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GPU Upgrade capability for Mid 2011 21.5" iMac.

Can the same MXM B cards that fit in the 27” iMac fit in the 21.5” iMac?

So I know that the mid 2011 iMac’s have some pretty great upgrade concepts such as aftermarket GPU’s (like old Alienware cards), CPU’s, SSD’s/HDD’s & maxing your RAM to 32GB…

But I’m confused on whether or not the GPU cards that fit in the 27” variant will fit in my 21.5” model.

More Details:

I was thinking of getting a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 8GB. Will that fit?

Other Question:

The motherboard has a socket type of LGA1155, which means it can fit a lot of cpu’s.

My plan for this mac is to make some type of Frankenstein mac that dual boots windows 10 and MacOS Catalina/Big Sur. With this plan, I obviously need to upgrade the CPU as well… these are the CPU’s I have in mind:

  1. Intel Core i7-3770 Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 – BX80637I73770
  2. Intel Xeon E3-1290 3.6GHz Quad-Core (CM8062301071705) Processor
  3. Intel Core i7-2600 Processor 3.4GHz 5.0GT/s 8MB LGA 1155 CPU, OEM (CM8062300834302)

Anyways, if anyone could give me any tips that would be nice. Thank you.

Current specs:

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(I’m upgrading the RAM to 32GB)

10 minutes later after posting this, I found this on some guys youtube channel: macOS Big Sur 11.1 Running on a 2011 27” iMac

Отвечено! Посмотреть ответ У меня та же проблема

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Wow you have big ideas!

Let’s start off with the RAM just because you can push the system to 32 GB does your work flow really need it? People often forget you can go to low as well as too big! Consider what you are doing before making this investment. 16 GB tends to be the sweet spot for most folks!

CPU’s - Just because Intel stuck with the LGA1155 socket doesn’t mean your system has the needed power and cooling to support more powerful CPU’s and the systems firmware may not support it!

This series supports Intels Sandy Bridge series CPU’s so you are really limited to them. The most powerful this series supported was 21.5” iMac Core i7 2.8 GHz and the CPU its self Intel Core i7-2600S Processor Note the TDP is only 65 W

You are limited to 65 W chips. So from your list:

GPU’s - This series often burn’t out the original GPU’s both because people pushed them beyond what Apple and AMD (ATI) expected pope would do. This gets into staring into the crystal ball years earlier. Trying to project what apps and people will need three and four years into the future! Well… They undershot what people needed. Again we hit the thermal limits of the systems cooling. So we are limited on what the heatsink and radiator can castoff.

So looking at the best GPU this system offered AMD Radeon HD 6770M we can see the TDP is 35. Sadly Apple also customized the GPU’s firmware so you are limited to the boards which have the custom firmware or use some code to bypass the custom firmware.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M is a larger MXM board Mobile PCI Express Module Electromechanical Specification which technically the system was not designed to support. The heat sink and cooler won’t fit properly.

Now here is where things get tricky! The code GamerTechX is pushing was developed with the assumption you are using the original CPU Apple was using so if you alter that you may break things.

You’ll note the CPU’s I commented on which don’t offer onboard graphics is also tied into this. Apple leverages the IG services for the startup command offerings. So things like diagnostics won’t work without the IG.

So the bottom line…

Pushing the RAM to 16 GB is likely the best option for most folks. Stick with the Intel Core i7-2600S CPU and realize this system has its limits for graphics. If you need more power then maybe its time to invest in a more powerful system.

While I want people to use their systems they already have to the max, just like a kid can out grow their clothes and shoes, we too can out grow our systems too!

Conceder passing your system to someone who could use it and getting either a used or new system which meets your needs!

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