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2011 iMac

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Not sure how I end  up with such nice items for free. Some friends were getting rid of it and knew that I collected such things, but man I've been using it as my daily machine now!

 

Upgrade to 8gb and a nice SSD and it should last a few more years.

 

 

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Great machine, I got one for $100 and I've added an ssd and 20gb of ram. Only problem is that the gpu's are prone to fail, you can replace them with nvidia cards but there's no EFI compatible firmware for them yet, so you don't get boot screen or brightness control. 

 

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The MXM cards used for GPUs should be the same as the last round of Xserves.

 

If you don't mind downgrading, you could just yank one of the Xserve MXM Nvidia cards that are still kind of cheap as a replacement, and those should have EFI compatible firmware on them.

 

Thinking in terms of what lasts, and not what's fastest. :)

Edited by nglevin

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5 hours ago, nglevin said:

The MXM cards used for GPUs should be the same as the last round of Xserves.

 

If you don't mind downgrading, you could just yank one of the Xserve MXM Nvidia cards that are still kind of cheap as a replacement, and those should have EFI compatible firmware on them.

 

Thinking in terms of what lasts, and not what's fastest. :)

Alienware MXM GTX770M cards also work, albeit you lose bootscreens and EFI. But, in return, you do get Metal support for Mojave.

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1 minute ago, Daniël Oosterhuis said:

Alienware MXM GTX770M cards also work, albeit you lose bootscreens and EFI. But, in return, you do get Metal support for Mojave.

And you lose display backlight with Windows 10 unless you flash to the Dell firmware.. which in turn doesn't work with MacOs. The DHCP tables don't match up (I believe because Apple doesn't use lvds like most laptops). I tried a 780m for a few weeks but as I still had a working 6750M that I reverted back to because it wasn't worth the effort. 

 

Though according to this thread a custom (paid) firmware may come out at some point: http://netkas.org/forum/index.php/topic,13815.30.html. This would solve all the issues boot screens, brightness control and bootcamp etc. 

 

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SSD and ram upgrades are surely a must. Is there anything that can be done to prolong the life of the OEM graphics chip? Is it integrated or in a slot (what slot)?

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Yeah, it's an MXM slot, which was an old Nvidia led standard that was kind of, sort of intended for upgradeable GPUs in thinner devices like workstation class laptops. Laptops got even thinner than expected, so that idea didn't quite pan out.

 

The EFI firmware issue is basically the whole roundabout issue that you see in Mojave-upgraded 2012 Mac Pros where a GPU that's made for a PC doesn't have the right hooks for an Intel Mac to recognize it in the EFI that boots the system. With that, you lose the happy Apple logo that boots the system, you lose some controls specific to adjusting monitor settings (brightness was mentioned here), and you lose visual when you're trying to boot to another device by holding down the alt/option key at boot. It's not a dealbreaker but it's annoying.

Edited by nglevin

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