Anyone upgraded a Mac Mini Processor?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by michael.lauden, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    Hey everyone,

    as soon as Snow Leopard comes out - or at least before Fall i plan to upgrade my Mac Mini's HDD and Processor.

    i want to add in a 2.33GHz T7600 Intel Core 2 Duo

    and a 500GB 7200RPM HDD.

    Does anyone here recommend doing this (4-600$) upgrade - or am i better off getting an updated Mac Mini?

    I am planning to use this as my 'media center' in my living room in a few months.

    it would be plugged into a 1080p 40" LCD HDTV - and i'd use it for playing DVD's, movies/tv shows off Netflix and a surfthechannel account... the basics.

    would i really benefit THAT much by doing the processor swap? i figure it might help a little because (according to my research) i can only support 2GB or RAM...
  2. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    A while back I upgraded my mini 1.66 cd to a 1.83 c2d. Also maxed the ram, installed a sd, but in you case it's going to cost more then it's worth. My suggestion would that you sell you mini and buy an new one. Or keep it and just upgrade the HDD.
  3. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I would say definitely get the new mac mini, even the low end one and upgrade it for less.

    1. It's far cheaper, less work, and less risky to upgrade RAM + HD on a new Mac Mini than to upgrade the processor and all the other things on an old one.

    2. You get the nVidia 9400m video card, which will give you better performance. This is necessary for eventually watching HD movies. I doubt the old GMA 950 w/64MB can handle full 1080p movies. You will probably get choppy performance at best, not to mention heat issues.

    3. You will be able to run Snow Leopard on the new mac mini and take advantage of its new features. That way even if you change your mind later and use the mac mini as a proper computer rather than just media center, you will have a much more functional machine.

    Verdict: Definitely, new Mac Mini. You can get it for $549 with educational discount. Buy a 2GB stick of RAM for 3GB total for around $50 (or less?), and pop in a better HD for a bit more as well.

    You may end up paying an extra $100-$150 over the "upgrade" price but you get a much better system that will be able to handle full HD, and you will also save yourself the risks and frustrations of doing your own upgrades on parts as sensitive as the processor (what if you fry the sucker on accident? then its all money down the toilet!).

    The cost is also offset by the fact that you can sell your existing mini for at min $250-$300, so in the end you may end up actually spending LESS (or using that money toward the best HD you can find and maxing out the RAM to 4GB).
  4. clickgr macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
    If your only use is as a Media Center then YES it is more worth it to upgrade it than buying the new mini! But don’t go for the 2.33GHz processor, it’s too expensive. Go for the 2.16GHz which doesn’t differs a lot, but there is a huge difference from your current 1.66GHz core duo. I did the same and what I can say is that now it rocks for playing HD 1080p movies! With 2GB RAM and a bigger Hard disk you don’t need anything more.

    If your use is not only media center but also desktop computer use, in that case you should better go with the new model. I also own the new model and there is big difference in performance as a desktop, however there in no difference in Media center use.
  5. michael.lauden thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    thanks so much for your replies!

    IMHO i'm not really ready to play HD movies in full 1080. and if i were to stream... it'd take WAY too long.

    i'm not worried at all about the actual process. i have upgraded RAM and a HD in a friend's mini (same model as mine) and had no problems. i also have replaced many socketed Processors in tower PC's so i'll be ok on the actual install front...

    how much do you think i should pay for a 2.33GHz intel core 2 duo? what about a 2.16GHz? (keep in mind they need to be able to fit in the intel 945 chipset - which is why they are more expensive.)
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    It seems the best deals to be had for this CPU are on eBay. They seem to run in the $260-275 range after shipping.

    A quick search found these.
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Sell it and buy the new 2.26ghz one. It will be cheaper, similar CPU, far better GPU, more max memory etc.
  8. clickgr macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2009
    2.33GHz cost almost double than 2.16GHz, and performance is similar. I got mime (2.16) from e-bay for around 100 euros ($130) shipped from Hong Kong.
  9. michael.lauden thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    yeahh i saw all the 2.33's from hong kong... im an eBay fanatic so it was the first place i looked.

    but im worried about returning the processor... cross continent haha

    thanks for all your suggestions!
  10. michael.lauden thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    hey everyone just wanted to give an update...

    i am buying a T7400 right now :)

    however, if i can get this one for cheap (which is a definite possibility) - then i will probably resell it on eBay and put the mac mini up there aswell (w/keyboard+mighty mouse)...

    if i get it for more than 80$ i will drop it in to my mini :)

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