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All new Apple products go through a process of extensive, meticulous testing before hitting the market, a move that ensures that each device is safe to use and free of any mechanical error. But despite this, it is often the case that unforeseen issues do arise, and a problem with the graphics card for some mid-2011 iMac computers has meant that the fruit company will be taking remedial steps by means of a replacement program.

The scoop arrives courtesy of 9to5Mac, who note in their report that Apple Support employees have been briefed in the problem pertaining the AMD Radeon HD 6970 video card, found within some variants of the 27-inch May 2011 iMacs.

Multitouch iMac

Apparently, the problem causes the graphics card to fail, and although some may have experienced flawless operation hitherto, the thought of housing a ticking time bomb within an iMac will no doubt prompt many to take advantage of the replacement program.

The AMD Radeon HD 6970M video card is found within the 27-inch iMac with 3.1GHz quad-core i5 or 3.4GHz quad-core i7 chips, and as many users have learned, display distortion is symptomatic of the issue, as shown in the video below:

The machines were on sale from May 2011 through October 2012, so if you happen to own a 27-inch iMac that meets the above specifications, you too could find that your video card has this newly-diagnosed fault. If you’re still unsure, the serial number of a problematic machine will end in DHJQ, DHJW, DL8Q, DNGH, DNJ9, DMW8, DPM1, DPM2, DPNV, DNY0, DRVP, DY6F, or F610.

Since the fault has been identified, you needn’t panic, and Apple will replace your graphics card for no cost. You don’t necessarily need to act fast, for the program is valid for three years post-purchase, but if you don’t like the thought of your iMac’s video card being built to fail, your best bet is to get your replacement as soon as possible.

As well as going through AppleCare, you can also book an appointment at any Genius Bar, or simply approach your authorized Apple reseller.

Oh, and anybody with this particular model that has paid for a new graphics card will be eligible for a full refund from Apple.

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