I obtained a 1.66ghz CD Mini, what to do?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dorkington, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Dorkington macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    #1
    Like the title says, I recently obtained a first generation Intel 1.66ghz Core Duo Mac Mini.

    Specs:

    1.66ghz CD
    1GB ram
    120gb hdd

    I just put a clean install of Snow leopard on it. It's snappy enough for web browsing and the what not. But I was really hoping to use it as a media center. It seems to choke on video.

    Is there much of anything I can do? I've seen people replace the CPU, but I'm unsure of the costs in that (the work shouldn't be an issue).

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. AndyfromTucson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    #2
    You could try increasing the RAM. It's a tricky operation, but it can be done and there are online guides.
     
  3. davids8477 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    #3
    For video issues - I assume you mean it stutters - then an upgrade to the CPU is definitely the way to go. I had the same machine and upgraded it to a C2D 2.X and it will run HiDef movies without an issue.

    Cost was about $220
     
  4. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #4
    Keep in mind those mini's have shared video RAM, so you're not actually able to use that 1GB in full. I had 1GB on my 1.83 that I am using as a media center for a while, but ended up going with the full 2GB because it ran out of memory really fast. Upgrading the CPU isn't that bad from what I have read. Just go on eBay and find yourself a socket M Core 2 Duo processor. Instructions on how to do it are online.
     
  5. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    It really shouldnt be choking that badly on all video (HD Video will kill it without a CPU upgrade the C2D and 2GB RAM to handle the shared VRAM issue) - My Dual 867 G4 can handle SD Video without any issues however, as well as DVD Playback - however it cant really handle HD (It can do 720p kinda).
     
  6. Dorkington thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    #6
    Alright, did some pricing. All told, it looks like upgrading cpu, ram and various tools I don't have will set me back about $150.

    Roku costs $60-90, and Apple TV costs $99. Not sure if this is worth it... might just clean it up and sell it.

    Though, a full computer has other pros for being hooked up to a TV. I guess full internet access and all that jazz. Hmmmm hmm hmm
     
  7. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #7
    $150 isn't a bad deal to give you a nice PC, AND a nice media center. That's what I'd do.
     
  8. slipper, Jan 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011

    slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
  9. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #9
    If i'm not mistaken the 1.86Ghz CD is the lowest that will reliably stream 720p video. Although some people say the 1.66Ghz CD can also do 720p with a few hiccups. Try a RAM upgrade first, it should help tremendously.

    In my opinion i would much rather have a 1.66Ghz CD Mac Mini over a Boxee, Roku, WD TV or any other media player. I've owned many media players, they all left something to be desired.
     
  10. seek3r macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    #10
    Upgrade the CPU! It'll handle HD fine. I have that exact same mini, with C2D in it, reasonably painless upgrade as long as you're careful.

    You could also probably drop a Broadcom Crystal HD in there, replacing your wifi card if you just want HD decoding.
     
  11. shoebobs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #11
    Here's what I did with my first gen mini - http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1003183&highlight=

    One thing to note, in my review I said it was running 1080p smoothly. After now using it now for 5 months, it looks like 720p is pretty much the max. I must not have noticed the stuttering before on 1080p video when I did my initial review.

    I've been using this as my main machine for 5 months now, since I am waiting for the next MBP upgrade, and it has worked great. I don't do any gaming or anything too intense, so I've been very pleased with it.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #12
    I had a similar Mini, 1.5Ghz Core Solo, it could handle 720 videos and Netflix well. But it couldn't do two things at once. So I upgraded it to a 2.33Ghz C2D, the most powerful CPU for Intell based 2006-2007 Minis. Works very well now.
     
  13. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #13
    Remember his has a Core Duo, so its over twice as "powerful" as yours was (Feels probably 1.7x Faster), so it should multitask much better - although a CPU upgrade would speed it up immensely (Especially jumping to a C2D)
     
  14. Dorkington thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #14
    Thanks for the suggestions and experiences so far, guys. :)
     
  15. MacHamster68, Jan 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #15
    480p should be absolute no problem at all and even some 720ptoo, i had a hackintoshed MSI wind which only had a single core 1.6 atom N270 1gb ram and intel gma 950 and its not only the processor that holds up , its this intel gma 950 as the netbooks with intel atom prove after fitting a nvidia ion or the equivalent form ati both shared graphics they can handle 1080p with the same processor
     
  16. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    It should handle 720p fine. My Dual 867 G4 with 32MB Nvidia GeForce 2 can handle 720p, so any GMA950 should be able to.
     
  17. keekl macrumors regular

    keekl

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #17
    I'm using that mini~streams netflix perfectly at a mere 3Mbps connection. You have the double the HD space I've got though.
     
  18. Dorkington thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    #18
    Most of my 720p content has been ok so far. It appears once I get over 1500kbps or so that things start getting shaky.

    Hulu is also an issue, for whatever reason.

    I'll likely do some of the upgrades suggested here. :)

    Can anyone suggest a TV friendly internet browser?
     
  19. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #19
    I just use Firefox.

    You can try Kylo. Its the only browser with a 10 foot interface... meaning its made for a TV and HTPC. It has large icons which makes it easy to read but the lack of features kills it for me.
     
  20. Dorkington thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    #20
    I looked at Kylo, unfortunately it doesn't work all that well with remote software since it doesn't support keyboard shortcuts. So now I'm researching some themes for Firefox and using that. :)
     

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