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harrma
Jul 16, 2011, 04:19 AM
My 1.83GHz, Intel Core Duo, 1GB ram Mac Mini from 2007 was starting to feel very sluggish. Lion coming out and requiring 2GB ram meant something had to be done! I thought it might be useful to share my experiences of doing this. I don't do this sort of thing often or for the sake of it but I just want to be economical and not wasteful and get the best out of what I have. I also will only tinker with out of warranty stuff where if I totally screw it up I won't cry but chalk it up to experience.

I concluded that apart from the obvious ram upgrade, a move to an SSD would be enough to make a significant difference. I figure the graphics, cpu and so on good enough for my needs as the machine is hooked up to a plasma in the living room so typically does surfing and playing music / movies. I discarded a processor upgrade on cost grounds and had no need to upgrade the DVD drive and only a G router so no point in upgrading the wireless to N either.

I did a lot of research but in the end only two websites - everymac for checking specs and ifixit for instructions were needed. Everymac was great because they indicated 4GB ram would be possible where the general advice (including the Crucial analyser tool) was telling me 2GB. Some sites even say you install 4GB and you'll be able to address 3GB. I bought from Crucial partly for convenience but partly because their SSD looked on paper to be very fast, albeit so quick the Mini may not get the full benefit. They delivered in just 22 hours for free. Choosing an SSD is simple, you just buy a 2.5" SATA drive and you'd be hard pushed to go wrong. I went for a 64GB one to replace the 80GB HDD.

Overall I would say the actual upgrade is not too difficult. I won't repeat the instructions (ifixit) but would say that getting the case open and shut is the hardest bit and that the case is not as flush now as it was beforehand though no one would notice. You have to take care with the cables and be quite methodical. I was cautious and did the ram, fired her up to check all was well and then did the SSD and a fresh OS install. Next time I would do both at the same time.

With the ram upgraded it was starting to feel a lot better. It was useful to do it in two stages to get a feel for how it was coming along. However, with the SSD in, it flies. It actually feels like the most responsive computer I have ever used! My theory that a dual core 1.83 processor is good enough and not the bottleneck seems to have been proved. No one says the A5 is too slow and that is a dual core at more like 1GHz, accepting it's not a straight comparison.

So for 140 / $225, considerably less than I would have spent on the difference between and a new one and what I could get on eBay for my current one, I have the best computer I have ever used.

Now it's time to set up that fat NAS for the music and photos and so on and plan upgrading the rest of my machines to SSD!!



dolphin842
Jul 16, 2011, 09:32 AM
Is your CPU a Core Duo or a Core 2 Duo? If it's just a Core Duo, you won't be able to install Lion.

It's good to see that the SSD has made an improvement in the performance of your machine. However, keep in mind that the Crucial SSD you have is largely dependent on TRIM support to keep the performance at a high level (which OS X doesn't support for 3rd party SSDs). Given that you are not pushing the Mini too hard, you likely won't run into this problem for quite a while, but in case the SSD ever starts feeling sluggish, it may be worth it to do a full erase to try and freshen it up. If you have a Windows PC, I think Crucial makes a program that makes this cleanup process a little more thorough.

harrma
Jul 16, 2011, 10:40 AM
thanks, yes it is a Core 2 Duo so should be good for Lion. I guess I will find out within the next week or so! Agree about the risk around TRIM so will see how it goes. Obviously it would be good to see Lion getting TRIM support for all SSD's....

Tucom
Jul 16, 2011, 11:13 AM
I had a Core Duo 1.83 like you had, and I don't think there are any sub-2Ghz Core *2* Duos.

Does it explicitly have the number *2* in the "About This Mac.." system profiler? Or just "Core Duo"?



And glad the SSD is working out for now, but picking an SSD - esp. for OS X - is far a more indepth task that "just picking one" because there is the aspect of no TRIM support and some SSD brands are more reliable than others.

The best SSD's out there - for both Windows and OS X - are Intel 510 and 320 SSDs and OWC SSD's, as they don't require trim and they're reliability eclipses other brands IIRC.

Honestly, I'd return your SSD and get either an Intel or OWC one, just to be safe.

And because I'd bet my $2,000 drum kit that Lion will *NOT* be getting TRIM support for all SSD's. This is a smart move that Apple's making because there are data loss issues and other relaibility issues with certain SSD's so Apple is just supporting the ones that are gauranteed most stable and reliable.

harrma
Jul 16, 2011, 11:44 AM
It definitely is a "2" and they do exist!

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/stats/mac-mini-core-2-duo-1.83-specs.html

I'm not convinced on the TRIM / Intel / OWC argument. These are relatively new devices and support is evolving all the time. I have seen 'enablers' posted which will open up TRIM to non Apple SSD's and many people are using Crucial ones with OSX. I've also read plenty of bad things about the Intel's and OCZ's and particularly the latter, have a bewildering range of disks out there on the market with different qualities to them.

I think anyone installing an SSD in an old Mac is clearly doing something experimental and this is just my media centre. If it slows down or dies I'll tinker some more but in the meantime I'll enjoy it...

philipma1957
Jul 16, 2011, 11:47 AM
the c2d 1.83Ghz mac mini exists and is the weakest mini worthwhile to own. it will use eye tv and play and record 720p

bbbcn
Apr 17, 2012, 07:28 AM
Hi,

Thanks for your post. I was planning to do the same with my Mac Mini 2,1 to make it faster and use it for design, etc. I would like to know how to migrate the data from the current HDD to the new SSD HDD, how do I have to copy everything (including the OS) to make it run and work when I put the new drive?

I'm running an Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.0GHz, 1GB RAM (2x512), which supports up to 4GB RAM, but only 3 are addressable, so is it better to buy 3GB instead of 4, isn't it?
I've seen this: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/53IM2DDR3GBK/

And if I buy this kit (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/YSSDMP120/) will I be able to use the old HDD into this case and use it as an external usb drive?

I would like to install Lion on it, hope it will works fine (and fast!).

Many thanks for your help!

Intell
Apr 17, 2012, 07:43 AM
It's better to buy 4Gb instea of 3Gb. You'll get an extra 0.3Gb of ram and it'll be dual channel instead of single channel.

FrozenShivers
Apr 17, 2012, 09:13 AM
Choosing an SSD is simple, you just buy a 2.5" SATA drive and you'd be hard pushed to go wrong.

Not really, as some aren't all that reliable. Anyway, grats on your upgrade.

supercooled
Apr 17, 2012, 10:51 AM
'sup guys (gals)?

I'm looking to get a Mac Mini and on the :apple: site they list it as having improved graphics 2x and a whole lot of other stuff. When did they upgrade the new Mac Minis?

I use to have and in fact it's still running (AFAIK) the 2007-8 Mac Minis before they went to the unibody design. Anyhoo, I'm looking to get a new one to run as a file server and need something small yet powerful enough to multitask (remote admin stuff) as well as push out media files the least of which being 1080p content.

Looking at the base configuration which is $599 as I am on a strict budget.

Question is, are the components serviceable? I heard everything from the memory to the GPU has been soldered onto the logic board now.

Appreciate any comments.

Thanks

rwcooper
Apr 19, 2012, 09:48 AM
I've already done the memory upgrade to 4GB (3GB usable) to my 1.83 GHz C2D mini. Now I'm thinking of adding a Crucial M4 SSD as well. I thought I'd go with the M4 as I've been told that you can update the firmware using a Mac.

paulrbeers
Apr 19, 2012, 10:24 AM
'sup guys (gals)?

I'm looking to get a Mac Mini and on the :apple: site they list it as having improved graphics 2x and a whole lot of other stuff. When did they upgrade the new Mac Minis?

I use to have and in fact it's still running (AFAIK) the 2007-8 Mac Minis before they went to the unibody design. Anyhoo, I'm looking to get a new one to run as a file server and need something small yet powerful enough to multitask (remote admin stuff) as well as push out media files the least of which being 1080p content.

Looking at the base configuration which is $599 as I am on a strict budget.

Question is, are the components serviceable? I heard everything from the memory to the GPU has been soldered onto the logic board now.

Appreciate any comments.

Thanks


There's this link at the top of the page called "buyers guide" that tells you when a product was last updated and whether to buy....

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

Might be helpful in determining whether there has been a refresh or not recently eh?

As for your question about whether the base mini is enough, you say the LEAST of which is 1080P, what kind of video files are you pushing? There aren't a lot of 2160P monitors/televisions, or did you mean the MAX is 1080P?

Edit: Or do you mean "Not the least of which" is 1080P which would be the correct phrase....

slomo86
Apr 21, 2012, 07:26 PM
'sup guys (gals)?

I'm looking to get a Mac Mini and on the :apple: site they list it as having improved graphics 2x and a whole lot of other stuff. When did they upgrade the new Mac Minis?

I use to have and in fact it's still running (AFAIK) the 2007-8 Mac Minis before they went to the unibody design. Anyhoo, I'm looking to get a new one to run as a file server and need something small yet powerful enough to multitask (remote admin stuff) as well as push out media files the least of which being 1080p content.

Looking at the base configuration which is $599 as I am on a strict budget.

Question is, are the components serviceable? I heard everything from the memory to the GPU has been soldered onto the logic board now.

Appreciate any comments.

Thanks

I have a 1.83 Intel Core 2 Duo mini that has a 320GB hard drive with a 2TB external HD, and maxed out 3GB RAM and running Lion... I have it hooked up to my 60 inch Sharp LED tv, and it plays 1080p video with very minimal lag. Every once in a blue moon if I am downloading something on that machine and watching a 1080p video it will lag just a VERY tiny bit. It is almost unnoticed.

To combat this problem I am thinking about pulling the OWC 120GB SSD drive I have in my mid-2010 macbook and using it in the mini. It was AMAZING how it improved the performance of my macbook, even though it really didn't need the upgrade.... It is maxed out with 8 gigs of RAM and a 500GB hard drive . Hope this helps ya out ;)