Upgrading Video Card in Imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thriftypenguin, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. thriftypenguin macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2007
    Is it possible to install any video card in my imac? I'm thinking of installing a High Def one or something better than i have (GeForce 8800 Ultra would be nice).

    I know the computer is really thin and small so there must be some size restrictions on the card and the OS might not like it.

    I have a 20' Intel Core 2 Duo with an ATI Raedon X1600 128mb

    So far ive searched around forums and have only found muppets who ask if they can upgrade their integrated GMA like they dont know it's stuck to thier motherboard.

    Has anyone tried this before?
  2. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    i'm pretty sure the one on the 20"ers is soldered on. Even if it isn't, it'll need an ATI card to be pin compatible.
  3. nickf macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2007
    No, it's integrated into the motherboard as a discrete unit. There's no way to upgrade it (- unless you're handy with a soldering iron and have a degree in electronic engineering :))

    Even if you could swap it out with something else, there'd be the danger of overheating your system.
  4. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    Technically it isn't even really a 'card'. It's just a processor chip that is soldered onto your logic board. Besides that, I don't think these graphics chips are for sale to any given person. These chips are sold only to the manufacturers of these boards.

    That said, I believe the GeForce chips in the pre-gen iMacs are not soldered into the logic board and can be swapped by a faster one. But then again, you'd have to bust a performance notebook open to even get a chip like that.
  5. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    LOL. What does that make you then? All iMac GPUs are soldered to the logic board for the most part and aren't upgradeable. :D
  6. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I thought last-gen imacs had the GPU on an MXM type card? I might be wrong there (I don't own one).

    If it is, then it's "possible" to upgrade it - in theory you can just swap them out. I'm pretty sure nobody sells them for the imacs though, and getting hold of one from a PC laptop (assuming that they're the same type of card) and getting it to actually work with the imac would be a pretty major mod project.
  7. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Yes, the current gen iMacs and also the previous gen white 24" iMacs have a GPU on an MXM type card. However, they are not thought to comply with any kind of MXM standards (which are vague anyway), bar the connector itself. Meaning you cant just swap in any MXM GPU from another computer. And even if you could, you'd still have the drivers to worry about.

    Perhaps in a year or 2, some 3rd party Mac specialist companies may produce upgrades for these iMacs. Probably around the same time Apple finally sort the drivers out for the existing cards :rolleyes:

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