2006 Core Duo 1.66 - Worth updating?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by spyderx, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. spyderx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    #1
    First post on here...

    I know this is a tough question. I've had a Mini 2006 Core Duo 1.66 hooked up to my HDTV for a LONG time and it works well. I use it mostly for lossless audio via an external DAC to my hifi setup, but also use for playing my DVD collection stored on an 8TB NAS on GBit network. All "real" work I do on my i5 macbook pro or iMac.

    I recently put a sandforce 60gb SSD and the thing FLIES (like boots in 20 secs from power on, 1 bounce to launch safari, etc). I also have 2GB ram. Running 10.6.6

    However, I've noticed on certain streaming netflix, vevo, and others that the cpu is chugging now. (thanks flash and silverlight for you stellar code optimization!)

    Thought: Grab a 2.33Ghz processor and upgrade it. it's pretty cheap $120 or so... and should squeeze a little more life out of it.

    Thoughts?

    Read good things about the upgrade, but wondering if those who have consider it viable for the uses I've noted above.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    It does add more life to your Mini. But be careful getting the plastic heatsink screws off, don't damage the logic board.

    I took my 1.5Ghz Core Solo Mini and upgraded it to 2.33Ghz, one of the best things I could have ever done. And while your in your Mini, upgrade its ram to the max of 2Gb.
     
  3. jdreier macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    #3
    I just recently upgraded my 1.66 mac mini to a 2.33ghz processor. It was definitely a huge improvement. I can now stream HD netflix without a problem. Hulu and other online video streaming services work great!

    For the price it was worth it. I'll get another year or so out of my mini as a HTPC. One thing to consider is the upcoming release of 10.7 Lion. It's rumored that lion will drop support for 32bit processors. Now, there might be a way to run lion on a upgraded 2.33 ghz mini, but that's still unknown.
     
  4. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 20, 2011
    #4
    Appreciate the feedback and good thought re Lion. I grabbed a proc off the 'bay last night. We'll see how it goes.

    One thing I read about Lion however is they've dropped Front Row. Which I actually do use (at least for movies). Sort of a bummer. I haven't warmed up to boxee or the other alternatives out there.

    Will probably just drive manual and use iTunes and VLC/DVD player. Not that big of a deal.
     
  5. jdreier macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    #5
    I also find myself using frontrow or going manual with itunes / vlc and dvd player. I have boxee and plex on the machine as well, but I still have issues with them.

    If apple doesn't support my mac mini with the new lion, it won't be that big of a deal. The mac mini I use is strictly for htpc viewing purposes. I like the frontrow app also, so that's another reason for me to stick with snowleopard. I have a macbook pro that I use daily for my day to day computing photo processing. I'll update that to lion once I know it'll work with photoshop cs5 and other applications.

    I do have a apple tv in my bedroom that works flawlessly with the mac mini. Anything I encode ( with handbrake, visualhub, or mpeg streamclip) and throw into itunes works on the apple tv. It's a great, that way I don't have to bring a wireless keyboard or anything into the bedroom. I just use the remote or my iphone to control it.

    You'll be surprised with the increased performance of the 2.33ghz processor.
     
  6. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 20, 2011
    #6
    It's a lot faster. Put it in yesterday, I've opened this thing a dozen times so it only took me about 45 mins to do the swap.

    Hulu, Netflix, Vevo, Handbrake are all running a lot better. Temps seem the same. Handbrake is about 2x faster with the swap, that's pretty huge.


    1.66Ghz CoreDuo processor, 2gb ram, 120 GB HD:
    Boot: 46 sec

    1.66 Ghz CoreDuo processor, 2gb ram, 64GB SSD:
    Boot 60GB SSD: 25 sec
    XBench: 120 overall / 78 CPU
    Geek Bench: 2206
    Handbrake: 13.7fps, 1:19:22 ETA

    2.33Ghz Core2Duo processor, 2gb ram, 64GB SSD:
    Boot 60 GB SSD: didn't time
    XBench: 164 overall / 165 CPU
    Geek Bench: 3158
    Handbrake: 26fps, 0:41:22
     
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #7
    So 120 usd gives you a 45.0 percent improvement in your geek bench scores.
     
  8. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 20, 2011
    #8
    Yep, and a 2x increase in Handbrake encoding.

    I think it was a $120 worth spending.
     
  9. jdreier, Mar 26, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011

    jdreier macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #9

    I'm glad the install went well. We've got basically the same upgraded mac minis with processor upgrades and ssds. I'm also really happy with the price for performance boost.

    now what can we do for the next "upgrade" to these machines?
     
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #10
  11. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 20, 2011
    #11

    I set this up last night. It says "Trim" is enabled. Cool hack, I guess it works???

    I didn't notice any speed changes but then again the SSD in that machine has only been in there a couple weeks and is only 25% full (15gb of 60gb).
     
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #12
    Yeah your ssd is so new it never slowed , but you should no longer worry about the ssd slowly losing speed.
     
  13. bwrairen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #13
    I added an eSATA port to speed up its file serving duties.
     
  14. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 20, 2011
    #14
    Do you have pics/instructions on how you did this?

    Not sure i'd undertake it as I have an 8TB NAS with all my data. Reads at 80-100MB/sec which is pretty fast. But it sounds interesting.

    As far as other upgrades? I've had this machine for nearly 5 years and it still works great. Not sure I can expect too much more given how fast technology evolves.
     
  15. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #15
    The Intell 06 and 07 Minis only have one SATA port. So if you put eSATA on it, you'll loose your internal SATA for your hard drive. Unless you use the mini-PCIe slot that the WiFi is in, but put in a SATA card. But that slot isn't very fast in terms of SATA speeds.
     
  16. bwrairen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #16
    The guide I used is here

    Costs you wifi, but mine was gigabit connected anyway. eSATA RAID box was so much cheaper than the NAS, so that is what got me interested.

    I also like using the dremel on the computer when I can....:D
     
  17. jdreier macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #17

    I also thought about doing this mod to my mini since I have a big external drive with a esata connection. I don't know if I'm willing to hack the case though... time will tell I guess.
     

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