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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Can I upgrade my Graphic card?


I'm a graphics designer and I really need to have better graphics on my Mac to work with Adobe Creative Cloud as well as other graphics and 3D apps.

At the moment the graphics card that I have in my iMac is the AMD Radeon HD 6770 M 512 MB.

Do you guys know if its possible to upgrade it? Which would you recommend?

Where can I buy it online? Because I'm located in Brazil, and need it to be shipped here.

Is it too hard to do it by myself?


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Apple offered three versions of the AMD Radeon graphics board the one you have 6770 with 512MB of VRAM or a 6970 with 1 or 2 GB of VRAM.

  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 1GB - Apple P/N 661-5968
  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 2GB - Apple P/N 661-5969

You may really need more RAM and a faster drive Vs this major upgrade:

  • I would then look at adding a second drive in your system. In this case you want a good SSD. Follow this IFIXIT guide: Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Hard Drive Kit. Once you get it up and running you want to make it your boot drive. As to the size I would get a 512 GB if you are working on very large drawings or vids you may want a full 1 TB drive.

If you really want to go with the graphics board upgrade its quite a bit of work! You may want to think twice here and see if you can get someone with good iMac repair skills to do it for you (even the SSD upgrade). The steps are the same as the SSD upgrade but unlike it you'll need to take the logic board fully out. Here's a vid on the steps: Removing the Fan and Logic Board. Once you get the logic board out you'll need to take the graphics card off.

As to getting the part you'll need to do a bit of searching using the Apple part number with the word Apple prefixing it.

The last thing here is your network connection unlike many apps Adobe CC accesses Adobe's servers so make sure your network connection is good.

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Hi All,

I have the 21.5 inch version of the aforementioned iMac, love it!

My question is can I upgrade the GPU to the larger, and faster cards like you mention in the article?

Love Data

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The information I supplied above for the replacement GPU cards is what there is. This system uses a custom MXM card. As I stated we don't have a direct IFIXIT guide so the dual drive guide will get you 90% there. The rest is quite obvious. You will likely need to get both thermal paste and pads as you'll need to swap over the heat sink.


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jeffersonespm will be eternally grateful.
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