iMac to Mac Mini Brain Transplant! - Possible?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by millar876, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. millar876 macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #1
    Right, My imac is dying, The GPU is Giving up The Ghost, I've had it for almost as long as there have been intel imacs. its the one in my sig, (20" 2.0Ghz Core Duo 2GB RAM), so its off to but a nice shiny new imac on saturday.

    I also have a mac mini (1.6GHz Core Duo 1GB RAM about july 2007) running as a media center/media server. its a bit week for the task.

    So here is the plan... Dismantle the White iMac and transplant the CPU and RAM into the mini, just to give it a little boost then put the 1.6 from the mini into the imac and stick it in the kitchen for itunes streaming and recipes off of the net (until it completely dies and to replace a 400MHz G3 iMac that dose the job at the moment)

    Has anyone done anything similar, (2) can it be done, (3) where can i get a good take-a-part guide for both macs.

    any help appreciated
    Ta
     
  2. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #2
    I've found some guides on ifixit.com. Im going to swap the optical drives as well as the mini only has a combo drive.

    Ill post pics and updates at the end.
     
  3. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Sure the CPU's on both are sockets not soldered?
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    I don't believe the CPUs on the early iMacs and Minis were soldered in place, and I've read about people upgrading the CPU in a mini, at least. You can probably Google something up easily.

    That said, are you SURE that the Mini's heatsink is sufficient to carry away the heat generated by the iMac's CPU (assuming the mini will even recognize it)? I'd be very wary given the tight design of those things.

    The optical drive, on the other hand, should be easy enough (assuming it's the same shape/thickness). As easy as anything in that gen of iMac is--they're remarkably hard to get into and work on in my experience. The Minis aren't much better. I didn't check the specs, but if the RAM is the same type it should also work fine.
     
  5. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #5
    after checking ifixit.com and a couple of other sites, Yes both processors are socketed, its the same socket, and people have put 2.33GHz chips in the mini with no problems. The RAM for both is DDR2 667 SO-DIMMs. it should work, by all accounts, but it'll be around Tuesday when i try it. Ill post pics and results when i'm done
     
  6. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #6
    I've swapped the processors and ram around already, but, I cant put the mini together yet because I broke 3 of the 4 heat sink retaining pins. so far i havnt been able to find replacements, and im a bit dubious about putting in metal screws to hold it on, even with paper washers to insulate them.

    I've had a search and cant find any solutions in the forums here, can anyone help?
     
  7. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #7
    Well thats the mini done, up and running fine. temps sitting between 36-50 C depending on load.

    imac coming soon.
     

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  8. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #8

    Off topic, but how snappy is snow leopard on your mini?
     
  9. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #9
    iMac (coreDuo up and running now)

    The iMac is obviously quite a bit slower now, but I'm just going to stick it in my kitchen for recipes until it dies and grab itunes off of it.

    as for the mini, I can now watch BBC iPlayer HD content with no stutter. Seems to be a LOT faster now with the 2.0 CD in it, but part of it probably comes from the fact that I doubled the RAM as well. But SL ran great on the mini when it was a stock 1.66GHz. A definite improvement over 10.5
     

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  10. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #10
    Nice, I want to install SL in the next few weeks. Waiting for a good juicy OS patch for it to come out. I usually upgrade after the first service pack / large scale bug fix patches come out.
     
  11. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #12
    Dude, you need to go to medical school. Your talents are being wasted here.
     
  13. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #13
    Word. What a cool project.
     
  14. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #14
    Holy redirected thread batman,

    Just bought a t7200 2.0GHz core2duo off eBay for £22. Loads of reviews reckon this is about the best you can shoehorn in to that age of mini, as the t7500 runs a bit too hot sometimes.

    So I'll whang that in, and whilst I'm at it, I might throw in a 320gb 5400 rpm hard drive I have lying around the house.

    If anyone cares I might post pics, again
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    Yeah, that'd be great. While you're in there, do you think you can get an 802.11n card with both antennas and operating at full speed? (Yeah, that's what I want to do with mine. :) )
     
  16. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #16
    It's not something I've ever thaught about trying, I don't use the wifi on the mini, my mini, iMac, HD-DVR box pS3 and broadband modem are all on my a gigabit LAN. And I only use the airport wifi for my ipad and my wife and I's iphones.

    It should be doable though. I think the only difference between the CD and first gen C2D minis were the processors and wifi cards. They might be swappable? If you can find the parts, give it a go, you can always swap back if it won't work
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    Yes, they're the same form factor - mini PCI-E. But the 802.11n Airport card takes two antennas, while the 802.11g has a single antenna that's already in the mini. A second antenna would need to be added. Probably not that difficult, but necessary nonetheless.
     
  18. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #18
    well, its done. i found it a bit easier than last time, mainly because i'd done it before. The C2D chip seems to run a bit hotter than the CD, around 55-60 C at idle, topping out at about 90 C running BOINC manager. CPU Heat sync is usually 2-4 C different from the proc.
     

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  19. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #19
    Holy thread resurrection batman!

    Time for another upgrade to drag this ancient mini kicking and screaming along for as long as possible. I use the mini, as I've said before, to run plex media centre and media server, hooked up to my Sony KDL-40V3000 HDTV to watch DVD rips, tv rips and more recently blu ray rips. Now with the core2duo and the ram, this works fairly well, however on the higher bit rate 1080/24p files there can be an occasional stutter, so I'm wondering if getting hold of and installing a Broadcom crystal HD mini PCI-E card would improve playback. I bong mind loosing wifi, as I don't use the wifi on my mini. Has anyone done this? How's it work with plex? I know it won't do anything for transcoding for iOS plex clients, but that's fine, the mini seems to handle it with direct play turned on.
     

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