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Model A1225 / Early 2009 / 2.66, 2.93, or 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Change Graphic Cards on this Mac?

Hello!

can i change my Graphic Card to ATI RADEON HD 4850 GDDR3?

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The answer is a little more complicated than the earlier answers here might lead you to believe.

It depends on which model of machine you have.

If you have the 2.66GHz machine 24", then I think the graphics chipset is part of the logic board. It also shares its video memory with main RAM.

If you have the 2.93GHz or 3.06GHz 24" machine than your machine had the option of three different video cards from the factory.

24-inch model with 2.93GHz processor, one of the following:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory

24-inch model with 3.06GHz processor, one of the following:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory

These are all separate cards, MXM cards, with separate video memory. They are essentially notebook video cards.

Finding a replacement, or upgrade card, is difficult as they are usually only available from Apple. eBay does have some and I found one on eBay. They are a chore to fit though.

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Hi,

just to get sure, I have a iMac Intel 24" EMC 2267, 2,66GHz, the Graphics Info says "NVIDIA GeForce 9400M" - but as I understood the recend answers, "graphics chipset is part of the logic board" - so I don't have any chance to upgrade the Graphiccard?

Just theoretically: could I change the Logic Board?

Concerning the RAM: Max. Amount of RAM is indicated "4GB" - this doesn't have anything to do with the OS, right? So for my understanding I also cannot upgrade to more RAM?

more detailed info to my iMac here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7251390/Bildschi...

thx in advance!

Yes you could. It can be a lot of work (almost every screw needs to be removed to achieve that).

Getting a logic board to suit your machine could prove difficult. I would look for a machine that is broken in other ways (i.e. the screen is damaged or other faults, where the logic board is not affected) and use parts from that. Though going down this route would double your work (taking apart the donor machine etc….)

Better still, just sell your machine and buy the machine you are after. Overall a much cheaper proposition, and will save you several hours aswell.

Where did you generate the graphic with all your system info? Looks like a really useful tool/website that created that.

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This one is not upgradable. The GPU is soldered to the motherboard. I believe it does share motherboard memory so I would max out the RAM.

iMac Repair...

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As I was troubled by the conflicting information on this page/site, I wanted to testify I did just complete replacing the video card in my A1225 / EMC2267 24" iMac. I bought the Mac new from Apple in 2009 with the ATI Radeon 4850 HD video card upgrade. After 4 years, the VRAM died...the picture would scramble at the logon screen unless I booted into safe mode. In safe mode, screen covered in blue dots, TechTool Pro confirmed bad VRAM.

I purchased a new card from Impact Computers in Florida. I had to fully remove the logic board to get at the video card, but with only three more screws it pulled free from the MXM connector, heat sink and all.

I've got pictures of the whole process if anyone's interested.

I'm confident one could upgrade the nVidia GT120 or 130 mid-line machines to the ATI card the same way. It may be the baseline machines (9400M graphics) don't have the MXM socket installed on the motherboard and are non-upgradeable.

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Hi Jeff,

I would love to see the pictures of the whole process as that is the same imac as I have

I captured all I went through in this guide: iMac Intel 24" EMC 2267 Graphics Card Replacement

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No, the gpu is on the logic board.

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Hi ihorkor,

I found this one on eBay, just now, searching for NVIDIA GeForce GT130 for the 2009 iMac 24" (the subject of this particular page on ifixit:

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/24-iMac-Early-200...

I think the following card better suits your 2008 24" though:

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/iMac-24-inch-Earl...

Cheers,

Charlie @t ewhizz dot net

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To stop replacement card getting damaged in the future, you should also upgrade to Snow Leopard (it appears 10.5.8 can cause overheating).

I would also recommend installing SMCfan control and boosting the speed of the CPU fans (which also cool the graphics card) by 20%. Don't boost them too much, otherwise they'll be noisy, and possibly wear out quicker and then be permanently noisy!

Cheers

Charlie

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You can upgrade or add a discrete graphics card, so long as it would fit the case.. In terms of MB, any amount can be used, depending on the graphics card that you will use. The "MB" in graphics cards means that it has its own RAM that it can use, other than the RAM in your motherboard.

Goodluck,

Landmark

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