Mac Mini Dead - need upgrade advice

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by spyderx, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. spyderx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    #1
    My 2006 1.66ghz CoreDuo mini finally died. I'm going to do a power supply swap with a friends to make sure it's not that but I'm pretty sure it is dead. I came back from a vacation (it was unplugged too!) and went to power it on, the fan and light come on. No bong, no screen, nothing. Tried everything, memory reseat, hard drive pull, pram, pmu, etc, nothing.

    Anyway, I use the mini on my HDTV and with my HiFi setup. It's mostly a music and video device. I don't game, ever, nor will I. Video is via dvd rips, quicktime, flash, or netflix.

    Do you all think I'm OK with the base mini? I'll upgrade the RAM and put the SSD in from my current Mini, since I don't store anything local... just OS and apps, everything is on a NAS.

    $200 seems steep for $20 of RAM, a minor CPU bump, and the GPU, which I don't think I'd be using, correct?
     
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #2
    Hmm...you were okay with a 2006 Mini, and you're wondering if a new base model would be okay???
     
  3. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    #3
    I didn't say that. For audio it was fine. For Video Netflix was laggy and pegged the CPU.
     
  4. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #4
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    If you are connecting to the TV you may want to consider the mid-range Mac Mini because the ATI card handles 1080p slightly better addressing 29/59 frame rate bug and handling 23.976fps better.
     
  5. Pigumon macrumors 6502

    Pigumon

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    #5
    Go for the $799

    The extra $200 isn't just for the double ram (which is not $20 anywhere for the mini), and not just for the bump in processor speed, but it's for a separate, quality AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR5 memory. The GPU is solely responsible for getting the picture onto your screen. You use it every second your computer is on. If you're going to use this mostly for movies then you'd be better off.

    It's not shared with your main ram, which already makes the 4GB much better than even if you upgraded the ram to 4GB yourself.

    You won't get any stuttering or lag in full 1080P video.

    Now if you're only using it for compressed playback, no editing, no 3D... you can probably get away with the base model, but I'm sure there will be times you wish you had the real GPU.

    I'm a Mini user too, and I'd go with $799 if I were buying right now.
     
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
    on sale 699!

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC816LL/A


    refurb it and save.



    if you buy the base you should get 8gb ram which is about 40 bucks.

    the refurb above does not really need a ram upgrade. since all 4gb goes to the cpu .

    refurbs are a good deal.
     
  7. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    #7
    Appreciate the feedback

    I'll be going with the mid-level mini. I can get an EPP price really close to the refurb price so I'm going that direction. I hope it lasts 6 years like the one that just died.

    BTW, if anyone is interested in a dead mini for parts I will bet the memory and CPU and BT, and Wifi Cards are still good... 2gb ram, no HD (i'm pulling the SSD), DVD drive, I have the 2.33Ghz C2D cpu upgrade in there, along with the the original 1.66 Ghz CD cpu.

    PM me....

    Thanks
     
  8. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    Try pulling the DVD drive and HDD drive and seeing if that does anything for you.

    Had the same trouble with my Core Duo 06 mini, pulled the DVD drive, booted just fine.
     
  9. FrozenShivers macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #9
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    Get base model and put in 8GB RAM.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    I'm not familiar with the interior of the Mini, but most other "desktop" Macs have a motherboard battery which supplies power to the PRAM when the computer is off.

    In some cases, if the motherboard battery weakens or dies, the computer won't boot. Same kind of symptoms as you're having with your Mini.

    If the Mini does indeed have a replaceable motherboard battery, you could try replacing it, or at least checking its voltage. Many desktop Macs used a lithium "half-aa" size battery which can be purchased online (Radio Shack used to carry them, as well). I believe the full voltage when new was 3.6 volts.

    Going back a number of years ago (to the days of the first PowerMac 6100 series), some folks were spending big bucks to get motherboard replacements, when all they _really_ needed to do was to change the battery, which cost about $10.

    As far as replacing the older Mini for a new one goes -- does yours have "g4" processor? If that's the case, you'll probably be _very_ pleased at the speed and power of the new ones (even the "base model"). BUT -- be aware that some software you use probably isn't going to run on a new one (unless that software is universal binary or Intel-native).

    Still using my 2004-vintage PowerMac g4 tower here, and it still runs quite well (considering its limitations). I've even thought of a Mini Server to replace it when its days are finally over!
     
  11. spyderx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    #11
    Didn't work. I pulled the DVD drive, the hard drive, swapped memory, etc etc. Same deal. When I pulled all memory I did get the light flashing on the front. Regardless, it won't make a bong, it won't show anything on the screen, nada. Pretty sure the logic board is toast.

    Anyway, got a Mini Mid-Model and upgraded to the dual core i7 processor. Hooked it up this morning, it works great.

    I'll run 4GB for now as it's not swapping at all. I'm putting the SSD I had in the old Mini in right now. (just did an internet install of Lion.. that takes forever)
     
  12. philipma1957, Dec 17, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #12
    hold off on the ram. 16gb will work and keeps dropping. 16gb or 12gb will suit your needs if you run vmware for windows and lion
     

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