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iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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Can I use a Nvidia Geforce GT120 256mb on my iMac?

Hi to all!

Like on many many iMacs, my graphics card (was ATI HD4670) died. And since these are a little expensive, the one that is MXM, cheaper and also present on the first 27 inch iMacs is Nvidia Geforce GT120 256mb, so I wonder if someone know if I can purchase one and put it on my A1312?

I´ve searched on the web but the only thing I´ve seen was that after osx Lion, who had GT120 had Kernel panic errors on El Capitan. Does someone knows if this problem persists on Sierra?

Thanks in advace

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Here's your systems series specs: iMac10,1


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You can't just put in any MXM board in as the boards firmware needs to be Apples.

These are your choices:

  • ATI Radeon HD 4670, 256 MB - Apple P/N 661-5314 (your current bd)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670, 512 MB - Apple P/N 661-5578
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850, 512 MB - Apple P/N 661-5314
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850, 1 GB - Apple P/N 661-5579

As far a OS panics, many are related to bad VRAM. Some people try pushing this system beyond what it was designed to do. Today we have some very heavy graphical apps which can push the GPU and its memory to the point of failure.

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But GT120 is from Apple and it came stock with the first 27 inch iMac... Shouldn´t it supposed to work?


No the GT120 was used in the Mac Pro via a PCI slot Apple didn't use it in the iMac's MXM based systems (review the listing above)


But I have tested other graphic cards other than the above listing, like the HD6750 from imac 21.5 and it worked 100% on this imac27. So it means that not only the graphic cards that came with the 27 inch imac work on it.

BTW...: The GT120 also came as MXM on the 2009 imac 24 inch...


I guess I should have been clearer, the GT120 MXM board is the oldest board used in the still older 2007/08 iMac's. As such Apple has not maintained the driver with in OS-X/MacOS unlike the Radeon drivers.

Don't forget the performance of this board is not as good as the ones I listed. As far as using 21.5" boards these boards are often the lower end performers in addition the heat sink units are different so you need to swap them over.

Think of it this way when you buy a car do you go to the dealer asking for the lowest performance engine that could possibly put in, or do you want the best match for the size of the car (what it was designed to support) or do you want a more powerful engine as you have more of a need for speed or have a trailer to tug?

Graphic boards in many cases is the same: Scrape the junk pile for the lowest performance board we could find, what the system was designed to support or goose it up with the most powerful it can support.


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There were 2 Mac models that used an MXM GT 120.

iMac and X-Serve.

I'm not sure if they will work in later iMacs. Many people have reported that early MXM3 cards don't work in later iMacs.

Best bet is to find someone who has done it and reported success.

But you aren't crazy, Apple used MXM form of GT120.

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Correct! The old and moldy GT 120 won't work in the newer systems because Apple dropped driver support within the OS

MXM is a collection of different sized boards and pin assignments! Which also complicates things as you can't drop in a larger board within a system that just doesn't have the physical space. In addition the systems cooling is an important element within the iMac's.


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