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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Aftermarket MXM Graphic Card Upgrades for the 24"?

View Poll Results: Aftermarket MXM Graphic Card Upgrades for the 24"?
Poll Options:
Apple will offer upgrades 3 votes (4.05%)
Sonnet Tech, OWC, etc, will sell them direct retail 25 votes (33.78%)
ATI and NVidia will sell direct retail 7 votes (9.46%)
Ebay, bulk buys, indirect retail only 4 votes (5.41%)
Not gonna happen. 35 votes (47.30%)
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll
Aftermarket MXM Graphic Card Upgrades for the 24"?
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Mac Enthusiast
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Oct 13, 2006, 01:24 PM
 
Since the 24"ers graphics card is a swappable MXM form factor, how likely is it that we'll be able to upgrade these over the years? Will Apple offer upgrades, someone like Sonnettech or OWC. Or perhaps ATI will sell them directly to get folks to switch?
It's big buying point for me just that there's the possibility.
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Oct 14, 2006, 08:17 AM
 
I'm not betting on there being upgrades for first gen 24" iMacs, but I think we're going to see the MXM slot turning up in 20" iMacs too, and we'll probably see upgrades from Apple, once they've got a version where the slot is more accessible.
     
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Oct 14, 2006, 05:02 PM
 
An upgrade from Apple? Never!

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Oct 15, 2006, 11:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eriamjh
An upgrade from Apple? Never!
Ditto.
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Oct 15, 2006, 03:41 PM
 
I sure hope they make it into the 20" and even the 17". I would love to have the 7600GT in a 17" iMAc.

-mx
     
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Oct 15, 2006, 05:53 PM
 
I dont see why not, and MXM is the attempt by Nvidia to create a cheap standard slot for laptops for graphic card upgrades. So there is no doubt we will see upgrades for the Mac because there are already cards out there that use the MXM slot from Nvidia, its just a issue of drives.
     
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Oct 16, 2006, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens
I dont see why not, and MXM is the attempt by Nvidia to create a cheap standard slot for laptops for graphic card upgrades. So there is no doubt we will see upgrades for the Mac because there are already cards out there that use the MXM slot from Nvidia, its just a issue of drives.
Also an issue of firmware; AFAIK standard MXM card firmware won't work with the Mac BIOS...
     
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Oct 16, 2006, 12:57 PM
 
I would imagine we would see aftermarket companies selling them (pc versions probably) updated with mac firmware.
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Oct 18, 2006, 10:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by sieb View Post
I would imagine we would see aftermarket companies selling them (pc versions probably) updated with mac firmware.
It would be illegal for third parties to resell the Mac firmware. Apple holds the copyright and I don't expect them to license the firmware for third parties. Probably a DMCA violation as well, should Apple choose to pursue it.
     
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Oct 19, 2006, 08:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cadaver View Post
It would be illegal for third parties to resell the Mac firmware. Apple holds the copyright and I don't expect them to license the firmware for third parties. Probably a DMCA violation as well, should Apple choose to pursue it.
I believe what they mean is graphics card firmware compatible with the Apple motherboard firmware. The motherboard firmware is an open standard, AFAIK (or at least available for a reasonable sum of money), and therefore it wouldn't be DMCA...
     
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Oct 19, 2006, 08:34 AM
 
The only way we'll see upgrades from Apple is if they come out with another card for a newer machine. Then card swapping will be the way one can upgrade.

Using Apple firmware is as simple as copying it onto the replacement card (if that's all that would be holding one back). Some CPU upgrade supplier did this when Apple put the boot ROM on the CPU card. They created a utility that copied the ROM to the HDD, then copied it onto the new CPU, bypassing Apple. Since they didn't ship the cards with the ROM code, they got around the rules. I don't think Apple could even DMCA them because they didn't reverse engineer anything, they just accessed what was there to make a duplicate.

Anyway, no one appears to be making Mac drivers for video cards anymore. If Apple didn't support it in OSX, it didn't occur. How many new cards for Macs have there been in the last 5 years that didn't already have OSX drivers? Zero!

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Oct 20, 2006, 01:52 AM
 
If you want a sure fire way to upgrade a Mac buy a Mac Pro
iMac G4 / Macbook
     
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Oct 20, 2006, 02:19 AM
 
i think it would be prohibitively hard to disassemble the imac for normal users. Besides, with the clips on the imac holding it together, my local authorized apple service provider told me that removing the casing more than once will cause the clips to wear out and not hold the imac as tightly together as would be expected.
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Oct 20, 2006, 07:01 AM
 
I think that if there is an MXM card in another mac, there will be swappage, and if it is used alot, there will be aftermarket sales.
     
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Oct 20, 2006, 07:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by ChasingApple View Post
If you want a sure fire way to upgrade a Mac buy a Mac Pro
Thinking about it... going to take a while longer before what I've saved towards a new computer and the cost of a Mac Pro meet, but equally, it's not like I desperately need a new system right now. It's that or get a Mac Mini as my desktop system, and keep a PC around for doing CPU intensive stuff...

Edited to clarify why I'm not getting a Mac Pro right now.
( Last edited by rnicoll; Oct 20, 2006 at 09:04 AM. )
     
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Oct 23, 2006, 12:28 AM
 
I'd rather get the 20" than the 24", but because the 20" has a crappy graphics card (IMO), I have to get the 24" to meet my needs. It would be really nice to get the MXM card in the 20 and 17"
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Oct 23, 2006, 04:23 AM
 
Hi guys,

I figured I'd jump in here.

I run what is probably the only third party source of MXM cards on the net. I'm afraid there won't be MXM cards available any time soon or ever. One of the readers of my website has tried to replace his MXM card with one he had available and a 'reference' 6200TC sample card I've send him.

No dice.

AFAIK, the cards boot XP when running bootcamp, but no Mac os's. If I understood correctly, he figures it's the different (formafactor) of vbios Apple is using.

Figured you'd want to know.
     
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Oct 23, 2006, 12:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ice-Tea View Post
Hi guys,

I figured I'd jump in here.

I run what is probably the only third party source of MXM cards on the net. I'm afraid there won't be MXM cards available any time soon or ever. One of the readers of my website has tried to replace his MXM card with one he had available and a 'reference' 6200TC sample card I've send him.

No dice.

AFAIK, the cards boot XP when running bootcamp, but no Mac os's. If I understood correctly, he figures it's the different (formafactor) of vbios Apple is using.

Figured you'd want to know.
The same thing is true for Mac Pro using non-supported video cards. It makes sense to me that if a card from another Mac was used, or one designed for Macs was used, that it would work.
     
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Oct 26, 2006, 02:39 PM
 
Well hopefully MXMs will come to the whole iMac line which I think it probable will after the next processor type upgrade (Core Duo 3).
Split predictions for upgrades. I don't see the EFI bios and card support as an issue as long as there's an equivalent for the Mac Pro.
Also if a 3rd party takes this on, they'll get some limited support from Apple and/or Nvidia and AMD (who now owns ATI).
Agree with most that the 20" would be the sweet spot with some more vid chipset choices if MXM was available.
I think I can squeeze a 24" into my budget and get it past my financial advisor (wife).
Good feeback gang!
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Aug 7, 2012, 04:53 PM
 
Any updates to this? I have a 7600GT in a 24" iMac, and I'd like to upgrade to a newer card.
     
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Aug 8, 2012, 02:59 PM
 
Zombie thread, but it's fully on topic, so I guess it'll pass.

MXM upgrades never took off the way nVidia hoped. The only way to upgrade is to find the fastest GPU that Apple ever sold for your model and buy that as a spare part - which I think in your case would be a "8800 GS", really an 8800M GTX, IIRC. Anyway, you need the part Apple sells, and they're hilariously expensive - plus, an 8800 isn't that much fun these days. In all honesty, you have two options: Buy a dedicated gaming PC, or get a new iMac when they get around to updating them. Sorry.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 8, 2012, 03:34 PM
 
I once tried a card from an iMac in an earlier generation iMac and it didn't boot. I didn't have long though so maybe it would have worked if I'd had more time to fiddle.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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