iMac Intel 24" EMC 2134 and 2211

Model A1225 / Mid 2007 and Early 2008 / 2.4, 2.8, or 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Can the graphics card of the 24" iMac be upgraded?

I have a core dual iMac purchased new in Oct 08. Can the graphics card by upgraded? It currently has a ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro. It's a 24" model.

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Can you update the question's Device with a more specific iMac? Include its size, and pick from the available options.

by Sterling Hirsh

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YES! That Model Imac does have the video cards mounted in a modified PCIe - you can upgrade with other OEM Video cards, for that model of iMac, The early 2008 24" It shipped with the 2600 Pro, and can be upgraded to the 8800 GS

The Apple Part # for the 8800 GS is 661-4664

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isn't that only on the new 21.5" and 27" models?

by Chris Green

No, almost all the aluminum iMac's have replaceable video cards, with exception to the low end ones from last year.

by matthewfrey

matthewfrey is absolutely right.

by Ben Eisenman

Can other cards in the NVIDIA 8 series be used? I would like to go to the 8800 GTS if possible.

by Evan Sharp

There may be CPU and cache issues if you do. That card was set for this model - generally, for Mac's, if it fits it works however EFI upgrades and extension (aka driver) hacks may be required. You may not be able to change your OS, or an OS update may wipe out your changes to software.

by machead3

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No, the graphics on this model cannot be upgraded, the GPU is attatches to the logic board, unless you want to replace the whole motherboard

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The graphics device is a standard mxm ii/iii board that can be removed and is NOT soldered on to the mainboard. theoretically it is exchangable. Some people argue that other gfx boards wont work because Apple needs to modify the bios/efi then. I dont think so, because a plenty of gfx devices that are not sold by apple run on osx by using enbler software.

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I have a core dual iMac purchased new in Oct 08. Can the graphics card by upgraded to Nvidia Quadro 500mb ? It currently has a ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro. It's a 24" model

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Yes you can upgrade, your card, for best results stick to the options offered for your model

Update

the correct discription for the 24" Imac Nvidia 8800 GS is MXM HE, I do believe that you can now get a Nvidia 9800 GTX & a Nvidia GT280, both of these are the MXM HE type, I am guessing that as long as there bios is big enough to take the 8800 GS EFI firmware, then that could be an upgrade route, the card would report a slower clock speed (due to the 8800 EFI firmware) , but am pretty sure it will run ok , I no loger possess this version of the Imac , but would be very tempted to give it a try, you would already need to have windows on there so you were able to update the card, I am pretty sure trying to install this with a faulty card woud be a recepie for disaster.

You could always increase the bios size with a 1 meg bios chip, but again am pretty sure the original will be big enough to hold both the Bios and the EFI.

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Kenny, you may be very lucky with an alternative MXM Type II card, ie the one you mention, but it will be very limited in its capabilities, the machine or rather what it can handle will be very limited, that is if it works at all. As mentioned earlier, there is now an Nvidia 9800 and Gt280, I would go with the Nvidia9800 with the Efi from your 8800, I think this would be the safest route. If you do decide to try what you have mentioned and it works out ok, i would love to hear about it, I have my fingers crossed for you.

by Steve

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I have a 20" iMac Aluminium MA877 with HD2600 PRO. Just today I update it with new ATI MXM II HD4650 1Gb from Acer (http://cgi.ebay.com/ATI-HD-4650-MXM-II-V...) card. Physically it fits very well, the PCB design is pretty much the same. But unfortunately after power on the Mac I've got the black screen.

Googling I found that may be I need the EFI update for this card.

Could someone help me to make it work?

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I extend matthewfrey's answer. You can even update the Graphics Card of a mid 2007 24 iMac with a Ati Radeon 2600 (not pro) 661-4426 to the Nvidia 8800 gs of the 2008 iMac. That's exactly what I did recently ;)

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If there is an Nvidia 8800 in your machine , then that is the only card that will go into it, I have had all of these imacs, they have different fittings for different cards, any upgraded card will require a flash with the relevent EFi, it may be a wise idea to check the size of the bios on the card first as the EFI requires 1meg most cards are fitted with a 512 chip, this is also possible to exchange, but none of this is easy.

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Ok, so I hear conflicting stories about whether you can or cannot upgrade an early 2008 24" iMac's GPU.

Assuming you can, is the 8800 the limit? Mine has recently worn out. I hear the 8800 is now known for wearing out quickly and getting heat damage. Either I get Apple to repair it or do it myself (as my AppleCare has run out) but I don't want another NVidia GeForce 8800 in there due to its known faults.

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I have 24" iMac with video card issues - my diagnosis was confirmed at Apple store :)

I know what card I need but there is no guide for 24" iMac video card on here - only 20"

If I follow that guide will it be close enough?

Thanks!

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Yes you can loosely follow the 20" guide to get in the 24". http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac-Intel-2...

by ABCellars

thanks for the answer - i have never done anything like this before and i have one question - if i buy a Nvidia 8800 GS card online do i need to do anything to it to make it work with the mac or should it work fine as is? I've seen some comments about 'flashing' the card but i dont understand what that is or if i would need to do this! Thank you so much.

by Benedict Murray

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Hi, the Nvidea 8800 is only in the 24" imac, the Nvidia 8800 is also nothing like the cards from the other models, if you wish to upgrade your 24" imac (the one with the Nvidia 8800) you have no choice but to replace it with the exact same video card another nvidia 8800. Several reason, if you are interested i will spell them out in my next post.

Can I also just add, if you dont understand what you are taliking about might I suggest that you do not offer advice as it is most off putting, the earlier White Imac had onboard video built onto the motherboard , that is all of them except the 24" 2.1ghs core duo this was fitted with an MXM card either the Nvidia 7300 or 7600.

The aluminium 20" and 24" core duo also have MXM cards but once again not all of them, the odd one was onboard graphics, I have managed to swap cards amongst most of these , except the nvidia 8800 , as the nvidia 8800 was a unique style of MXM, ( all the others were MXM II), I am at this moment in time trying to mod a newer version Nvidia GT130, I am trying to change this card to something beefier like the GT230 or GT250 with more onboard ram, if anyone can help with the EFi for one of these I would be very greatful even if they could point me in the right direction to create my own, I can do the rest once I have it.

the correct discription for the 24" Imac Nvidia 8800 GS is MXM HE, I do believe that you can now get a Nvidia 9800 GTX & a Nvidia GT280, both of these are the MXM HE type, I am guessing that as long as there bios is big enough to take the 8800 GS EFI firmware, then that could be an upgrade route, the card would report a slower clock speed (due to the 8800 EFI firmware) , but am pretty sure it will run ok , I no loger possess this version of the Imac , but would be very tempted to give it a try, you would already need to have windows on there so you were able to update the card, I am pretty sure trying to install this with a faulty card woud be a recepie for disaster.

You could always increase the bios size with a 1 meg bios chip, but again am pretty sure the original will be big enough to hold both the Bios and the EFI.

The 2600 Pro is an MXM II , no way will any other MXM card version work in the slot built for the Nvidia 8800Gs, don't take my word for it, there are plenty of other site's that discuss the compatibility of MXM card versions(you might notice that both logic boards have very different part number).

To be double sure I can confirm that I have tried to make it work without any success.

If you have the 24" Imac with an Nvidia 8800, then there is only the route I have mentioned, if you are lucky enough to have another card in there then you are more likely to have MXM II, you will be able to fit any number of cards in there, but then we are back to the EFI problem

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Hi Benedict, make sure the card you are buying is for the apple. As long as your card is made and supplied for an apple machine then alll you will need to do is fit it, make sure you use adiquate thermal compound. If on the other had the card is for a PC(windows based laptop) then you will need to update the bios on the card with the apple firmware(EFI), if you are not sure about this, email me and I will give you a quote for this work.

by Steve

Steve, From you post, I understand that we cannot put ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro (#661-4663) into an iMac 24" (Early 2008) that originally came with NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS (#661-4664) as the MXM-HE socket is different from the MXM-II. However, I have read a thread posted in macrumors that a person successfully downgraded his iMac 24" GPU by installed ATI 2600 HD to avoid replacement of his repeatedly failed NVIDIA 8800GS card. His downgrade was done back in May, 2011 and he confirmed that it is still working fine after 6 months. My iMac 24" that came with 8800GS is also failing as well after almost 3 years of perfect condition. I would like to know if I can install the ATI card before order the part so your confirmation will be very helpful for me. Thank you very much.

by Kenny

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Has anyone considered the possibility of using Nvidia drivers from one of the OSX86 projects to make some of these cards work without flashing the BIOS with EFI? The list of compatible cards is here: http://www.tonymacx86.com/wiki/index.php...

In my mind the process would be to first install the necessary kexts (kernel extensions) for the Nvidia support, and then perform surgery on your iMac to install the new card (an MXM HE card, of course).

I have an iMac 24" Early 2008 with an Nvidia 8800gs and I am considering trying this to allow me to install a card with more RAM so that I can run GPU-enabled Adobe apps such as Premiere which require at least 768mb RAM.

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I like thinking outside of the box, so please don't get me wrong. The necessity to flash the BIOS on the video card is for hardware compatibility, to provide an interpreter. - If my native language is English and yours is German, we don't communicate well using our native languages - unless one or the other of us understands the other language. With that in mind, Netkas is perhaps the best provider of interpreters for unsupported video cards on Apple computers. Here is a link: http://forum.netkas.org/index.php?PHPSES...

by ABCellars

Hi Noah, I can see 2 main problems, most of the cards on your list are not available in the MXM HE format ( this is not to big a problem as the MXM type will work) second is the heat sink, you may need to build or modify your heatsink to accommodate some of these other card types, in principal many of the other cards will work fine, weather they will run without further problem is another matter. I think the cheaper and only sure way is to go for an MXM He that is designed to accommodate the extra power required to run advanced games or programs. The only sure solution is to trade up and buy another machine.

by Steve

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John Graser will be eternally grateful.

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