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.