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 replace my broken AMD Radeon 6970 M 1GB with a 2GB version

I have an iMac 27" mid 2011 and Apple said that my Graphics card is bad.

Can I replace it with the 2 GB DDR3 RAM card since I have only the 1GB DDR3 RAM graphics card?

Or, can upgrade to an even newer and more powerful graphics card?

And, has anyone a good fixing guide for this task?

Thank you for your answers.... :-)

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Yes, you can replace your current defective graphics card with a 2 GB unit. Here's the info for it:

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

Be aware this part is expensive! Around $750 US for the 2 GB, and the 1 GB board will be a bit cheaper by about $100 US:

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

As to putting something more powerful sadly, thats not an option as Apple never offered anything that uses the MXM II interface your system uses. The newer 'Thin Series' systems don't use the MXM card but instead solder the GPU chip and support logic to the main logic board.

We don't have a guide for replacing the GPU board, but this guide will get you better than 80% there: Installing iMac Intel 27" EMC 2429 Dual Hard Drive Kit. Once you get to Step 33 you'll need to finish disconnecting the cables to free up the logic board, then once the board is out place it on a ESD mat and make sure you are using a wrist strip while working on the logic board (both properly grounded). Remember, winter time is static time! (ESD damage is possible)

Carefully remove the remaining screws which hold the card & heat sink on. If you do need to take it off the heatsink from the GPU you'll need to clean off the thermal paste and apply a fresh coat as well as replace the gapping thermal putty on the memory chips with thermal pads. Do be careful with the black shim as it is brittle! As you'll need to reuse it.

If you haven't worked on an iMac before you might want to find someone with the needed skills and tools as this is a big job!

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Yes i have some experience with an 24" iMac late 2009 also with GPU replacement. thx for the answer, i also want to replace the HDD with an SSD and there is this Thermal sensor issue. Can i enroute this problem by placing the SSD under the optical drive? is there an Sata3 connector?


I would leave the HD alone if its working. Otherwise I would do the dual drive setup. I've done a few both as discreet drives as well as configured as a Fusion Drive.

If you do need to replace the HD you will have a thermal sensor issue. You'll need to use this: OWC In-line Digital Thermal Sensor for iMac 2011 Hard Drive Upgrade

Do be careful in pulling the cables on the logic board as you can snap a a resistor in the process, which will race the fans.


does this thermal sensor work with an SSD? and the Data connection under the optical bay is Sata 3? :-) i would use the HDD as an internal backup drive because i have an 1TB Samsung Evo 850 that i want to install.


The dual drive setup does not use a thermal sensor which is why I was aiming you that way.

It's only needed if you want to switch out your primary HD then you will need the sensor I posted above.


thx! i will post when i have succeeded! Or failed...LOL !


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