Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Weird display issue - graphics card?

Hi all,

A relative shipped me a "dead" iMac (2009; 21.5"), saying that they thought it would be too expensive to repair the "motherboard". (They got a new Mac instead.)

However, when the iMac arrived, I plugged it in and booted it up in order to make my own diagnosis. Here's what I got:

Screen after booting

The mouse moves, and while the boot up seems mostly clean up until the end, at the last moment, I get only a partial "image" with some old-style static/pixelization at the bottom.

Following the tips & tricks here on this board, I plugged in an external display to confirm the source of the problem. No surprise - the external display is also static-y/pixelized.

From what I've read here so far, I am 90% certain this points to a fault in the graphics card itself.

Can anyone else kindly confirm this?

Thank you!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Confirmed! Your Graphics card has a problem.

Follow this IFIXIT guide to get the logic board out: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2308 Logic Board Replacement.

Your system came in two configurations:

  • MB950LL/A, which has a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor that shares memory with the system (does not have a removable card)
  • MC413LL/A, which has an ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256 MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory. (has a removable MXM card).

Here's one source for the part: 661-5308, ATI Radeon 4670 Graphics card for a price reference.

Remember only the MC413LL/A models has a removable MXM card the other will require a complete logic board swap.

Logic boards:

  • 661-5305 - 3.06 GHz Integrated Graphics
  • 661-5306 - 3.33 GHz Integrated Graphics
  • 661-5307 - 3.06 GHz MXM Card
  • 661-5420 - 3.33 GHz MXM Card

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Thanks! I really appreciate the sanity check.

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@Brad - Make sure you review the edits I added!

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Yup, saw that. Honestly, I think I'd probably pay the Apple store to fix it given the complexity of the instructions. I mean, whatever it costs, I would argue it's still a discount off the cost of a new one.

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No problem! ;-} Better to know up front what its going take.

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Dan, I have a question for you. I have MC413LL/A, which has an ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256 MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory. Now I bough the 661-5305 logic board to replace mine. Do you think it will work? If yes, can I use my 661-5308, ATI Radeon 4670 Graphics card in this board besides it has onboard GPU? Thanks

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Same problem for me and your right. The graphics card is built in the motherboard but that necessarily doesn't mean that you have to change the whole motherboard it's just that it's more work. Remember when purchasing a graphics card the price range is between $200 to $300 dollars anything more is considered too expensive and anything lower than that is considered not good quality.

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Apple will maybe not fix it because it is considered vintage, that's what they told me. Go to Connecting Point, Apple recommended them because they are Apple specialists!

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I take it you're in Florida.

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Yes I am in fact.

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bradpeterson21 will be eternally grateful.
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