Model A1312 / Mid 2011 / 2.7 & 3.1 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac12,2

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iMac mid 2011 GPU intercompatibility

Hi all!

So, pretty basic question:

Are the four different GPUs available for the 2011 iMacs interchangable?

In other words: If I buy a 27" iMac with the 6770, would I be able to switch it to a 6970 from another similiar 27" iMac?

And even better: Would I be able to take the GPU from a 27" iMac and put it in a 21,5"? I guess heat concerns are relevant, but I'm mainly wondering if it would fit/run at all.

Please note I'm talking about only the cards themselves, not the heatsinks, as I know those are not compatible between 21,5"/27".

These cards are also 100% removable in case anyone wondered :)

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All Gpu card for the iMac 2011 is mxm standard 3.0. So the 27 6970m mxm card is longer than the 27 6770 mxm card which seem to be the same module than in the 21,5. I'm pretty sure than the 6970m could work in 21,5 if you put the 21,5" 6770 heatsink on it. Aslo, to fit the 6970m into the 21,5" you must cut the half the hd retaining holder from the imac inner frame. The 6970m mxm module is one inch taller than the 6770 one.

Also, you miust remove a part of the iMac inner frame rib which retain the hd with a dremel tool. The 6970m is like one inch longer than the 6770 module and this will make the 6970m card to interfer with the main hd. Changing the main hd for a SSD attached with two sided foam tape in the bottom if the iMac will correct this problem with the inner frame modification.

Use the original heatsink gpu temp sensor to test if the machine work properly once reassembled.

It cost the 6970m module 661-5968 (380-499$) plus SSD. Install SSDfancontrol to avoid hd fan blowing at full speed.


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Hi ricomac, I'm trying to do the same thing with the 2010 models. I want to put the 5750 from the 27" into my 21.5". Is it possible? Thanks!


From what I have seen all the GPU's of the 2011 27" iMacs are interchangeable so you could switch the card out. The same motherboard is used for each of the 27" iMacs there is just a different processor and GPU as well as other components. Unfortunately I don't think that a 27" GPU will fit in a 21.5" iMac because the 27" iMacs (i believe) have a longer GPU card that has to have a different heat sink which couldn't be put in the 21.5" iMac. you could always try to see if the card could fit in the 21.5" iMac if you have a spare one lying around but the card only would have to be changed and not the heat sink.

Tell us your results and hope this helps.


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hey owen I was wondering how hard it is to switch the GPUs of the 2011 27 imac. I have the base model right now with the 6770M. Would it be possible for me to switch in the 6970M GPU. How hard would it be?


The best way to know is to do it ;-) Do it!


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Wow that was utterly the most useless comment in this world



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