Looking to do some upgrades to my MacMini1,1

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by neenja, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. neenja macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #1
    I've researched a bit and saw that this little guy could be upgraded to quite the mini beast (beast compared to what it is now). The current one I have is: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac_mini_cd_1.83-specs.html
    • Core Duo (T2400) 1.83ghz to T7600 SL9SD 2.33ghz Core2Duo
    • 1gb ram to 4gb ram
    • 80gb hd to 120gb ssd
    • Firmware update 1,1 to 2,1
    Searched around and the best post I came across is from 2012: http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,874.msg15441.html#msg15441

    Hoping someone here could confirm the following steps and products are still optimal to do this.

    My plans are to have this as a small media center with Kodi. Also will be using it as a workhorse to download stuff on. Will mainly be VNC'ing into the machine to control it.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. neenja thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
  3. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
    Although I am a big proponent of using SSDs, I would think for a "media center" I'd prefer to have a larger HDD for the same price. Media centers tend to be always on and tend to just run the one application, so the reduced boot time and application loading time of an SSD doesn't really come into play. At the same time, media centers should have tons of storage space for their media, so a larger HDD has real benefit.

    Granted, I have not personally used Kodi so perhaps there is something I'm missing. Maybe Kodi's search function or thumbnail loading (or some other such feature) would be greatly improved by an SSD--I wouldn't know.
     
  4. fhall1, Jun 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015

    fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #4
    Funny you should ask....I've had a 2.33 GHz C2D CPU and 120GB Kingston SSD sitting around since Dec 2013 that I was going to put in my 2006 1.83 GHz Core Duo Mini (it's already at 2GB RAM and had a 200GB Hitachi spinning HD).

    I retired this year and finally got around to the upgrades two days ago. For good measure I also put in a new PRAM battery (CR 2032 - easily found almost anywhere) since the one in there was a 2006 original. Here's some random pointers.

    For the CPU swap:
    - Watch a few videos and read the ifixit guide
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+Mac+mini+Model+A1176+Core+2+Duo+Processor/1178/
    to familiarize yourself with the process
    - Make sure you have some Arctic Silver or other thermal paste on hand
    - Buy the nylon screws and nuts and have them on hand to replace the plastic pins holding on the heat sink. The 9 year old plastic is pretty brittle. I snapped two of mine trying to squeeze the barbed ends, and the other two I just clipped off - much easier to remove them that way. I used 4-40 Nylon machine screws and nuts I bought on ebay. Clipped the excess off on the underside of the MB after tightening the nuts down - tighten them in a diagonal pattern, not a clockwise or counterclockwise pattern.
    - I did not disconnect the heat sink sensor wire from the MB - I left it connected and just (carefully) flopped the heat sink over to clean it

    Hard drive swap:
    - Since I was going from a 200GB HDD to a 120GB SSD, I made sure there was less than 120GB of stuff on the HDD and used Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable clone of the HDD to the SSD (in an external USB dock) before starting.
    - The old drive was 9mm tall, the Kingston SSD is 7.5mm tall, but comes with a 2mm adhesive backed "spacer". I had to use that spacer to make the connectors line up with the Mini.
    - The adhesive on the foam pad attached to the old HDD had dried up, so I had to use double-sided tape to stick the foam pad to the new SSD.

    The PRAM battery was an easy swap once you have the Mini apart.

    Things left to do:
    - I ordered a 2GB RAM module, so I'll be opening up the Mini yet again to increase the RAM to 3 GB - AFTER I update the firmware to 2,1. Firmware update might happen today if I get ambitious. The netkas thread you link to seems to be the best I've found, along with info in a thread here on MR: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...ard-startup-keystrokes.1197875/#post-13886247

    EDIT: Firmware updated....used the utility from netkas described in this thread: http://forum.netkas.org/index.php?topic=8787.0
    it worked GREAT!


    Thoughts so far.....The Mini is a delight to use again. It boots super quick and opening programs is amazingly fast (adding more RAM should help that too). It actually feels zippier than my 2009 iMac that has a 2.93GHz C2D CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 640GB spinning HD. I think the SSD was the factor leading to most of the speed improvement.

    Go for it and have fun.
     
  5. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Location:
    Yes
    #5
    I'd be tempted to go for a 256gB internal SSD, for System and Apps, and a 3-4gB external HDD for media. Firewire if you can get it, but USB II is fast enough to watch movies on, and a lot cheaper nowadays. Get a drive with a power supply, none of this bus powered nonsense. With USB or even firewire, backup will be slow as molasses in January, but you can start at midnight, and be done by 4pm the next day.
    Upping memory would be nice, but I'm not sure that processor upgrade is even necessary. Could be wrong there, it's been a while since I watched movies on my 2005 powerpc mini, so I may be suffering from hazy, pleasant memories of the joy it was not to have to mess w a stupid DVD player anymore.
     

Share This Page