Is Mini self upgrade really worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Richard8655, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    #1
    Sorry to rain on the party, but I still don't see what the excitement is about going to the trouble of risking a Mini upgrade. It's supposed to be non user-serviceable anyway.

    Here's my cost comparison:

    Self upgrade:
    $684 2.26GHz base model (Education)
    $67 Hitachi 7K320 HDD (OEM)
    $60 4GB RAM (OEM)
    Total cost: $811

    Apple Store (Education):
    $749 high end model (with 320gb HDD)
    $135 add 2.26Ghz
    $90 add 4GB RAM
    Total cost: $974

    For a grand total savings of $163. I didn't think tearing apart the Mini with a putty knife, scratching the case, risking future warranty service from Apple, and wondering if any future glitches was because of my upgrade, is worth $163.
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #2
    Then don't do it, or do it when prices come down. I upgraded my G4 mini (Ram and HDD) and it ran like a champ until I replaced it.
     
  3. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #3
    If you've never worked on the innards before, the task is not for the faint of heart. I have done the upgrades to three minis and once you have done it once, you realize it is not that tricky.

    The hardest part was keeping track of one corner screw that was longer than the other three.
     
  4. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Maybe it has more to do with the machismo of getting under the hood yourself.
     
  5. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #5
    BTW - $163 + tax is a lot of money to some people.
     
  6. bigbird macrumors 6502

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    Canada
    #6
    $163 is still $163. It all depends on your financial situation and comfort level in doing the upgrade. If you follow all instructions from the OWC videos and have at least some expertise with small hand tools, it's a non issue. If you've never done this type of thing before, don't even attempt it. You have to be incompetent to scratch the case if you use a thin putty knife.
     
  7. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    True. But not getting future service and potentially damaging the thing could be even more costly.
     
  8. bigbird macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2007
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    Canada
    #8
    Then if that's most important to you, don't debate the pros and cons with those of us that have done the mods.
    Just don't do it!
     
  9. txnoob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #9
    If that's how you're feeling, you should definitely BTO from Apple. Then again I've been building PCs and repairing laptops for 15 years. Other than the outer cover having a snug fit it was cake. I used a 1.5" putty knife on my neighbor's core solo (long out of warranty) and put a small piece of paper towel under where the putty knife bears down and there was no damage that I could see. As mentioned just keep track of your screws. I will be doing my new Mini tomorrow, but I'm already happy as compared to my G4, this thing flies. Can't wait to see how the apps respond w/ 4GB.
     
  10. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #10
    Sounds like upgrading the mini yourself is not for you, so your decision is made. For those who can do it, the small risk is worth the money.

    On the downside, it is rare to get someone who wants to purchase the old RAM you extracted.
     
  11. mheidt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #11
    I upgraded my G4 twice (BT and memory years later)

    But I bto'd my new mini. For me the extra money isn't worth the hazzle.
    It's not just the work on the machine itself.
    Selling the spare parts costs time as well which I rather spent with my family.

    Furthermore I want to see my machine running error free for a couple of months before voiding the warranty.
     
  12. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    This is information and opinion sharing, not debating. For those considering whether to self upgrade or not, these are things to consider that they may not have.

    If you've already done it, then fine. You've saved $163 and move on.
     
  13. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I completely agree.
     
  14. penguy macrumors 6502

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    Feb 20, 2007
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    CA
    #14
    not to mention that the 320 drive from Apple is NOT a 7200 rpm drive, and at least for me, I notice a MAJOR improvement due to that. So $163 and improved performance is worth it, at least to me.

    Also, many of us started with the PPC mini which came with 256 mb ram and really didn't operate too well in that configuration, but Apple wanted a huge amount for just that…so I took the plunge in 2005 and had no problem, so doing it on this mini seemed like the right course

    As for warranty, I'm not convinced that it would be voided, unless of course you break something yourself, in which case, what else would you expect?
     
  15. mheidt macrumors member

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    Jun 7, 2005
    #15
    For me the main reason for the high end model was the bigger video cache which you cannot upgrade.
    So I needed to take the 320GB.

    When there are bigger 2.5" harddrives, I will replace it with 7K1TB in the future.
     
  16. txnoob macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #16
    Um...I think you're mistaken about the video memory. The low end $599 model will bump to 256MB as soon as you add 2GB of RAM.
     
  17. bry223 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    #17
    I'm going for the 2.2ghz model and sticking with just 2gb's of ram and the stock 120gb HD.

    I think 2gb's is plenty for what I'll be doing, and I plan on upgrading eventually to a SSD once the prices drop a bit.
     
  18. mheidt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #18
    Ok, you're right...didn't read the footnote and the word "shared memory" :)

    I think, that I would have taken the base model know as well, when I would have read it correctly :mad:

    :)
     
  19. txnoob macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #19
    But you still have a great machine, and don't have to worry about "poppin' the hood". :cool:
     
  20. ceehjayem macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2006
    #20
    I think it's totally worth. It's not hard to do a self upgrade on the minis.
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21

    How does a 500 gb drive figure into your equation. ;)
     
  22. mheidt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #22
    That's right. Most amazing I found the quietness.
    Now my NAS is the loudest machine which can leave the room.
    High end surround sound is waiting...
     
  23. Richard8655 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    You've got me there. That's probably one of the few reasons to consider doing as self upgrade in my opinion, if 500gb is important to you. I'd still stick with 320gb from Apple, and call it a day.
     
  24. txnoob macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #24
    Did you check out this video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KaHNLR6Aac

    Seriously, unless you have no manual dexterity or a paranoid, it's not that hard.
    I'm not judging your decision. I just want you to realize how simple it is.
     
  25. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #25
    You're trying to justify whether or not to save $163 and risk damaging your case. Cave Man is suggesting an option not available from Apple.

    If you want to buy it from Apple, that's fine too. $163 is a lot of money, but not enough to be worried over.
     

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