iMac GPU Upgrade: 3 Things You Need to Know

Upgrading your computer graphics is vital to improving its visual performance. When working on a graphics designing project or editing large-volume videos, if you experience delays or color variations, an iMac GPU upgrade will fix such issues. 

Upgrading the graphics card will not only enhance graphics performance but also helps with video editing, image modification, and uninterrupted gameplay. 

Tons of upgrade options available in the market can leave you confused. If you are finding it difficult to pick the right GPU for your iMac, this article will explain everything to help you understand your needs and make the right upgrade decision. 

Why Do We Need GPU: The Basics

Your iMac or any other computer powers its visuals with the help of two parts – the CPU (central processing unit) and the GPU (graphics processing unit). Although both these components need arithmetic calculations to help the device run smoothly, their architecture and structure differ. 

The earlier versions of all computers had a CPU that was used to handle all graphics-related functions. However, the graphics at that time were basic. With today’s graphic-intensive apps, games, and programs, you need a robust computer with a powerful graphics card. 

A graphics card helps the processor calculate the movement of all pixels to render high-resolution video quality with more defined details. In general, graphics cards are a vital hardware component responsible for giving you excellent picture quality. 

The previous computer models, both macOS and Windows, can be split into two categories – with and without graphics cards. This can be seen in several latest laptops and desktops. 

Devices without cards are known as integrated graphics cards, where the graphics processor is built right into the motherboard or the CPU. With the advancement in technology, the processors have become powerful, and so does the integrated graphics.

Although the performance of the integrated graphics cards has improved significantly in the last couple of years, having a discrete (separate) one can boost the graphics performance considerably. 

If the graphics of your computer are not displaying as expected, the problem can be inappropriate space on the storage disk. Most of the time, deleting unnecessary apps, removing junk, and clearing the cache can help fix the issue. 

Can You Upgrade Graphics Cards on the iMac?

The simple answer is – no. Since the graphics card on the iMac late 2015 model is soldered to the motherboard, you cannot upgrade it. However, you can add an eGPU (external graphics processing unit) to a ThunderBolt 3-equipped computer. 

eGPU added to your computer will give you better graphics performance while gaming or video editing. 

What Are the Best eGPU Options?

To supercharge your iMac graphics handling capabilities, here is the list of eGPUs that you may consider. 

Razor Core X

Due to the excellent performance that Razor Core X brings to your iMac, it is ranked one of the best external graphics card units for iMac GPU upgrade. The ultra-sleek body makes it quite portable and handy to use with the computer. 

It is equipped with a 650W internal power supply and wide card slots. With performance par excellence, this eGPU gives you the flexibility to use multiple 4K displays while video editing or playing high-end games for an unmatched experience. 

Razor Core X blends well with your iMac, and you do not require any additional tool to slot in the card. Quiet performance is certainly one of the topmost benefits apart from the capability to run multiple monitors. 

Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro

The good thing is that this eGPU model has four ThunderBolt 3 ports, which makes it a superb option if you wish to connect multiple monitors. The graphics card unit has an Ethernet port, so you can expect faster internet connectivity. 

If you are someone engaged in video editing work, the Mantiz MZ-03 Saturn Pro is an excellent pick. With an aluminum finish, the Mantiz Saturn Pro is the sleekest option you will get for your iMac or other Apple computers. 

The device has three Thunderbolt ports in the front, while a single port is available in the rear of the device. You can add an extra monitor to get more screen estate while editing videos or playing games. 

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box

For seamless compatibility and solid performance, Sonnet eGFX can be considered one of the top options for avid gamers and graphic designers. Integrated with a 350W power supply, the Sonnet eGPU powers your Mac, too, once you connect it to your computer. 

When buying Sonnet external GPU, you will be required to select among two variants – 550 and 650 versions. The higher version, i.e., 650, gives you 100W charging, in case you are using it with your laptop or MacBook. 

The eGFX Breakaway Box is extremely quiet and is officially endorsed by Apple. When buying an eGPU, keep in mind that the more powerful the enclosure is, the more powerful the graphics card it can support.