Mac Mini 1,1 Upgrade, Review

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by shoebobs, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. shoebobs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #1
    I recently acquired a Mac Mini 1,1 with 1.5GHz core solo processor, 60GB HDD and 1GB RAM from a friend for $60. I took a 2GZz Core 2 Duo from a laptop that stopped working (likely logic board issue), and I also grabbed the 2GB of RAM from it. The only part I wanted to upgrade that I didn't have a suitable spare was the hard drive, so I bought a 500GB Seagate Momentus XT on newegg for $130.

    Yesterday I used the guides on iFixit to upgrade the processor, hard drive and memory. Looking at the guides before I had the parts, it looked a bit intimidating, but once I got the mini opened up and started following the guides with an actual machine in front of me, it wasn't difficult at all to follow. There were a few instances where it was hard to delicately remove a connector, but that was it.

    After the upgrade, I did a fresh install of snow leopard and it is amazing how well the machine runs. Before, it ran well, but it struggled even on 480p video. Now it is smoothly running 1080p video on my 22" monitor. Furthermore, and this is where the Momentus XT really helps, the bootup is extremely quick, maybe 20 seconds at the most. After bootup, firefox comes up after about half a bounce, and the finder pops up instantly.

    For basic internet, itunes, word processing, etc this machine runs better than the mid 2010 mac mini I recently bought. Once again, this is largely because of the Momentus XT. The only thing I was worried about was its video capabilities, but that is not an issue at all. Since I don't game on my Macs and it can do everything else fine, looks like I'll be listing my Mid 2010 on eBay this week.

    In total, I put $190 into the machine between the purchase price and Momentus XT. Even if I didn't have the processor and memory, I could have gotten that for another $105 (CPU $65 on eBay, memory $40 on newegg), which would have made the total cost of the machine $295. If you are able to get an older mac mini for cheap, I would definitely recommend doing these upgrades as you will have a great little machine. If you can get a mac mini 3,1 (to upgrade the hdd or RAM, cpu not upgradeable for 3,1) with a video card with 128MB or 256MB of memory, you'll be even better off.

    I hope this helps anybody else who is debating whether to do similar upgrades. Let me know if you have any questions.

    edit: as flopticalcube points out, the Mac Mini 3,1 and later have a soldered CPU, so anybody attempting a similar upgrade take note.
     
  2. rprebel macrumors 6502

    rprebel

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Where the bluebonnets bloom
    #2
    I was not aware you could upgrade the processor. I guess whenever I get around to dropping an SSD in mine I'll have to upgrade the processor too!
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #3
    That's a great review. I always enjoyed my CD 1.66 mini and maxed out the memory and swapped out the HD a few times. They are great little workhorses. Its a shame that the 3,1 and later had soldered CPUs. If you can find a cheap C2D or even a cheap CD, its well worth it to upgrade a CS. The GMA950 and 2GB RAM limit are the only real drawbacks to the 1,1.
     
  4. shoebobs thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #4
    This is the one I got - http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27255

    I think if you get one with the same socket type, it should work. Just do some google-ing before you make the purchase.
     
  5. rprebel macrumors 6502

    rprebel

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Where the bluebonnets bloom
    #5
    Thanks for the link, will do.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    Also make sure the replacement CPU has a frontside bus speed of 667Mhz. I don't think any other speed will work in a Mini. I've upgraded a Core Solo Mini as well, but to a 2.33Ghz C2D and a Seagate Momentous 7200.4. It is an amazing computer.
     

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