Intel Mac mini Upgraded to 2.16GHz Core Duo

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XtremeSystems.org documented their upgrade of a 1.5GHz Mac mini Single Core to a 2.16GHz Dual Core processor.

This appears to confirm that the Mac mini's Intel processor is upgradable. Disassembly pictures posted last week revealed that the Mac mini Intel processor is socketed like the Intel iMac, suggesting that a simple processor replacement could be performed.

I picked up an Apple Mini Mac for $599 and Fry's Electronics today. It was the low end unit with plans to swap out some of the guts for a mega upgrade that would be an unavailable configuration from Apple.

For those with access to Yonah chips or prefer to purchase from an online retailer but did not have a platform to run it on, this is very cool interim machine to check out.
The author posts screenshots showing Before (1.5GHz) and After (2.16GHz) system information screens documenting the upgrade.
 

runninmac

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2005
1,494
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Rockford MI
Wow thats amazing, So you can get MacBook Pros power for about 1/2 the price. (Just guessing on that, I have no idea how much the 2.16 chips cost)
 

schatten

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2003
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0
Cleveland, OH, USA
But what about heat?

That's great & all, but what about the heat factor? It's not like the Mac Mini has lots of fans to cool a more powerful chip.
 

miketcool

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2003
879
257
California
Mmmmm

First fuel cells now toasty minis. Hell may have frozen over with the transition to Intel, but it doesn't feel that way in the Apple of tomorrow.
 

ScottB

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2005
176
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Britain
Wow, that's cool. They've got to be talented to get a new processor in that thing, and I guess it opens a whole lot of upgrade possibilities in the future. Oh, and I guess that things very hot.
 

pizzach

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2005
98
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Canada
ScottB said:
Wow, that's cool. They've got to be talented to get a new processor in that thing, and I guess it opens a whole lot of upgrade possibilities in the future. Oh, and I guess that things very hot.
Is the surface of the mini non-stick? I hate having to apply butter for my eggs. (Unhealthy.)
 

capran

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2003
93
0
It's very cool that we finally have a relatively low priced upgradeable Mac. (I guess it would be too much to ask for an upgradeable GPU as well...)

But it does suck that Intel's chips cost more than PPC chips. Is that just Intel's price premium, or is there something in the design/manufacturing process that's inherently more expensive? Or is it just that the PPC G(n) series were designed to be low cost?

I bought my 1.25 GHz Mini last year, upgraded RAM and OC'd it to 1.58, and have been wishing for a faster one for a while, but now that it's here, money is tight for me and they increased the price! Plus I'm a bit sour on the integrated graphics/shared memory deal.

Well, here's to (the thin sliver of) hoping the next desktop tower Mac will be both upgradeable and afffordable!
 

macorama

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2005
105
0
cool, but...

Very cool, but by the time you've bought a mini, and then gone and bought another CPU, you've suddenly spent an awful lot on a Mini. Add a display and you might as well have bought an iMac...
 

leftbanke7

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2004
746
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West Valley City, Utah
Voidness said:
Only if Apple would use this in thier Macs (Atleast the iMac and Mac Mini):

http://www.gen-x-pc.com/note_AU259IA_MXM.htm

That would rock!

(For those of you too lazy to click on the link, it's about a PCI Express graphics card that's designed for notebooks, and is designed to be easily upgradeble)
That is also pretty cool but I wonder what this would do to the cost? Would it be worth upping the cost of the low end machine for this assuming, of course, that the cost per machine would increase?
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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runninmac said:
Wow thats amazing, So you can get MacBook Pros power for about 1/2 the price. (Just guessing on that, I have no idea how much the 2.16 chips cost)
You can't upgrade the procs in the MBPs, only in the new iMacs and Minis.

schatten said:
That's great & all, but what about the heat factor? It's not like the Mac Mini has lots of fans to cool a more powerful chip.
Exactly, which is why Apple doesn't care if the chip was soldered on or not. It probably would have cost extra to have the CPU soldered on, but since you'd just end up busting your machine if you made a significant upgrade, then it's your problem. And nobody would spend that type of money to get a 2.16 GHz Core Duo Mac Mini, since buying that chip separate would cost a fortune. Apple knows that.
 

geerlingguy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2003
562
6
St. Louis, USA
schatten said:
That's great & all, but what about the heat factor? It's not like the Mac Mini has lots of fans to cool a more powerful chip.
A little further down in the discussion thread, he states that the fan inside the mini is adequate for cooling the processor, and he also says that he would probably be able to fit a copper water cooling system on the chip, as Apple is using standard sizes/clips/mounts now...

In my opinion, it's awesome that Apple is using more and more standard hardware components. The Mac should be fine for anyone, but also have some hidden goodies inside that modders can play around with. (And a $599 computer with optical audio in/out??? that's a good deal, too! I wonder if they'll do that to the iBook too...).
 

admanimal

macrumors 68040
Apr 22, 2005
3,531
2
macorama said:
Very cool, but by the time you've bought a mini, and then gone and bought another CPU, you've suddenly spent an awful lot on a Mini. Add a display and you might as well have bought an iMac...
It's actually not a bad deal for someone like me who bought a Core Solo and might want to upgrade in a year or two, when the price of say the 1.66GHz Duo like in the higher end Mini might be closer to $150. Plus in theory I could find someone who wants to buy the Core Solo I would be removing, making the net cost of the new CPU closer to $100.
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
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leftbanke7 said:
That is also pretty cool but I wonder what this would do to the cost? Would it be worth upping the cost of the low end machine for this assuming, of course, that the cost per machine would increase?
I'm assuming it shouldn't have much effect on the cost, if any. It's just a slot and a daughter card to hold the GPU. But i'm guessing it wouldn't fit in a Powerbook (I refuse calling it a Macbook Pro :p ), since the casing seems to be too thin.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
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Washington D.C
macorama said:
Very cool, but by the time you've bought a mini, and then gone and bought another CPU, you've suddenly spent an awful lot on a Mini. Add a display and you might as well have bought an iMac...
not if you buy *Nice* CPU upgrade, a bigger screen then the iMac, and don't need the GPU, the Mac Mini could be faster then the iMac:eek:
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,902
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London, UK
This is fantastic news!! :D

It'll mean that by the time the Yonah chips are old news we'll be able to purchase decent priced upgrades - we won't be locked down by the overinflated prices by Powerlogix and the like.
Now I wonder if Merom will work in these minis - that would be seriously cool!!
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Cool.

Upgrades may not make $$$ sense TODAY, but maybe the Core Duo will hang around as a low-end chip even after Merom is out--and it may offer higher Ghz for less money then. That could make it a tempting upgrade in a year or two.
 
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