New To Mac-Forums?

Welcome to our community! Join the discussion today by registering your FREE account. If you have any problems with the registration process, please contact us!

Get your questions answered by community gurus Advice and insight from world-class Apple enthusiasts Exclusive access to members-only contests, giveaways and deals

Join today!

 
Start a Discussion
 

Mac-Forums Brief

Subscribe to Mac-Forums Brief to receive special offers from Mac-Forums partners and sponsors

Join the conversation RSS
Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - new 20'' iMac... thinking of upgrading the graphics card...


Post Reply New Thread Subscribe

 
Thread Tools
jjcavins

 
Member Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posts: 4
jjcavins is on a distinguished road

jjcavins is offline
I use the flight sim x-plane a lot on the imac and I would like to have smoother frame rates. What other faster graphics cards would be able to replace the radeon hd2600 that is in the faster 20'' iMac?

I have heard nvidia makes the best... is that true?

Thanks

JJ
QUOTE Thanks
Kash

 
Kash's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 03, 2006
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 9,385
Kash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant future
Mac Specs: Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G

Kash is offline
You can't replace the video card on an iMac, it's essentially hard wired to the logic board.

The parts inside of an iMac are essentially laptop parts, which is why only the RAM is user accessible. If you tried to swap out the hard drive, you would void your warranty. I don't think replacing the CPU is even an option as that too is probably soldered to the board.


June 2007
July 2009
QUOTE Thanks
jjcavins

 
Member Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posts: 4
jjcavins is on a distinguished road

jjcavins is offline
well crap.
QUOTE Thanks
Mac_Biodiesel

 
Mac_Biodiesel's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 06, 2007
Posts: 41
Mac_Biodiesel is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.4GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM, 200GB 7200 RPM, OS 10.5

Mac_Biodiesel is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kash View Post
You can't replace the video card on an iMac, it's essentially hard wired to the logic board.
Say what? According the Mac Genius at my local Apple Store, the graphics cards are no longer soldered to the motherboard, so they can be removed. However, she said they can only be replaced with one of the 2 cards that Apple currently offers with the iMac. So, if your graphics card is faulty, it can be swapped out for another one of the same type.

I don't understand why this is, though. Does the software not support other cards? If it can be removed, what's to stop you from simply putting another type of graphics card in there? Is the slot physically customized to only accept those 2 cards?
QUOTE Thanks
Stretch

 
Stretch's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 13, 2007
Location: Central New York
Posts: 4,776
Stretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud of
Mac Specs: 15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD

Stretch is offline
Its the firmware of the card that is the issue. Cards for Macs have different firmware than cards for Windows.

Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

Currently running OS X 10.10
QUOTE Thanks
Kash

 
Kash's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 03, 2006
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 9,385
Kash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant futureKash has a brilliant future
Mac Specs: Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G

Kash is offline
You're right, after looking at a disassembled aluminum iMac, it would seem as though the video card is not soldered to the logic board. However, it definitely isn't a standard video card that you can just swap out, especially since getting to it would clearly nullify your warranty.


June 2007
July 2009
QUOTE Thanks
Mac_Biodiesel

 
Mac_Biodiesel's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 06, 2007
Posts: 41
Mac_Biodiesel is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.4GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM, 200GB 7200 RPM, OS 10.5

Mac_Biodiesel is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Its the firmware of the card that is the issue. Cards for Macs have different firmware than cards for Windows.
If that's the case, then any card that works in a Mac Pro should work in an iMac, correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kash
You're right, after looking at a disassembled aluminum iMac, it would seem as though the video card is not soldered to the logic board. However, it definitely isn't a standard video card that you can just swap out, especially since getting to it would clearly nullify your warranty.
3 years from now the warranty will have expired anyway, and that's a likely timeframe for someone to want to upgrade their GPU. I looked through Kas's dissection photos, but couldn't identify the graphics card. So you think it's not the same type of card that could go into a Mac Pro, then?
QUOTE Thanks
Stretch

 
Stretch's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 13, 2007
Location: Central New York
Posts: 4,776
Stretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud ofStretch has much to be proud of
Mac Specs: 15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD

Stretch is offline
Look at the size of the Mac Pro's vid cards, and then take another look at the iMacs. I highly doubt any of those cards will fit in there.

Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

Currently running OS X 10.10
QUOTE Thanks
bryphotoguy

 
bryphotoguy's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 02, 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,978
bryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nice
Mac Specs: Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone

bryphotoguy is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_Biodiesel View Post
If that's the case, then any card that works in a Mac Pro should work in an iMac, correct?



3 years from now the warranty will have expired anyway, and that's a likely timeframe for someone to want to upgrade their GPU. I looked through Kas's dissection photos, but couldn't identify the graphics card. So you think it's not the same type of card that could go into a Mac Pro, then?
Nope, that won't work. I havent looked at the AI photos but there is no way the iMac could support a full size vid card. The 7300GT wouldnt be worth upgrading and the ATI cards are a lot thicker.
Plus, the iMac has a mini DVI out. The Mac Pro cards have dual DVI out connections. If a Mac Pro card was to actually fit, the case would would have to be modded.


January 2008 Member of the Month
QUOTE Thanks
Geeky1

 
Member Since: Jul 14, 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 589
Geeky1 is a jewel in the roughGeeky1 is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: See Sig...

Geeky1 is offline
I haven't looked at it, but it's probably in a MXM or a mini PCI Express slot. Graphics cards with those connectors are flat out unavailable on the retail market and if you pick one up on ebay or whatever, it will still need to be flashed with a Mac BIOS. Something that is no easy task, particularly when the card has to connect to the monitor using a LVDS connector, meaning the bios has to retain all of the monitor information to be able to use the integrated LCD.

In short: You're not going to upgrade it with anything other than a card out of another iMac unless you are very, very good at reverse engineering video BIOS files.

MCCCXXXVII
Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA
QUOTE Thanks
Mac_Biodiesel

 
Mac_Biodiesel's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 06, 2007
Posts: 41
Mac_Biodiesel is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.4GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM, 200GB 7200 RPM, OS 10.5

Mac_Biodiesel is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeky1 View Post
In short: You're not going to upgrade it with anything other than a card out of another iMac unless you are very, very good at reverse engineering video BIOS files.
Ah, I see what you're getting at. That does sound fairly insurmountable.

Hmmm. Each new iMac revision generally gets a new graphics card model, right? If those cards are also sold separately, perhaps that's what one could upgrade to in later years. Take the card for a 2009 iMac and put it in my 2007 iMac....
QUOTE Thanks
Geeky1

 
Member Since: Jul 14, 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 589
Geeky1 is a jewel in the roughGeeky1 is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: See Sig...

Geeky1 is offline
Unlikely. Same problem: The video BIOS is different. For a normal computer (the PowerMacs/Mac Pro or just about any PC), that wouldn't matter. But the video card in the iMac is likely connected to the monitor by a LVDS connector, as I mentioned. Which means that all of the data about the monitor-supported input resolutions, etc.-is stored in the video BIOS. If the panel in the next generation iMac is different, it still won't work.

MCCCXXXVII
Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA
QUOTE Thanks
Alexis

 
Alexis's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 2,255
Alexis is a jewel in the roughAlexis is a jewel in the roughAlexis is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

Alexis is offline
Quote:
3 years from now the warranty will have expired anyway, and that's a likely timeframe for someone to want to upgrade their GPU. I looked through Kas's dissection photos, but couldn't identify the graphics card. So you think it's not the same type of card that could go into a Mac Pro, then?
In three years, stick your iMac on ebay and you'll get a big chunk towards a new one since Macs hold their value so well. No need to upgrade - just sell and buy new.
QUOTE Thanks
bryphotoguy

 
bryphotoguy's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 02, 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,978
bryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nice
Mac Specs: Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone

bryphotoguy is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
In three years, stick your iMac on ebay and you'll get a big chunk towards a new one since Macs hold their value so well. No need to upgrade - just sell and buy new.
True that.


January 2008 Member of the Month
QUOTE Thanks
Mac_Biodiesel

 
Mac_Biodiesel's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 06, 2007
Posts: 41
Mac_Biodiesel is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.4GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM, 200GB 7200 RPM, OS 10.5

Mac_Biodiesel is offline
True for now, but maybe not in 3 years. Who knows how much Apple's market share will have grown by then....
QUOTE Thanks

Post Reply New Thread Subscribe


« Need Wireless Desktop with strong signal | Frustrated with Mac Pro with RAID card »
Thread Tools

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Upgrading G4 AGP Graphics Card - Resolution Issue RichardParry Apple Desktops 6 01-30-2008 02:33 AM
possible to install graphics card in a 20 inch imac without opening system? dj_jr_mixer Apple Desktops 4 04-10-2007 03:15 AM
What are the odds of a Mac getting a next-gen graphics card soon? Vack Apple Desktops 10 03-15-2007 06:37 AM
upgrading graphics card on g4 466 digital audio bluesdudeo Apple Desktops 9 05-01-2006 12:56 AM
iMac Graphics Card zer0uk Apple Desktops 1 09-07-2005 09:45 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:52 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
X

Welcome to Mac-Forums.com

Create your username to jump into the discussion!

New members like you have made this community the ultimate source for your Mac since 2003!


(4 digit year)

Already a member?