new to the forum and fixing my own imac.

My mid 2011 - recently crapped out, suspect it's the video after much reading online.

I'm running a 3.4ghz, i7, 16 gb 1333 mhz ddr3 / Amd radeon HD 6970M 2048mb

So looking around to replace the 6970m, (the 2gbs are pretty pricey) so if i dropped in a 1024 or 1gb version would it just run a bit slower or would it have other issue?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thank you in advance John


Short answer

Yes, you can swap the 2GB Radeon HD 6970M for the 1Gb version and will probably not even notice the difference (depending on what you're using your iMac for).

Long answer

Since you're comfortable enough fixing your own iMac, and you'd have to get to the GPU anyway to replace it, I wouldn't replace the GPU at all. Instead I'd try fixing it by reflowing the solder. To do this, you need to:

  1. Disassemble the iMac enough to remove the GPU
  2. Set your home oven to 205℃ (400℉)
  3. Place a sheet of baking paper on an oven tray and place the GPU (only the GPU itself) on the oven tray
  4. Place it in the oven for 8 minutes
  5. Remove the tray and let it cool
  6. Remove any old heatsink compound from the chips and replace with new compound
  7. Reassemble everything

Depending on how familiar you are with disassembly/assembly, I'd allow anywhere between 3hrs to most of the day for doing this. Also, you will require some tools, but if you don't have these you can easily purchase them online.

  • Wow thank you for that, had no idea you could do that, i might make a lasagne at the same time :). Just kidding, you say the GPU only, just to confirm you mean the whole contraption not just the A1312 AMD HD 6970M - Graphics Card , correct ? also what compound would you suggest i use, this is a bit out of my league, but like you said may as well give er a try, if it doesn't work then i can just buy one and replace it then. – johnnyhavana Aug 29 '19 at 14:41
  • I usually use Duratech Nano Diamond Thermal Compound, but I'm based in Australia so don't know if that's available where you are. But any good quality thermal paste or heat sink compound should do fine. – Monomeeth Aug 30 '19 at 7:58
  • Also, these iFixit posts may be of interest: iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1GB card revived... by baking! and Temporarily repair a lost-cause graphics card by heating it up in an oven. Very similar to how I've done it, so feel free to go with one of these approaches if you prefer. All the best with it! :) – Monomeeth Aug 30 '19 at 8:00

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