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Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Is there a Video Card Replacement for my iMac?

I'd appreciate any hints to find a replacement for the video card for my iMac.

Screen shows a checkerboard pattern, however I'am able to ssh the machine remotely without any problems.

Thanks for your assistance.



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Can you supply us the last three digits of your serial number so we can correctly identify your system as you have conflicting information here. Is one of these your system?


Thanks Dan, herewith last 3 digits of serial number: B9U

As per "About this Mac" info my machine has the ATI Radeon HD 4670 256 MB video card, however I am not sure if it can be replaced or if it is soldered to the "Logic board" therefore requiring the full board replacement?

Appreciate your advise ( as well from the iFixIt community)

All the best.


Your system is: iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 21.5" (Late '09) 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo (E7600)


Thanks again Dan, would you know if Video Card itself can be replaced? or taking the opportunity it is already damaged, maybe even upgrade it, would you know any upgrade to it?


The system is marked on the foot as EMC 2551, which is not a known system in Apples line up. By looking up by serial number and using the firmware rev info iMac10,1 the system is in fact a EMC 2308.


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Do you have an external display that you can attach to your system? Give it a try to see if the display is gone or the or the LDVS cable has a problem Vs the GPU.

Sorry to say you'll need to replace the entire logic board if the GPU is bad as the GPU is soldered directly on the logic board.

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Thanks Dan, I´ve tried that and there is no video output...

On the other hand what strikes me is that the iMac EMC No.2551 has an ATI Radeon HD 4670 video card which I would assume should host the GPU?

Are you saying this is not the case? and that and in the case of the iMac EMC No. 2551 the GPU is actually soldered to the logic board?

( sorry I do not know much about iMac architecture, appreciate your advise again)


The iMacs are a cross between a laptop and a desktop architecturally internally. The older models did have a replaceable graphics board as Apple moved forward they dropped the sub assembly board and integrated the graphics GPU and support chips directly onto the main board (your system). The GPU is soldered onto the logic board (it's not in a socket) as such you can't replace it. Here's a good picture of the CPU & GPU The person is removing the screws from the CPU heat sink, the GPU is the other chip.


I take your expert advise however it is kind of difficult to accept that Apple is shipping iMac Model EMC-2551 with a graphic card ATI Radeon where the GPU is soldered to the Logic Board... what is then the purpose of such ATI Radeon Video Card?

Furthermore such ATI Radeon cards are sold on eBay and powerbookmedic.com

Do you know what is the purpose of such cards on an iMac? Does it make sense to you?

Thanks again.




First, from your serial number you don't have a EMC-2551 system you have this one: EMC-2308. Yes, Apple did use a sub assembly and the links you provided are those sub assembles. But, they are for the older model not what you have. Which is why I pasted a picture of your exact logic board so you could see it was not on a sub assembly. Apple does buy ATI Radeon GPU's which they mount onto the logic board (just like the laptops).


Thanks Dan, really do appreciate your patience and insight.

On the very URL you kindly provided it states:

Video Card: There are two configurations of this model -- MB950LL/A, which has a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor that shares memory with the system and MC413LL/A, which has an ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256 MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory.

Looking at eBay I was hoping ATI Radeon could be a module that could be replaced...

Still hard to believe on a 6-sigma company there is such assembly mistake... I bought my iMac brand new from Apple store, hope they didn´t sell me refurbished... adding to the mystery there is none information available on the internet about iMac model EMC No.2551

Well, it follows opening the machine still hoping Video board is swappable... else I´ll have to decide if replacing the logic board makes sense for a 4 year old iMac, if available at all...

Again, many thanks for your patience and advise, I really do appreciate it, wish you the very best.


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