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  1. #1

    Mercedes1787's Avatar
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    Question Graphics card questions
    I'm thinking of upgrading my mac to 4 gig (6 gig if the April 2008 model can hold it) and getting a better graphics card, which is better, the Nvidia GeForce 9400m or the best ATI Radeon HD card (what is the best ATI Radeon HD card) I'd use the graphics performance for Gaming and I want the visual settings to be at their highest. So simple, whats better for 3D Gaming Nvidia Geforce 9400m or the best ATI Radeon HD?
    24'' Intel iMac, 3.06 GHZ dual core processor, 4 GB ram @ 800mhz, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive, 6 MB shared L2 cache.

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    I think you'd be good to read this topic where I asked basically the same question.
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/app...-question.html
    But I'll summarise it for you.

    Nvidia GeForce 9400m = Graphics card which shares memory wirh main memory. Great for most tasks. But does not render 3D well at all. So stuff like 3D games it will not do so well. Mind you I'm talking the best of 3D games.

    ATI Radeon HD 4670 = Graphics card with it's own memory and does not share with the main memory. Can render 3D very well. Good for cutting edge 3D games. And the optional better ATI card is the same only a little better.

    Which one to get? The first one unless you want to play a lot of 3D games and 3D video editing. In that case get the dedicated graphcs card (The ATI)

  3. #3

    Mercedes1787's Avatar
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    what about the ATI Radeon HD 5970? is that better than the 4670 for 3D gaming, and what's with sharing memory?
    24'' Intel iMac, 3.06 GHZ dual core processor, 4 GB ram @ 800mhz, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive, 6 MB shared L2 cache.

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    Unless you intend on buying a new Mac with the desired graphics card you mentioned, there is no way possible to upgrade your current iMac. An iMac is actually a large notebook computer built vertically and can not be upgraded other than the hard drive and memory.

    The graphics chipset is integrated within the main board (logic board) and is actually surface mounted to it. Even though the GPU in your iMac uses discrete memory separate from system memory, there is no way to change it out for a newer and better chipset.

    Regards.

  5. #5

    Mercedes1787's Avatar
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    My graphics card isn't integrated, mines the April 2008 Model, all the ones after that are integrated (I think)
    24'' Intel iMac, 3.06 GHZ dual core processor, 4 GB ram @ 800mhz, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive, 6 MB shared L2 cache.

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mercedes1787 View Post
    My graphics card isn't integrated, mines the April 2008 Model, all the ones after that are integrated (I think)
    All the models before it as well!

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  7. #7

    Mercedes1787's Avatar
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    Is the ATI Radeon HD 5970 compatible with the 2008 intel aluminum iMac (8,1)
    If not, where can I get some reliable drivers for it to work with my mac.
    24'' Intel iMac, 3.06 GHZ dual core processor, 4 GB ram @ 800mhz, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive, 6 MB shared L2 cache.

  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercedes1787 View Post
    My graphics card isn't integrated, mines the April 2008 Model, all the ones after that are integrated (I think)
    I don't think you understood what I wrote to you, so let me be more clear:

    Your graphics chipset is integrated within the main logic board. In other words it's not a separate entity or circuit card. By integrated, it means it's soldered to the board - as I mentioned to you before - surface mounted. Therefore, there is no way to change it out to a newer graphics chipset.

    Yes, your graphics chipset has its own memory and does not use memory from the main system memory, however, it's still soldered down to the main board. In other words, what you have is what you have unless you purchase another machine.

    The only Intel Mac that can accept a new graphics card is the Mac Pro.

    Regards.

  9. #9

    Mercedes1787's Avatar
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    man thats tight, the shop owner said the graphics card wasn't integrated, little...
    Can you order any 27" iMacs with an ATI Radeon 5970 in it?
    24'' Intel iMac, 3.06 GHZ dual core processor, 4 GB ram @ 800mhz, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive, 6 MB shared L2 cache.

  10. #10

    rippingviper's Avatar
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    MacBook Air 13" , 21.5" iMac i5, White iPhone 4s 32gig, iPad 3 white 16 gig, i5 Mac Mini
    No. Go to apples website and customize one, you'll find you won't get that graphics card in it. 4850 is what you get.
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  11. #11

    Mercedes1787's Avatar
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    man the 4850 is good, but I want more power(5970), I probably wont get a new iMac till the make one with a graphics card which I can swap.
    24'' Intel iMac, 3.06 GHZ dual core processor, 4 GB ram @ 800mhz, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive, 6 MB shared L2 cache.

  12. #12

    rippingviper's Avatar
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    MacBook Air 13" , 21.5" iMac i5, White iPhone 4s 32gig, iPad 3 white 16 gig, i5 Mac Mini
    I doubt you'll ever be able to swap out a video card in an imac. as said previously, an imac is a laptop built vertically with a big screen. all the parts inside are mobile parts. If you want inter-changability you need a mac pro not an imac.
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  13. #13

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    If what you want is a top notch gaming rig, I'd suggest you quit looking at Macs to begin with and build your own Windows system like the rest of us.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  14. #14

    Mercedes1787's Avatar
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    what do you mean by "Build your own" I know about hardware in comps but not allot.
    24'' Intel iMac, 3.06 GHZ dual core processor, 4 GB ram @ 800mhz, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive, 6 MB shared L2 cache.

  15. #15

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    I mean buy a case, motherboard, RAM, video card, sound card (if you need better than the integrated one), hard drive, power supply, optical drive or two, a copy of Windows and build your own rig to the specifications you want.

    That $3.5k - $4k Alienware rig you've been drooling over can be built for about $2k if you do it yourself.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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