replacing mac mini harddrive and/or graphics processor

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by howard, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #1
    has anyone replaced the hard drive or the gpu in a mac mini? How did it go? Are there noticeable improvements? These two things seem like the weakest link in the mini (assuming you have the full 1gig of ram) I'm thinking about doing these improvements but was wondering how easy/worth it it is to go through with.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #2
    Replacing the GPU is not possible since it is soldered onto the motherboard. And there are no expansion options in the mini for the video system.

    Replacing the harddrive is straight forward if you have a bit of patience and familiarity with working on computers. Replacing the HD is a worthwhile improvement if you have a 4200rpm drive and are bumping up to 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm. If you just want more space then an external drive gives you more space for a your money. Remember that the mini uses 2.5" notebook hard drive form factor rather than the cheaper 3.5" desktop hard drive form factor.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #3
  4. macrumors 6502a

    kwajo.com

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Bay of Fundy
    #4
    if you can spare the space, go with one of the many external drives that fit under a mini and match its appearance. they'll be much larger and faster than the internal drive and be much easier to install as well as offer more bang for your buck
     
  5. adk
    macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #5
    Would a 7200 rpm drive bring up heat issues in a mini? there's really no space for airflow.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Looking at the Hitachi drives, the power requirements of the 5400 and 7200 drives were similar (5.0 and 5.5 watts respectively). Since this all ends up as heat, that gives you a bit of an idea. I couldn't find anything about 4200 drives. These figures are peak, ie when the drive first spins up.
    If you're worried about the heat, get an external as Kwajo suggested.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #7
    Well, I have a 7200rpm drive in my Powerbook, upgraded from a 5400rpm, and I actually think it runs cooler than before. It's usually constantly in use because I'm downloading something or doing some sort of disk-intensive work, and it still doesn't feel like it gets as hot as the old one.

    I'm not sure how it'll be in the Mini, but seeing as a Powerbook has even less space to dissipate heat in...
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #8
    I do have an external 7200rpm firewire drive.
    How can I do tests to see how much faster it is to use than the mac mini's internal?

    from some tests i did they seemed about the same actually, but maybe I'm not testing the right thing.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Do something that uses the disc. Set P/shop preferences to use the external disc as its scratch disc and then try working on a >100mB file. Or clone your OS to the external, set it as the boot disc and see if it feels faster. You'll only notice improvements on operations that rewuire a lot of disc access though, like opening big apps or paging stuff out to disc that is too big to be held in the ram.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    #10
    If you are looking into getting an external drive, and would like extra ports also, this could be a good solution:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack/

    I think it would be a great addition to the mini
     

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  11. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #11
    I could be wrong but I think I read somewhere that you lose any speed bump if you are just hooked up to an external hd, no matter how much faster that external hard drive is. (Even if using a non CPU draining firewire connection)

    I think for a speed and productivity bump, you have to have the new hard drive in the mini. So if you need extra storage, i'd put the new hd in the mini and use the old hd as your external.
     

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