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Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB DDR5 Video RAM

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Can I upgrade nvidia graphics processor?

Thanks to iFixit I have upgraded my 15” Mid 2012 MacBook Pro in several ways: 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD and new battery a few weeks ago.

There is one more place I’m hoping I can upgrade: The NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M which has 1 GB of dedicated VRAM.

It’s on a PCIe bus, so it might be on a plugin card that could be replaced with a higher performance video processor.

Of course even if it was upgradeable, compatible parts may no longer be available.

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Chips and boards are very different! The GPU soldered to your logic board and a direct feed to your CPU & PCH chips as you can see here, The Red outlined chip is the GPU, the Orange is the CPU and the Yellow is the PCH chip:

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Here’s a listing of all of the systems within this series: MacBookPro9,1 All three had NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU’s so there is no logic board upgrade possible,

A PCI board is a very different animal and you can’t alter your systems logic board to support it. What you can do is get an external PCI case to install a PCI GPU and connecting via Thunderbolt to your system. There was a company that made a external PCI box that would work using a feed through to an external display. You’ll need to look for a used one as the current crop of external GPU's are Thunderbolt 3 and won’t work with your system.

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FYI - This series systems are still highly sought! People who want to have a more serviceable system prefer it. And of course it offers USB-A ports and don't not have the Butterfly keyboard the new systems have.


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