Neutered Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by EvilZef, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. EvilZef macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2012
    I purchased a Mac mini late 2006 that the previous owner removed the airport card and Bluetooth board, along with the antenna and connector cables.

    Any recommendations other than replacing the hardware?
  2. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Sep 7, 2009
    Uh, there are USB adapters but I heard they suck.

    Your best bet is to get an airport card/bluetooth card on ebay. I was actually planning on upgrading the airport card to wireless N (the 2006 was A/B/G), but have decided it's not worth the hassle as it needs 3 antennae and I don't even have a wireless N router.

    Just google some installation manuals for installing it. It's not very hard, though getting into the Mac Mini is annoying.

    Yous hould also upgrade the processor and the hard drive to an SSD if possible.

    Get the T7200 or T7600 processor ($25, and $65 respectively) with the former at 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo, and the latter at 2.33 Ghz Core 2 Duo.

    When you max the ram out to 4 GB (3.3 GB usable), an SSD, and a 2.0 or 2.33 Core 2 Duo, you'll end up with a computer that is faster than the 2009 and 2010 models lol.

    Total cost of ugprade would be around $100-150 if you play your cards right and that's A LOT of bang for the buck.

    Here are some links to get you started:


    Also this is the research I compiled for getting the airport-N card. It's fairly cheap, but you need to find an antenna for it that is compatible.

    820-1918 A <--- antenna needed
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Don't invest a lot of money on a six uyear old "Mini". Wired Eithernet is faster than Wireless. Use a cat-5 cable. As for BT there are $25 USB dongles that work.
  4. El Burro, Aug 22, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012

    El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Sep 7, 2009
    The airport card often goes for $5-6 on ebay. It's cheaper, and more effective than the USB dongles which have had compatibility issues with OS X.

    An ethernet cable is ideal obviously, but if he doesn't want to be wired, then that's the next best thing.

    I would say $100-150 is a solid amount to invest in the 2006 model. You will get a significant amount of bang/buck because of its upgradability that makes it even more powerful than the 2009 and slightly less than the 2010 stock Mac Mini.Only downside is the much weaker video card, but it is more than adequate for playing HD 1080p video with the better processor. Heck, I think even counterstrike would work on the GMA950, but mac minis were never really gaming computers to begin with, so this is mainly a trivial issue.

    If he spends $25 for the T7200 processor, $25 bucks for 2x2GB RAM modules, and $100 for a 128GB SSD, he'll be doing pretty well.


    I forgot to mention but the airport card I listed can only work with your computer if you upgrade to the 64 bit processors (T7200 or T7600) as it needs a Core 2 Duo processor.

    Here's a listing for one:

    And you can get antennas here. You need at least two antennas for this one to work properly.

    Total cost would be about $15 bucks I would say.
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Just wire it. Airport sucks anyway. It's amazing how sluggish most Mac's on airport around me are on the same network I'm wired on.
    And BT is irrelevant on a G4 mini.
  6. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Sep 7, 2009
    It's not a G4 mini. And I use a mac mini wirelessly and it's much more convenient than a wired connection. He already knew he could use an ethernet connection, which is why he asked what his options were for a wireless connection.
  7. EvilZef thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2012
    Can anyone recommend a wireless and bluetooth usb dongle that will work with this model of Mac Mini.

    I know it's not the best solution. I'm looking for a quick solution to get it working until I reaserch the upgrades later on.
  8. Orange Furball macrumors 65816

    Orange Furball

    May 18, 2012
    Scranton, PA, USA
    I like RocketFish products. Never had a problem with them
  9. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Jesus, why did you bought such an old machine and so "injured"?
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Because he probably got a hell of a deal and they make excellent media/itunes servers....
  11. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Sep 7, 2009
    They're also quite modern if you upgrade them. Prices for CPU, ssds, and ram have fallen so much that you can spend $150 and get a tremendous amount of bang/buck. If you did these upgrades a few years ago, it would have cost you at least $1000 if not more to a $600 computer.

    It's also fun and relatively easy to upgrade, like you're giving it new life.
  12. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
  13. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006
    even with a new cpu you can't run mountain lion so its already limited.
  14. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    If you need an airport extreme card (not sure if that model had the integrated card or the removable one), drop me a PM. I have a couple laying around from dead iBooks.
  15. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Sep 7, 2009
    Mountain Lion is overrated. It should have been a software update (10.7.4 to 10.7.5) if anything.

    All Mountain Lion does is add useless notifications, airdrop, and airplay but that only works with really brand new comptuers. I actually prefer Snow Leopard and I dislike how Apple is increasingly trying to control what you can do.

    Don't fall into the deceit that Apple manipulates its customers that it needs a new computer every 2-3 years. It's all dishonest business practice. Besides, for 95% of users, they don't need all these new features. They could have provided support for many older computers, but they chose not to. It wasn't a hardware issue, it was simply because they did not want to write the drivers for the older ones. It's Apple's new direction in planned obsolescence. Preventing you from upgrading components (everything is soldered) even BATTERIES and pressuring you to buy their new product. Of course, you can buy a battery from them, for like $300, but then you ask yourself, you could sell your computer for $500 + $300 = $800, and only $200 for a new computer.

    If you have money to throw away, or are just financially reckless, then you could say that a used car is bad and only brand new is good.

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