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Can i upgrade the graphics card in a mid 2011 intel based iMac?

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I currently own a 21.5 inch intel based iMac and have recently discovered that it has a graphics card designed for a laptop therefore its performance is decreased and games cannot run with decent graphical qualities. I have installed onto my Mac a 64 bit version of windows to allow me to play a larger variety of games, What i am hoping is that there is some way for me to upgrade the graphics card and maybe even the processor. preferably done by a professional as i would have no clue how to get into my computer.

Thanks
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Adrian B

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iMac and similar pc hardware is produced more like a laptop internally. This means that while some models will allow RAM & SSD upgrades like in many laptops the manufacturing process does not allow for GPU cards to be upgraded as thay are built in to the main board or constructed without PCIe slots.

This process is spreading to soldered on CPU and RAM in more modern hardware.

Your only choice for an upgrade is to change your computer - you could build your own CustoMac to run OS X and Windows. This would really allow better GPU performance across both operating systems and give you an upgrade path across all components.
http://www.tonymacx86.com/building-customac-buyers-guide-august-2015.html
 

Fl0r!an

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Some iMacs (including your 2011 21.5" model) have replaceable MXM-based GPUs, so your iMac can (theoretically) be upgraded.
It's not much fun though, because there are no MXM upgrades for Macs available.
Putting some MXM card from a PC laptop in their might work (you'll definitely lose your boot screen though), but in most cases you'll have to modify the heatsink and overall cooling to fit the better (=> higher TDP) card.
In the end you'll still have a mobile GPU in a 2011 mobile computer, which will never be "high end". If you're serious about gaming, follow Adrians advice and sell this machine.

Have fun reading this: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2011-imac-graphics-card-upgrade.1596614/

btw, this isn't the right board for stuff like that.
 

Adrian B

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Thank you for the explanation Adrian B. I understand.


iMac models like yours seem to still have quite high resell values as RAM is cheap and upgradeable and SSD prices have really come down a great deal. For many home/office users that do little more than use some productivity apps with some web use these machines are actually great value.

If you need/want gaming performance then the iMac range isn't geared towards that use. :thumbup:
 
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