with it. Just upgrade to an SSD and 8 gb ram and be done with it.
     
  3. harrydebest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    #3
    The more research I do the more it gravitates towards leaving it alone. But it does suck not having closure regarding the GPU. Then again I thought about upgrading the RAM and the HDD, RAM is an easy upgrade but the HDD right now is literally about to die, its sooo slow and is constantly making noises that it shouldn't make. All together the RAM, SDD and a SATA Optibay (HDD caddy for ODD) plus all the tools will probably be around $240. I don't think it would be even worthwhile to upgrade it...

    Oh well.. just gonna wait for the rMBP 15 refresh and hope to god they put a proper mGPU inside..

    Thanks for your input though!
     
  4. sab2el macrumors newbie

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    Bangladesh
    #4
    Go for the ssd...and use it as a backup computer.
    I bought the same iMac but with hd4850 when I used to stay in Sydney ....I paid almost 3500 aud to upgrade to full spec minus the cpu. Hurt my wallet a lot that time....but the pay off is that I am using Yosemite with all graphical glory with zero choppiness. Also I can play Diablo and sc2 with almost full details ...the only game that is bothering me with performance is deus ex :(
     
  5. harrydebest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    #5
    Damn $3500... Apple in Australia is so damn expensive. I contacted a dealer who sells Apple parts, not quite sure if new or used, but offered $450 AUD for a 4850 and a 3.06Ghz C2D logic board. Would you say this is worth it? The 4850 feels like such a irregularity when looking at the performance of GPUs in iMacs... its just so much better relative to anything they've offered.
     
  6. Gav Mack, Nov 11, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #6
    They are different cards I am sure of with the 6 series AMD and will not work.

    Do what this old pommie bar steward would in your shoes cobber -buy a used tested 4850 or gt130m card on eBay Australia from the Far East so search world wide. You will find your dollars go a very long way buying abroad and will be a fraction of the price bought in Oz. My friends down there do the same getting bits on the cheap as official apple parts there are crazy prices.

    If they have good feedback I don't have a problem and they will be far cheaper than the xeon cpu and apple blades I get from there and Im much further away from there than you down under.

    I wish I was in St Kilda right now having a beer it's getting pretty cold here in the mother country!
     
  7. sab2el macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2012
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    Bangladesh
    #7



    $450 is too much for something that has no guarantee and may crap out in a month if luck is not on your side.

    To make it interesting you can sell yours and get something like the one at the link below. This is much better value and has GT130.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apple-iM..._Computers_Apple_Desktops&hash=item2c9030c018
     
  8. harrydebest, Nov 13, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    harrydebest thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 4, 2013
    #8
    I'd rather update to something newer, I had a quick look on Gumtree and Ebay, found quite a few 27" iMacs from 2010/2011 for $700-$800. Even better thing is that they have GPUs that are actually upgradable!

    Have you ever thought about getting a new computer to replace your iMac?
     
  9. sab2el macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2012
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    Bangladesh
    #9
    Seems like a good idea to get something newer but find the near full spec version than to upgrade it yourself! Earlier i was only trying to point out to you in regards to the link I shared that shelling $450 would not be wise.

    Since I don't do any video editing and do only minor alterations in iphoto and just play a few selective games I don't feel the need to upgrade, my new ssd makes it feel like a new machine, plus I have rmbr 15"in case I need to save the world #
     
  10. RayK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #10
    I did this. Due to the motherboard having to support the card you will have to get one of the cards that shipped with the Mac.

    I have one of each of them. GT120, GT130 and the HD4850.

    The one I would recommend is the GT 130. The HD 4850 just ran too hot and gave me many issues with freezing and display corruption. If you have any questions on part numbers or anything let me know.
     
  11. sab2el macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Bangladesh
    #11
    I have been using my iMac with hd4850 for more than 5 years with no issues. Is it a common issue with iMac early 2009? I have only read issues with the late 2009 models.
     

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