iMac 27' Upgrade

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iMac 27' graphic Card Upgrade

Hi Guys,
Can anyone advice me on if I'm able to upgrade graphic card from ATI Radeon HD 4850, 512 MB to a higher one in my iMac 27' late 2009 edition? And what is the maximum ram I can upgrade to? I have 12gb of ram currently. Thank you for ou in advance. Kingsley.
 
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pigoo3

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Is this two questions? I'm going to assume yes it just wasn't super clear.

Can anyone advice me on if I'm able to upgrade graphic card in my iMac 27' late 2009 edition?

The video card in some iMac's is upgradeable…but usually only with the video cards that were available in the same "generation" iMac. Also…this is usually a pretty expensive upgrade (could be $200-$300 or more).

AND…the actual upgrade part is not for the faint of heart. The front glass needs to be removed…the display needs to be removed…the logic board usually needs to be removed…and then the video card & heatsink separated from the logic board.

You can check out the procedure at iFixit.com:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2309+or+2374+Graphics+Card+Replacement/9553

You will notice on the iFixit.com procedure…that it is described as a "difficult" procedure. I've done it…it's not a process for everyone.;)

a d what is the maximum ram I can upgrade to?

Max ram is 16gig.

- Nick

p.s. Saw you edited your post. It reads much more clearly now!:)
 
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Thanks Nick,
I'm going to check the link you sent, I hope I can give it a go.
 

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Thanks Nick,
I'm going to check the link you sent, I hope I can give it a go.

You've got three things to consider:

1. What video card does your iMac currently have? If it's already the top end graphics card that was available for "Late 2009" 27" iMac's…then you may not have any upgrade options.

2. If you don't already have the top-end video card in your iMac…are you comfortable with what the cost will be for the higher end part? Higher end video cards (especially for Mac's) can be very expensive. You need to do some research to find this out.

3. Are you comfortable doing the upgrade yourself? If not…this is really not something you want to have done by someone else. Since the cost of the part + the cost of the labor to have it installed could cost you upwards of $500-$600 or more.

And the upgraded video card may not even perform a whole lot better. Because at the end of the day. You will still have an almost 6 year-old Late 2009 iMac. The BEST video card in a Late 2009 27" iMac…may still be a lot slower than the lowest end video card in a 2011 27" iMac.

The reason why I say this is. If you sold your current 2009 iMac…add to that the cash you would have spent to upgrade the 2009 iMac…you probably would have more than enough cash to purchase a newer 27" iMac (2010, 2011, 2012, etc.). And the newer iMac would be better in many other ways that the 2009 iMac (not just the video performance).

- Nick

p.s. If this upgrade was only a $50-$100 investment…everyone would be doing it. But it's not. It's an expensive project…and the financials usually don't work out versus selling what you have…and purchasing a newer model computer.
 
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Thanks Nick,
What price would you suggest I sell it for at the present market?
 

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Thanks Nick,
What price would you suggest I sell it for at the present market?

Check eBay for exact numbers. But if you are in the United States I believe that 2009 27" iMac's in 100% working condition are selling in the neighborhood of $650-$750.

- Nick
 
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Thanks man,
I'm in Canada so I guess I'm looking at similar pricing.
Thanks so much, you've been very helpful.
 

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You are very welcome!:) If you were to sell your current 27" iMac for $650 (for example). Then take the money you might have spent on upgrading the video card in your current iMac (maybe $300 to $500…parts & labor)…you end up $950-$1150 to spend on a newer 27" iMac (with probably better everything…CPU, GPU, ports, etc.)!:)

Of course this all depends on how badly you needed the video card upgraded. If you do nothing…then you keep chugging along with your current 27" iMac…and spend nothing!:)

More poutine money (if you like poutine)!!!:)

- Nick
 
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lol, I think I'll try to sell it and hopefully get a refurbished one, the very latest one on sale for about $2300.
 

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lol, I think I'll try to sell it and hopefully get a refurbished one, the very latest one on sale for about $2300.

You must be talking the new "King of the Hill" 27" retina iMac for $2300. Since many of the "regular" non-retina 27" iMac's are a lot less than $2300.:)

- Nick
 
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27' Retinas iMac starts from $2499. I'm getting a non-retina and then upgrade the ram to a 32gb, it'll cost me around $2500 Canadian,with taxes. Any tips on brand and whether I get 4x8gb or 2x16gb, and also what will be the difference between graphic card of 4gb and 2gb? I'm mainly using after effects. Thanks.
Kingsley.
 

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Any tips on brand and whether I get 4x8gb or 2x16gb...

As you probably know…max. ram on the 27" retina iMac is 32gig. The most economical ram purchase is 4 x 8gig ram sticks.

I don't even know if you can get 16gig ram sticks for the retina iMac.

- Nick
 

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