MacMini Lifespan?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by glocke12, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    I have a mid 2007 MM (2GHz, core2 duo), that recently celebrated its 4th birthday..

    Just wondering how long I can expect it last?

    It is connected to my tv and is mainly used as a media server..So other than being used for iTunes, some web browsing, and the occasional slide show not much is asked of it.

    It is on 24/7, but I have it go to sleep between 11 pm and 7 am every night.
  2. Bluefusion macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2003
    New York, NY
    The only moving part -- the hard drive -- is the only thing guaranteed to fail eventually.
    Otherwise, your Mini may well last for a decade. Most likely the power supplies in those aren't so well made, so that may eventually fail too, but most of the internals are pretty much rock-solid.

    My dad's Power Mac G4 (1999) is still going strong, as is my 2002 iMac G4 (with a bad Superdrive), and a blueberry iBook G3 (1998).


    Also, no real reason to have it sleep. The mini is fanless, right? So the only stress is to the HD, and that's only when it's being asked to do something (like wake from sleep).
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    the fan also moves and will break. your machine can last 2 or 3 more years
  4. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Depending on the environment, you may want to get a can of compressed air to blow out the dust. As the other moving part, your fan, tends to get loaded up over time. A small blast of air in the exhaust vents, and around the fan inside will keep it running cool.

    Odds are in your favor that this machine will become functionally obsolete before it breaks beyond repair.
  5. keekl macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2008
  6. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I have an original Mac mini (Jan 2005) which is still running fine. The hard drive did fail and has been replaced.

  7. gertruded macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    Northwestern Illinois
    My 2006 1.66 core duo still does daily duty. Newer hard drive and maxed out memory,
  8. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    I also have the original Jan 2005 mini and it's still going strong. Even the hard drive still works! The optical drive has been having problems though even though it's very rarely been used.
  9. ricardoflamingo macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2011
    I have a 1st gen mini until this August when I bought a new one.
    I had to replace the Superdrive and that was it.
    HHD still going. I still occasionally use it for the Superdrive and thats it.
    I do boot it from an ext. 7200rpm Firewire HHD to speed up the old gal!
    I wanted to kiss the feet of SJ when he announced a $500 Mac.
  10. TheG5 macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2011
    Clean out the dust every year and it can last your lifetime.
  11. ricardoflamingo macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2011
    Ditto on cleaning out the dust. Do it once a year.
  12. MadDragon1846 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    I can't help but worry about the lifespan of my mini...

    The mini is my first mac, and I'm used to my monster sized PCs with 6+ fans, and having the cpu running at nice cool temps.

    I know people keep saying it running at 90c when gaming is fine, but if that was 1 of my PCs I would be terrified! :eek:

    I installed fan control the other day, and that keeps it at something like 50 or 60c when gaming, but the noise of the fan is as scary as having the CPU at 90c lol.

    I guess it's just because I'v used PCs for such a long time, I'm programmed to think that running at 90c for any amount of time for actual gaming is seriously bad.

    It's annoying because I'd love to spend time gaming on my mini. I know people say that the mini isn't a gaming rig, but it's plenty powerful enough for me graphics wise.

    But either way, I only play on it for like 30 mins at a time atm. it's either I think it's gonna melt running so hot, or I use fan control and think the fan is going to wear out. :(

    I was planning on playing Diablo 3 on my mac, But I'll be spending a good few hours every day playing that, and how my mini is atm, I don't think that'd be a good idea. :/

    Will playing games for probably like 5 or 6 hours a day be bad for my mini? anyone recommend using fan control or smart fan control, and if so, what settings work best? :confused: (sorry, but when it comes to macs and how they run, I'm totally clueless whats ok and whats not). :eek:

    I have the 2.7GHz i7 mini btw.
  13. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    If you're worried about the temps - crank up the fan speed. Look at it like this - a worn out fan is ~$15.00 to replace. (outside of warranty period)

    So if the noise is of no concern, crank speeds up. Even though the mini chipset is designed for higher temps (most mobile components are) - heat is the enemy of pretty much everything. And if you're gaming, you're putting a much higher load then typical.

    A replacement I7 - outside of the soldering / difficulty to change - costs more than that fan does, so if the noise isn't too bad...

    Also consider the location / mounting of the mini. I did a little test with my own (NOT an I7, FYI) and it did run several degrees cooler when I had it mounted vertically - then it did sitting on the table.
  14. MadDragon1846 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    The noise doesn't really bother me. It's just I had a laptop that died in a matter if minutes because the vent on the bottom of it got blocked. I assume if the fan dies, it'll only take a few minutes to fry my mini!. :eek:

    Does the mini like shut down straight away so it doesn't fry if the fan dies?

    If so, I'll use fan control and finally get some gaming time in. :D

    As for putting the mini on it's side. My room is rather a tip atm, and I don't trust myself not to knock it over if it was like that! :D but I do have the mini on top of my tv unit, so it isn't in a cabinet or anything to trap the heat.
  15. dylin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2010
    Just as long as you keep it properly maintained and try to clean the dust out. Im sure it can go a few more years. As most have already said the harddrive may be an issue when it dies. Try to max out the ram now since the prices these days are ridiculously low.
  16. zowenso macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    What's the best way to clean out dust? I have the 2010 version with the DD and it's my first mac. The thought of it dying, sucks. Do I just lift it up the MM and used canned air to blow into the vent holes around that black disc on the bottom? Do I take that black disc off and do something to dust it? Thanks, Owen

    One other thing, how can I find the threads I've posted in? Is there something I can do to have the list brought up so I can see threads I've participated in? Thanks.
  17. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Click on your user name and bring up your profile or "User CP" tab on the top left to dig through your previous threads. You can also perform a forum search for your user name.

    As for the duster - I'd remove the bottom plastic cap for the ram area - to allow you a better line-of-sight to the fan assembly. It will remove dust without this - but you'll do a better job if you can get closer to the component. Just don't use one continuous blast - you don't want to over-rev the fan from the air. Use smaller short blasts to break the dust loose.

    There are several temp sensors within that Mini - so its not like one goes awol and the entire machine gives up. Also bear in mind the fan itself has a feedback / tachometer that tells the computer how fast its running. If that fan were to fail completely - I'd imagine the computer would throw a hardware fault - and possibly shut down. Also - there are temperature limits within the hardware - that if exceeded - the computer will power down - OS and user be damned - it'll be like the plug was yanked out. So with those overlapping functions, I wouldn't worry too much about this.
  18. MJL, Nov 27, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011

    MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Put some feet under it and make an airfilter. You'll never need to clean the inside ever again.

    PS I've seen a posting (cannot remember where) that the DD is often only having a dirty laser and that it can be cleaned with a credit card (or something like that) which has wrapped around it one of those spectacle cleaning cloths with some CD cleaner fluid on it and sliding that carefully through the slot. (no need to take it apart).
  19. crashnburn macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2009
    Wow! Nice one.

    So I am noticing that the following things are could need attention in long term maintenance. (Let me know if I assume wrongly)

    - Dust cleaning / prevention?
    - HDD - Easy to replace I guess?
    - Fan - Easy to replace?
    - Optical Drive - Is this easy to replace? Also, Can any model of Optical drive be put in here? What model / restrictions would there be? Lets say few years down the line it fails and I need to replace with some OEM drive from Newegg or Frys?
  20. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    1) yep
    2) not too bad to replace
    3) very easy, around 35 US new, use google with part number (partnumber 2011 is differrent and they are not the same)
    4) does require taking the logic board out, never tried it. But it all depends on how many DVD/CD's you've had in it. Often a clean of the laser will fix it (seems to be a common problem). The prices I've seen were not cheap. However if it does fail you can always get either an external or by that time there should be Mac Mini's spare parts (used) plenty available. It would not be my biggest worry.
    If I had kept the 2010 Mac Mini I would have used an external DVD/CD for ripping approx 1500 CD's (reducing the wear of the internal drive) and kept the internal one for the occasional DVD/CD stuff.

    PS in actual use the airfilter is not even much visible / noticeable - I have overhead lighting and the underside / airfilter of the Mac Mini sits in the shadow. (Honestly I have to look conciously to see it there.)
  21. Confuzzzed, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011

    Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    I have an original Mac mini (2005) which is still running fine. Has never had anything replaced and still works as well as it did the day I bought it. The only thing that is holding it back is that OS X 10.4 is the furthest operating system which will go with this machine. But my 76 year old father in law uses it mainly for internet and word processing so it doesn't bother him. Lets hope the printer doesn't die because we won't be able to find a new one that is backwards compatible to Tiger! Roar!!!
  22. ceraz macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Mine's early 2006 and still on Leopard.

    Upgraded the CPU and memory to the max (2G in my case). I was going to upgrade to an iMAC until I started reading up on SSD drives.

    Switching to an 120GB SSD drive was more experimental than anything else as the mac mini 1,1 has a SATA 1 interface. However, I now boot in 28 seconds. I don't really feel the need to upgrade unless I need to edit movies/photos.

    So it might even reach a 10-year lifespan ... great investment.

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