2006 Mac Mini, upgrading

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pring1, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. pring1 macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2013

    Is there any way to get 10.10 running on a 2006 Mac Mini by upgrading the CPU or anything? I know at some point you could put a Core 2 Duo in to get it 10.7 (currently stuck on 10.6). Can you get it any more up to date than that though?

    We only use it for very basic things but it's becoming a pain because 10.6 doesn't support all the nice bits of iCloud and with my other half's iPhone and syncing contacts, photos, etc, it's a pain. It would be so much better if they could sync everything with iCloud properly over the air from their iPhone and Mac Mini but they're stuck on a cable and iTunes/address book sync/importing to iPhoto and it's just a pain (even more so I have use of 10.10 at work with all this and it's just so much easier in comparison).

    Any way to get some more life out the old thing to run the latest OS or are we stuck with getting a new mini? Just such a shame to have to as it fulfils our needs even performance wise for our basic tasks.. except for missing the proper iCloud support.

    Thank you!
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Nope, the CPU isn't upgradeable.

    You've no choice but to get a more recent Mac Mini.

    Based on your needs, the lowest-end Mac Mini (1.4GHz) would do you fine.
  3. pring1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2013
    Erm, you can, they aren't soldered in in the 2006 models: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1566085

    What I'm trying to find out really I guess is the requirements for the CPU (and even GPU etc?) to run 10.10. Not had much luck working it out yet searching around the internet.
  4. Buggyflayer, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015

    Buggyflayer macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2014
    West Sussex, UK
    You can upgrade to a C2D but that isn't the main issue. The problem is the GMA950 GPU isn't supported beyond 10.7.5

    I upgraded mine a long while back from a 1.66 to a 2.0 C2D put in 3GB or RAM & a decent HDD. The 2GHz CPU was a lot cheaper on the bay...

    it works fine for syncing contacts, iPhoto too but you need to have the appropriate version.

    If you didn't have Lion or a Mac capable of running it and you don't have iWork 09 on a Time Machine backup its not worth your effort.
  5. catzilla macrumors 6502


    Dec 15, 2013
    Rhode Island
    I'm in the same boat, I have a 2006 mini upgraded to a C2D 1.83. I'm running 10.6 and I think 10.7 should be a pretty simple upgrade, but that's where it will stay. I think the video is the problem. It is pretty fast with an SSD.
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    As already stated, the GPU will be your problem. There isn't any real support for the GPU past 10.7.5. Getting it running with 10.8+ (and it is possible) gives you a very terrible experience (since there is no GPU acceleration).
  7. pring1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2013
    Thanks all for replying and clarifying. I was suspect of the GPU.

    Shall keep an eye out for a 2nd hand ~2012 I think.. Don't like how they've started soldering RAM on.
  8. EmlynDewar macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011
    Chengdu, China
    For what it's worth, the old A1176 would probably be decent enough for the usage you describe with Lion. It is a bit of a hassle getting it there though.

    Firmware and CPU to be updated, and whilst you're in there, you're as well maxing out the ram.
    If it's your only Mac, updating it to Lion can be tedious...

    I'm running Win7 on mine at the moment, but previously I ran Lion on an SSD. It was a pretty good experience (for a 9 year old machine), as long as you don't throw HD video or similar at it, then it's relatively nice to use.
  9. Joelburman macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2014
    The 2012 versions are way overpriced due to the 2014 model being received so bad. With the light use you are looking for I think the 2010 version would be future proof enough. I had one that ran Mavericks really nice. Just install an SSD and when it starts to get sluggish in the future you can still upgrade the ram (up to 16GB with software hack).
  10. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    If I had to guess, HD graphics will probably be the cutoff when the next OS drops one of the Mac Mini's from the compatibility list. They skipped two versions without dropping a model, which might become a trend as processors aren't advancing that fast anymore. I would stay away from the 2010 for that reason. They are also bolstered in value due to inclusion of an optical drive, which initially seemed important to me until I got my 2012 and never really missed it. I have external I can use, but have never hooked it up. The 2014 is $100 less than the 2012 was making it a cheap fix. Keep it the base specs and sell it after a few years.
  11. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

    Mar 15, 2007
    Denton, TX
    I have a 2006 Mini running Mountain Lion. I did put Yosemite on it, but it was very buggy so I started over again.

    I used MLPostFactor to get Mountain Lion running. I also upgraded to firmware to the 2007(C2D) version. I maxed out the RAM and CPU and it has a 60GB SSD.

    The conputer runs well now and keeps my girlfriend happy, it's her kitchen workstation and house media server.
  12. tripmusic macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2012
    I've got a '06 Core Duo 1.89ghz Mini that I was about to put on eBay for sale and then started reading about cpu upgradability. Even with the gpu limitation I may just upgrade it for fun and try and make a little extra cash on it. I've read users putting a T7600 (2.33 GHz) cpu in there. They're around $40. Looking forward to getting that heatsink off. Lol

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