Model A1311 / Mid 2010 / 3.06 & 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 3.6 GHz Core i5 Processor

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Can I update my graphics card inside my iMac?

Can I swap out the ATI Radeon HD 5670 512MB graphics for a more powerful one? This question comes about with Civ VI (6) being released and it needs a 1GB, more powerful graphics card -->

Curious as to whether I can disassemble, replace and reassemble my iMac with a more powerful graphics card so I can play this game (yeah all for a game, please don't hate :)

My iMac is a 21.5-inch mid 2010 model

3.6GHz Intel Core i5

8 GB (4x2GB) 1333 MHz DDR3

ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 MB (as mentioned above)

with 2TB hard drive

After comparing it with a 2016 iMac, my iMac is more or less the same spec, minus the graphics card. Some people keep saying "It's not possible to swap out the graphics card because it's soldered on." I want to know is this is true and if it's possible to idk, unsolder then resolder(?) a newer version.

The 2, current 21.5inch iMac graphics spec options are:

Intel HD Graphics 6000

Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200

I know Radeon and Intel are different (duh), just wondering if the size/space will be similar (I want the new card to fit the space the old card leaves).

Honestly, I'm not as adept at computing to fully understand how to disassemble and resemble my iMac (or update parts for that matter) so I'll probably get help from someone with more experience: I just want to know if it's possible before I: a. buy a new graphics card and the needed tools and b. hire some help

Thanks :) sorry for the overdetail

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Can I put components from a 2012 iMac into a 2010 model?

Kinda the same question, only he's asking about replacing a part from 2 years ago as I'm asking pretty much the same only replacing a part from 6 years ago... Kinda makes me doubt replacing for a much newer graphics card is possible :(


Sorry, No. The 2012 models don't use the same MXM card. Besides you'll still need to re-manufacture the heat sink to fit it on if it was possible.


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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Here's how to change out the card: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 GPU Card Replacement

I'm going to have to search to see if an upgrade is possible.

It uses a

Video Card: Radeon HD 5670 VRAM Type: GDDR3

This was the highest GPU offered on the A1311, so I don't know.

@danj might have a better idea.

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This may be a possibility but so far I've only seen it compatible for the 27":

27" iMac (Mid 2010) ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 (PCI Express) Video Card.

APPLE PART # 661-5578

I can find no viable GPU upgrade paths on this machine.


Thanks for the link, though I just wish it said which new(ish) cards could be swapped out =/


I looked at the GeekBench of the minimum requirement for Civilization VI. It said the minimum processor was an i5 2.7 GHz. This benches out at 8630.

My MacPro benches at 12965. I also am running a 512 video card.

I don't think Aspyr bothers to really test what machines their games will run on. I have sent a request to them on my machine and I'll let you know my results.

You might want to run Geekbench on your machine toes how it compares :


Woah Geekbench, didn't know about that... Trying it now (you can tell I'm not pro at using my iMac ^^)


Sorry for coming late to the party here ;-}

The best this system came with was a ATI Radeon HD 5670 (512MB) Apple P/N 661-5546. I have heard of people putting in a 27" video card but you'll need to swap out the heat sinks as they are different. The best the 27" model had was the ATI Radeon HD 5750 (1 GB) Apple P/N 661-5579.

But given the fact you only have an i5 you may want to look at getting a used 27" i7 system with the better GPU than trying to upgrade this one. Gaming really needs the bigger display and the more powerful CPU.

Just be careful here! I'm not a big gamer some of these games really tax the system so make sure you keep the system well ventilated and watch its internal temps using a good app like this one: TG Pro. I would even activate its turbo function while gaming.


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