Just bought a really old Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Gregintosh, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I couldn't resist. I got a Core Solo 1.5 Ghz Mac Mini with 512MB RAM and a 60GB HD (and DVD reader/CD writer Combo Drive) for $180 on Craigslist. It is in perfect working condition, and the seller even threw in a monitor!

    I have a spare 250GB HD laying around, so I figure I will upgrade that. Plus, I have a 2GB stick of RAM but I was wondering if I have to use TWO 1GB sticks for this Mac Mini or if I can use the single 2GB stick.

    I know the maximum is only 2GB which is fine cause I intend to let my wife use this computer to surf the net and play with Garageband a bit, which I know isn't really intensive (unlike video editing).

    Any upgrade advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    Sounds like you're going pretty much all you can do aside from an SSD which is not worth it really for general computing.
    However, what OS are you going to use? I cannot imagine iLife 08 or above (garage band) running super on this. I happen to have iLife 06 btw ... if you're looking.
     
  3. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Hmm... well I was thinking about putting iLife 09 on it along with 10.5 Leopard. Out of iLife, I really just want Garageband to work. It doesn't have to be blazing fast, but it should be usable. I guess I will be disappointed if its not.

    Is Garageband 06 vastly different from 09? I really don't want her to learn all the old things and then have to relearn when/if we get another computer later.

    Also, does anyone know for sure if a single 2GB stick will work or does it HAVE to be two 1GB sticks?
     
  4. OGDaniel macrumors 6502a

    OGDaniel

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    #4
    The RAM will have to be two 1 GB sticks. And as for GarageBand '06, it's basically the same. The drastically new thing in GarageBand '09 was the lessons and the lesson store and all that, and I think there's not as many software instruments in '06 as there are in '09.
     
  5. wisty macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2009
    #5
    I'm on a Core Duo 2.0 with 1G RAM, and it runs Garage Band 08 OK.

    It's a bit slow exporting the midi (or whatever it uses) to a MP3; and it won't play all tracks on a full orchestra symphony (RAM issue), and the HDD is a bit slow, but it's otherwise usable if you just want to tinker.

    I think a Core Duo 1.5 is about 1/3 the power of a new machine on single processor applications. It's not a monster machine, but it doesn't really suck either. Just don't try running Firefox.
     
  6. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #6
    It's a Core Solo 1.5 so it probably sucks for most things. I don't intend for it to run anything beyond Safari and Garageband, and MAYBE iWork.

    I was able to perform the upgrade, and the 2GB stick worked perfectly. Now I am debating if I should try to force it to take one more gig, but I will see how well it handles some basic GarageBand stuff with the 2 first.

    I also was able to put in the 250GB hard drive. Installed Leopard on it, everything so far seems to be working great. It is VERY snappy and certainly capable of multitasking. I do not see a speed difference between this mac mini and my 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo Aluminum iMac for Safari and some of the basic apps.

    Something did fall out of it though as I was tinkering, it looks like a copper colored L-type of shape maybe couple of centimeters long.

    I have no idea what part of the computer it came from, but I have iStat installed and the temps don't seem to be very high, with all known thermometers reporting temps, and the fan reporting its RPM's.

    I have no idea if I should crack it open again and try to figure it out or if I should just let it be. Any help deciding would be appreciated. I know its not a good sign to have spare parts after you put something back together, but I also know that some things are not absolutely essential either.
     
  7. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #7
    2GB RAM is the max for it....according to other reports of Mini upgrade attempts, it won't even boot if you put another stick in there.
     
  8. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #8
    It's a fun little machine. The CPU can even be upgraded, if you need to. I upgraded my mini to 2.33GHz Core2Duo.

    Good luck with it.
     
  9. kyleh613 macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2010
    #9
    This isn't true at all. SSD is fantastic for general computing. Everything starting up instantly. It makes doing day to day things so much faster. I question whether it would make a difference in a Mac Mini this slow however.
     
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #10
    You could always look around ebay for a cheap Core 2 Duo. You might be able to pick one up for $100 and upgrade it yourself. That would make a significant difference.
     
  11. danimal99 macrumors regular

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    Jul 21, 2008
    #11
    I got one of those Core Solos a few years ago, used, and bought a Core Duo pulled chip on ebay for about $20. It didn't make it amazingly faster and better, but it was definitely a noticeable difference, and a very easy upgrade to perform. It smoothed out all the wrinkles, and that Mini runs Snow Lep just fine today.
     
  12. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #12
    Hello

    Just search for Core Solo Mini upgrades...

    People do CPU swaps all the time. A T5600 or T7200 are popular because that's what the Mini 2.1 came with.

    The "max memory" is rated at 2gb but 4gb does work just fine.
    Edit: MIGHT work fine... My similar 2.1 does. 2.0=?
    You'll only be able to use 3gb but that isn't a problem.

    An SSD is a really great idea as it will help compensate for the relative slowness of the CPU. It won't help with extended CPU intensive tasks but makes the Mini much snappier.
    If not an SSD, a fast 2.5" SATA drive with plenty of Cache makes a nice improvement.

    Another good upgrade is a Superdrive instead of the Combo Drive. It's a PATA slot load drive common to all pre-nVidia Minis and many MacBooks .

    Have Fun,
    Keri.

    PS. Read the online tutorials before working on the Mini..... It's a bit delicate and tricky like a laptop.
     
  13. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #13
    I thought that was only on the Core 2 Duo models. The Core Duo/Core Solo were limited to 2GB, AFAIK, regardless of CPU upgrade.
     
  14. ClassicII macrumors 6502

    ClassicII

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    #14
    Nice pickup! The first thing i would do is dump that solo for a C2D cheap on ebay. You could even sell your 1.5solo for a few bucks!
     
  15. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #15

    The official limit on the 2.0 solo/duo is the same as the 2.1 core2duo.... 2gb.

    As the Core2Duo processors are reputed to work nicely in the 2.0 and the chipsets are apparently the same, the memory should react the same.

    That is, 2x2gb reports as 4gb in "about this Mac" but Activity Monitor tells a different story: 3gb available.

    I noticed one other thing while my 2.1 (mid-2007, bought in 2009) Mini was apart... The Logic Board is silkscreened "2006". Apparently Apple didn't put a lot of effort into updates from Solo to Duo to C2D.

    Have Fun,
    Keri

    PS. If in doubt, use 2x1gb
    Flopticalcube could be and probably is right... Best to be safe with 2x1gb unless you have a couple of 2gb sticks to experiment with like I did.
     
  16. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #16
    My recollections were that people who upgraded CS or CD minis and tried 3GB or 4GB could not boot. I believe the issue sits in the memory controller and that PCs of this vintage also suffer the same fate.
     
  17. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #17
    You are correct...2GB max for the core solo and core duos
     
  18. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    The CPU upgrade has me intrigued. Is there a specific socket or type I need? It seems to run pretty well as is for what I need but it will not run some features of iLife (says it needs dual core). If I can upgrade for $50 or less to a 2.0 or bigger c2d I would definitely jump on that.

    Also, what is the risk I fry the thing by messing with the processor?

    Btw, I also picked up an Apple Cinema Display, 20 inch, for $200 also on craigslist, so my grand total so far is 200+180+35 (for a mouse and keyboard) = $425 for the whole mini + cinema display setup.

    The 250 gig HD and 2 gig RAM stick were laying around so I count gem as free. :)
     
  19. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #19
    Socket M. You want a T7200, T7400 or T7600 (2, 2.16 and 2.33GHz respectively).
     
  20. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Thanks! Should I be worried about the extra heat (especially if I go for the fastest one) or do those past minis use the same cooling as the newest ones? I'd have for it to fry!
     
  21. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #21
    Don't worry. Many minis have upgraded to T7600 with very little extra heat.
     

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