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View Full Version : mini core solo to merom upgrade ;)




4JNA
Sep 30, 2006, 08:35 PM
well, my T7200 core 2 duo retail cpu just arrived this afternoon, and i spent the last 2 hours or so installing new parts in my core solo base model mini. installed the cpu, 2gb of memory, a UJ-845S superdrive, and a 7200rpm 100gb sata hard drive. :D

not an easy upgrade. lots of really small wires and connectors to remove to get the drive/fan frame off. also needed to take the motherboard out of the base to remove the cpu heatsink. be VERY careful removing the heatsink, as the temp sensor is glued to the bottom of it! the cpu socket is just like any laptop socket, and can be 'opened' and 'closed' with a flat blade screwdriver. the core solo chip and the new core 2 have a really different looking silicon top, so needed to scrape the old compound off the heatsink as it would not have 'matched' the original pad install. used some artic silver 5 when i installed the heatsink. holding the heatsink steady and pushing in the mount pins was a bit of a trick!

so. works! booted right up. no changes/firmware/anything other than removing and installing hardware. 'about' now showing '2Ghz Intel Core 2 CPU T7200'. and now shows 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM. sweet :)

temps have been in the high 40's and low/mid 50's (C) so far. just running update, surfing, etc. going to wait a couple days for the artic silver to complete the thermal bond before running any real benchmarks. right away though... it's fast. really fast. makes using my dual 1.8 G5 seems slow for a 'how it feels' benchmark. and quiet. same as the core solo as far as noise, but will see when i start with the benchmarks.

bootcamp and xp pro are next. will post pictures and benchmarks later. if anyone has benchmark ideas or requests, please let me know and i will try and add them to the list...

peace.



livingfortoday
Sep 30, 2006, 08:42 PM
Wow, that's awesome. I'm waiting for Core 2 Duo prices to come down a bit before I do my upgrade, but it's nice to see others having success with theirs!

Congratulations on the (on the insides) new machine!

Faraday
Sep 30, 2006, 08:53 PM
Glad to hear it all works. I'm planning a very similar upgrade to my core solo,
but I've been waiting for confirmation that retail Meroms work properly, as all the previous upgrades seem to have been with pre-release engineering samples.

Have you tried any of the Core Duo monitoring utlities that report how the chip is being throttted down in clock speed ?

I've seen speculation that some of the power saving features on Merom are a little different to Yonah, and may not work quite as well/intended in a system with a Firmware/BIOS setup for a Yonah.

I was thinking 2GB, no DVD burner upgrade, Merom T7200, external drive in a SATA enclosure - still need to figure out how to get the internal SATA port ouside as neatly as possible ...

generik
Sep 30, 2006, 09:15 PM
How much did the chip cost you?

What are you going to do with the Core Solo chip now? :D

4JNA
Sep 30, 2006, 09:32 PM
Have you tried any of the Core Duo monitoring utlities that report how the chip is being throttted down in clock speed ?

I was thinking 2GB, no DVD burner upgrade, Merom T7200, external drive in a SATA enclosure - still need to figure out how to get the internal SATA port ouside as neatly as possible ...

i would love a link/name if you have one. found coreduotemp for the temp monitoring, but this is the only intel mac i have, so not really up on the intel apps yet...:rolleyes:

also wonder about the power management, but as far as i can tell from the mouse end, it all seems good so far. sleep and deep sleep work the same as with the solo chip.

dreaming about ways to route cables when i had it apart, and i am planning to lose the lock slot and route/mount the eSATA connector in that area. didn't really see any other space or place to put anything. really well packed little computer!

into mods, and wondering about this motherboard in a different case. there is some really wild air management going on in there. also some cooling required on both sides of the motherboard. the push-pin heatsink could be replaced, but haven't found any retail socket 479 stuff that would fit yet, so more custom work there also. lots of things to dream about tonight i guess...:rolleyes:

chip was $312 for the T7200, 4mb cache. faster didn't seem like a good value, and slower didn't make any sense as a core duo pull would have been less, so 2ghz it is. the core solo and original memory are already in a barebones laptop, and working well. nice way to sell off the old parts.

pics later if i get a chance. mac/geek pr0n :p

4JNA
Sep 30, 2006, 10:13 PM
pics. lots of take apart guides already out there. used one myself, but took quick pics of the new stuff... now just trying to decide if i should put the core 2 sticker on the front, and maybe a 'built for vista'... :eek:

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n15/4JNA/P1010012.jpg
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n15/4JNA/P1010010.jpg
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n15/4JNA/P1010005.jpg
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n15/4JNA/P1010006.jpg

and a couple of screen grabs just for fun.

58817

58818

ViveLeLivre
Sep 30, 2006, 10:40 PM
Pretty cool. Well done. ;)

dmw007
Sep 30, 2006, 11:00 PM
Very nice upgrade 4JNA. :)

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 1, 2006, 07:05 AM
Sweet thread, I would like more pictures. Apple should really offer more CPU & GPU options for Mini. Waiting to see some benches. Looks to me like its better to get a old solo & upgrade vs going after a new 1.83 coreduo. 2.0 Core2Duo should rev the heck out of the GMA 950. Congrats & thanks for sharing.:)

runninmac
Oct 1, 2006, 08:33 AM
Wow nice work! I wish I had the knowledge/balls to do that. The most ive replaced is RAM and A CD Drive :o

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 1, 2006, 08:44 AM
I wonder where that GMA 950 chipset is? backside of the motherboard?

4JNA
Oct 1, 2006, 09:39 AM
I wonder where that GMA 950 chipset is? backside of the motherboard?

seems to be the chip beside the cpu socket under the smaller black 'slope' heatsink. chip on the backside was intel, and about the same size, but didn't have enough cooling to be the chipset. will take a pic when i pull it apart again.

the backside cooling solution is one of the 'pink rubber' pads that is stuck to the bottom metal shield. really similar to the old g4/sawtooth/backside thing. air coming into the case from the bottom slots is drawn over the metal shield, across the memory/chipset heatsink, into the cpu fan, and then blown out the back. reallllly trick layout.

... I would like more pictures.

of what? i've a crappy camera, am a photo 'hack', but if you want something specific i will give it a go when it comes apart again...

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 1, 2006, 09:43 AM
You need to start running some tests, games, benches whatever.

4JNA
Oct 1, 2006, 08:44 PM
You need to start running some tests, games, benches whatever.

starting to run stuff now, still no extended stuff, but ran xbench and found someone with a T7400 to compare it to. results HERE (http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc1=194029&doc2=194012).

edit: did more looking and found stock core sole to compare to here (http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc1=194029&doc2=182473).

xp installed without a problem. hardware profile showing both cores. screen grab attached.

will start loading games/bench programs tommorow. still running 40s/50s (C) for temps. saw a high of 67 on the xbench run. still silent. or at least i can't hear it over the other computers in the room...:rolleyes:

58983

livingfortoday
Oct 1, 2006, 08:52 PM
will start loading games/bench programs tommorow. still running 40s/50s (C) for temps. saw a high of 67 on the xbench run. still silent. or at least i can't hear it over the other computers in the room...:rolleyes:

That's great news. My Core Solo idles in the upper 50's, and under 100% load will stay at around 78-79 degrees. Good to know that the added speed increase won't come at the cost of hotter-running components.

Ninja Guidan
Oct 2, 2006, 02:04 PM
Sweet...glad to see someone has done it with success.

Lollypop
Oct 3, 2006, 01:35 AM
edit: did more looking and found stock core sole to compare to here (http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc1=194029&doc2=182473).


Interesting to see the graphics benchmarks jump so much... says a lot about the GMA! :D

4JNA
Oct 7, 2006, 10:13 PM
not a WoW fan, but downloaded the 10 day trial. running around outside i am getting 58-60 fps. inside/busy scenes drop some. have seen a low of 38, but again, not a player, so take this for what it's worth.

farcry. loves me some farcry. demo loop on 800x600 all low is showing 285 fps, all medium is 268 fps, and high is 247 fps. smooth, and fairly good render/texture. playing the game on 800 x 600 all low is smooth, but having a weird problem where the ground/texture is all blue. hard to tell the water from the ground. other than that, plays great! higher resolution does cause some stutter, and is not much fun to play. higher video settings also cause some problems.

so more actual benchmarks when i get time. as a side note, the artic silver 5 seems to have set, as i am getting lower temps after several days of running. now idle/low use is 42-48 C, and benchmarks/games run the temp into the 62-65 C degree range. running for 3 days at near 100% cpu usage (folding) with no problems. sweet, fast, and quiet. what else is there?!

Eidorian
Oct 7, 2006, 10:19 PM
Looks like the mini is MUCH easier to upgrade then the iMac. I have the service manual too. =3

I'll have to look into buying a used/refurbished Core Solo to upgrade and tinker with. Nice benchmarks on that GMA950 too.

Aviron
Oct 30, 2006, 12:18 AM
Hi,

I picked up a 1.5ghz solo cheap used, and want to upgrade the CPU to a Duo. Is the socket 478 or 479? A search of forums doesn't reveal too much of a consensus. The Intel website says that the Core 2 and Core Duo's are available in both 478 and 479 pin varieties.

I looked up the serial# shown in the photos for the T7200 shown in the pics in this thread and the Intel site says it's a 478 pin. However, a lot of information says that the socket is 479. What gives?



TIA.

Bill Gates
Oct 30, 2006, 12:20 AM
Hi,

I picked up a 1.5ghz solo cheap used, and want to upgrade the CPU to a Duo. Is the socket 478 or 479? A search of forums doesn't reveal too much of a consensus. The Intel website says that the Core 2 and Core Duo's are available in both 478 and 479 pin varieties.

I looked up the serial# shown in the photos for the T7200 shown in the pics in this thread and the Intel site says it's a 478 pin. However, a lot of information says that the socket is 479. What gives?



TIA.
Here's a comparison:

http://www.legitreviews.com/images/reviews/381/mobile_pins.jpg

Note the difference in the pins.

Aviron
Oct 30, 2006, 12:39 AM
Thanks for the pics Bill, but I'm still confused.

Honestly, I picked up a T2500 cheap too and according to the serial# it has 478 pins. The Intel site says that the T2500 is available in 478 and 479 pin packages. It's also still in transit... so I don't have it on hand.

Did I pick up the wrong version (478 pin) of the T2500?

Thanks!

Eidorian
Oct 30, 2006, 08:01 AM
Thanks for the pics Bill, but I'm still confused.

Honestly, I picked up a T2500 cheap too and according to the serial# it has 478 pins. The Intel site says that the T2500 is available in 478 and 479 pin packages. It's also still in transit... so I don't have it on hand.

Did I pick up the wrong version (478 pin) of the T2500?

Thanks!You're fine. The codenames (Yonah/Merom & Core Duo/Core 2 Duo) seem to be more reliable then pin number listings. I've seen sites list 478 and 479 pin for them. :rolleyes:

http://guides.macrumors.com/Yonah

http://guides.macrumors.com/Core_2_Duo

Aviron
Oct 30, 2006, 09:48 AM
The thing is that there are TWO available versions of both the Yonah and Merom CPU's. Checkout this link:

http://processorfinder.intel.com/list.aspx?ProcFam=2278

I wound up getting a SL8VP with 478 pins, but there IS a SL8VT with 479.

The pics shown of the Core2Duo in this thread show a 478 pin CPU. But from what I gather from staring at the pic of the socket is that its 479! This leads to my confusion.

Andrew

Eidorian
Oct 30, 2006, 10:33 AM
The thing is that there are TWO available versions of both the Yonah and Merom CPU's. Checkout this link:

http://processorfinder.intel.com/list.aspx?ProcFam=2278

I wound up getting a SL8VP with 478 pins, but there IS a SL8VT with 479.

The pics shown of the Core2Duo in this thread show a 478 pin CPU. But from what I gather from staring at the pic of the socket is that its 479! This leads to my confusion.

AndrewThe pin difference seems to be based on a a variant of Speedstep vs. Halt State. Seriously, just go with Socket M. This pin variant crap is annoying.

Sdashiki
Oct 30, 2006, 11:23 AM
so is it worth it to:

Buy a refurb/used Core Solo Mini

Buy a Core2Duo chip

Install


Is the cost of the solo + the core2duo chip equal to LESS than the cost of a brand new core2duo mini?

Eidorian
Oct 30, 2006, 11:34 AM
so is it worth it to:

Buy a refurb/used Core Solo Mini

Buy a Core2Duo chip

Install


Is the cost of the solo + the core2duo chip equal to LESS than the cost of a brand new core2duo mini?It is when no Core 2 Duo minis exist right now.

Sdashiki
Oct 30, 2006, 11:39 AM
It is when no Core 2 Duo minis exist right now.

ah too true.

didnt think aboot the CoreDuo versus the NUMBAH TOOOOOOO!

Lord Blackadder
Oct 30, 2006, 11:56 AM
This is one of the great benefits of the Intel transition: cheap, available CPU upgrades for the masses!

Take a look at what G4 upgrades are still going for....:eek:

suneohair
Dec 21, 2006, 05:48 PM
I wanted to raise this to ask about heat. I was thinking about doing this when the T7400 or maybe even t7600 come down in price.

After doing some searching I came across this thread: http://www.pclincs.co.uk/Forums/showthread.php?threadid=10120

Basically the OP says the mini is not suited to handle the heat put off from a 7400 for 24/7 use.

So I ask how is your T7200 running? DOes it seem stable. I also noticed that alot of the OPs testing seemed to be in Windows. I wonder if maybe that is a factor as OS X may handle the temps better.

I just don't want my Mini to be on fire to point where it is unusable. Thanks.

4JNA
Dec 21, 2006, 08:00 PM
2ghz working well here. my initial testing and benchmarks were mostly done using xp, as that is what most people were asking for.

after the initial testing, have been running mostly os x, and have about 4 weeks of uptime at this point (24 x 7). set to sleep after 30 minutes, running parallels (beta, bootcamp partition) and have had no issues to report at all. totally stable. running parallels gets the temps up into the mid 70C range, but drops back to 48-58C range during normal use with firefox, itunes, playing dvd, etc. the average temps have been about 2 degrees below what i recorded with the core solo before doing the swap. i believe it's because i took the time to clean/polish the heatsink, and used artic silver.

next step here is the external sata 3.5" drive mod for more storage, and faster performance. the T7200 is more than enough cpu for my use, and rarely is working above idle. i am still amazed at how fast and silent this little square box is. really amazing stuff. best of luck.

California
Jan 31, 2007, 10:34 PM
well, my T7200 core 2 duo retail cpu just arrived this afternoon, and i spent the last 2 hours or so installing new parts in my core solo base model mini. installed the cpu, 2gb of memory, a UJ-845S superdrive, and a 7200rpm 100gb sata hard drive. :D

not an easy upgrade. lots of really small wires and connectors to remove to get the drive/fan frame off. also needed to take the motherboard out of the base to remove the cpu heatsink. be VERY careful removing the heatsink, as the temp sensor is glued to the bottom of it! the cpu socket is just like any laptop socket, and can be 'opened' and 'closed' with a flat blade screwdriver. the core solo chip and the new core 2 have a really different looking silicon top, so needed to scrape the old compound off the heatsink as it would not have 'matched' the original pad install. used some artic silver 5 when i installed the heatsink. holding the heatsink steady and pushing in the mount pins was a bit of a trick!

so. works! booted right up. no changes/firmware/anything other than removing and installing hardware. 'about' now showing '2Ghz Intel Core 2 CPU T7200'. and now shows 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM. sweet :)

temps have been in the high 40's and low/mid 50's (C) so far. just running update, surfing, etc. going to wait a couple days for the artic silver to complete the thermal bond before running any real benchmarks. right away though... it's fast. really fast. makes using my dual 1.8 G5 seems slow for a 'how it feels' benchmark. and quiet. same as the core solo as far as noise, but will see when i start with the benchmarks.

bootcamp and xp pro are next. will post pictures and benchmarks later. if anyone has benchmark ideas or requests, please let me know and i will try and add them to the list...

peace.

Having nearly a panic attack in simply upgrading ram and hard drive on my last rev ppc mini 1.5, I must say about this project that I AM COMPLETELY impressed.

Hat's off to you 4JNA.

elec999
Jan 31, 2007, 11:39 PM
Mac minis are alot of fun and offer lots. But i have a question, will the old dothans work in the new Yonah sockets, or vice versa.
Thanks

4JNA
Feb 1, 2007, 12:10 AM
Hat's off to you.

Thanks! :)

Mac minis are alot of fun and offer lots. But i have a question, will the old dothans work in the new Yonah sockets, or vice versa.
Thanks

not in the mini. some pc motherboards are able to use either (dothan or yonah), but the mini is not socket compatible (pins/FSB) with the older chips. plus the thought of a celeron in a mini is just icky :eek: :confused: :apple:

negatv1
Feb 1, 2007, 01:15 PM
Nice. Looks like the T7200 is the sweet spot on price/performance, as the price gets even steeper on the 7400 and up.

Newegg currently lists the T7200 at $298, still a bit expensive in my mind, but as that gets closer to $225, I'll be upgrading the 1.66ghz Yonah in my mini.

elec999
May 16, 2007, 07:34 AM
Returning to this thread. After further reading, I found out that Merom does get hotter, and uses more power then the Yonah based cpus. Currently my mac mini 1.5gig is kinda slow when running boot camp. I was thinking of getting a Yonah T2700. Is there much of a difference between the Yonah and the Merom, I know 2mb vs 4mb buffer. Right now I also need to get the cooling issue with my mac mini fixed, as it is pretty loud.
Thanks

Mpulsive81
May 16, 2007, 11:22 AM
But from what I gather from staring at the pic of the socket is that its 479! This leads to my confusion.

Andrew

Were you counting the pins? :D

Eidorian
May 16, 2007, 11:34 AM
Returning to this thread. After further reading, I found out that Merom does get hotter, and uses more power then the Yonah based cpus. Currently my mac mini 1.5gig is kinda slow when running boot camp. I was thinking of getting a Yonah T2700. Is there much of a difference between the Yonah and the Merom, I know 2mb vs 4mb buffer. Right now I also need to get the cooling issue with my mac mini fixed, as it is pretty loud.
ThanksI'd go with a Merom over Yonah right now. It shipped at the same price points that Yonah came in at. No point in paying the same price for older hardware.

4JNA
May 16, 2007, 07:27 PM
it came back!

ok, mini update. nothing but positive results to report. again.

to recap: T7200, installed after cleaning heatsink, artic silver 5 used, 2gb installed, 7200rpm 100gb hard drive, UJ-845 installed. no changes to fans, covers, plastic, etc.

initial testing showed temps at or just under the stock 1.5 core solo. no change in noise levels. mine was silent before the upgrade, and i can't tell a difference after.

pushing hard in windows (games, Pii, benchmark) i can get the new c2d chip into the mid 70's where the fan spins up to around 2000rpm and temps stay stable. as soon as the app quits, the temps and fans return normal within a few seconds. almost spooky how fast the temps drop actually.

have been running folding (100% cpu usage on both cores) 24x7 for about a month now. it runs at 72-74 degrees C, the hard drive is running at 46-48 degrees C, and the fan is stable around 1600rpm. not silent, but really hard to hear given the number of computers i have running.

the most amazing computer i have ever owned. crazy fast. silent or close to it. kicks the crap out of most everything else i have. running 'folding' is pure number crunching on the cpu, very little else is used (GMA950 doesn't matter). for perspective, the mini averages about 1200 points per day, and a dell dual xeon server (3.2ghz Xeon HT, 2mb cache per cpu, 4gb ECC registered DDR, dual 147gb 15k rpm U320 scsi in raid) averages about 900-1000 points per day. :eek: :apple:

ezekielrage_99
May 23, 2007, 10:24 PM
Very nice upgrade 4JNA. :)

Agreed that it awsome :cool: