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
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: https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...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.