The New Mac Mini: 2.33 Ghz Core2Duo, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB 7200RPM HD, DL DVD-RW, 802.11n

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by iDriveX, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. iDriveX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #1
    So, getting sick of waiting for Apple to update the Mac Mini. I did it for them. And it works fantastically and the results speak for themselves. First the specs:

    Original Mac Mini
    - 1.5 Ghz Intel Core Solo
    - 512 MB RAM
    - DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive
    - 120 GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
    - 802.11a/b/g

    The New Mac Mini
    - 2.33 Ghz Intel Core2Duo
    - 2 GB RAM
    - Dual Layer DVD-RW / CD-RW SuperDrive
    - 250 GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
    - 802.11a/b/g/n

    MacBook (Comparison Purposes Only)
    - 2.0 Ghz Intel Core Duo
    - 1.25 GB RAM
    - Dual Layer DVD-RW / CD-RW SuperDrive
    - 120 GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
    - 802.11a/b/g/n

    New System Profiler Screenshots
    Due to the large size of the screen shots and for everyone's scrolling sake, I've attached the screenshots as attachments to the bottom of this thread. (Just in case you don't want to look at all of my testing)

    Testing
    I did a few tests for the things that I do most often and would like to see sped up a bit on my poor core solo mini. These are the following tests:

    - Ripping a DVD using Handbrake
    - Burning an iDVD Disc Image using Disc Utility
    - Tagging a Ripped Movie Using Lostify
    - Tagging Box Cover Art in iTunes for the Ripped & Tagged Movie
    - Burning a CD Using iTunes
    - Ripping a CD Using iTunes
    - Converting a Windows Media File to MPEG-4 using EasyWMV
    - Transferring a file from a firewire hard drive and to a firewire hard drive

    Obviously none of these tests are by any means scientific as I used a simple stopwatch and didn't eliminate all variables. For instance, when I did all of the testing with the Core Solo, I didn't wipe the drive first. I did all of the testing with all the crap that has accumulated in their since I think I formatted it originally a year ago. Your mileage may vary.

    If you want to skip the run down, here's the results for all the tests:
    http://homepage.mac.com/idrivex/stats.pdf

    Rip a DVD Using Handbrake
    Here are the settings that were utilities in Handbrake:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The DVD was the Disney Movie "The Sword in the Stone". It is approximately 1 Hour and 20 Minutes. Here are the results:

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 3 Hrs., 7 Min., 47 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: 2 Hrs., 57 Min. 14 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 2 Hrs., 57 Min. 28 Sec.
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 1 Hr. 24 Min. 18 Sec.
    MacBook Core Duo: 1 Hr. 15 Min., 38 Sec.

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 2.2x

    Tagging a Ripped DVD's Media File using Lostify
    I like Lostify, I know others like MetaX, but whatever. With the Core Solo it was painfully slow. My point was to get it to speed up to be more in line with the MacBook I own.

    For those unfamiliar with the Lostify tagging program. It's pretty much a one-window application that allows you to tag your files like this:

    [​IMG]
    So why spend so much time tagging my files? So that when I use my AppleTV, it doesn't look like a 12 year old is managing my iTunes Library:

    [​IMG]


    Anyways, I digress, here are the results for the Sword in the Stone Tagging:

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 2 Min., 27 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: Did Not Test
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 1 Min., 30 Sec.
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 41 Seconds
    MacBook Core Duo: 1 Min., 23 Sec.

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 3.6x

    iTunes Picture Tagging
    So the final stage in my DVD Ripping is to tag them with nice pictures, not just a frame from the movie. I like to use DVD Box Covers and make them actually look like DVD Box Covers. To do this, I use Delicious Monster's Delicious Library. While you can do this with their trial version, I recommend buying it because it is one of the best examples of programming on the Mac Platform hands down. And no I don't work for them.

    If you want to be able to do this, you'll look up the DVD in Delicious Library, add it to your library, and then look under the Synopsis tab.

    [​IMG]


    Do a screen shot of just the DVD Box Cover (CMD+SHIFT+4) and it'll save to your desktop. Navigate in iTunes to where you can add the cover art and select it from your desktop:

    [​IMG]
    Press the OK button and go surf the web, cause it's gonna be a while. This seems to only be a problem that I use Handbrake to rip, other movies that I buy from the iTunes Movie Store don't seem to have this problem. After it's all done though, you have a beautiful DVD library that you can scroll through in cover flow view:

    [​IMG]


    Here are the results for the time it took from the moment I clicked "OK" to the time that iTunes was functional again (ie the image was tagged to the file):

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 2 Min., 48 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: Did Not Test
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 1 Min., 30 Sec.
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 1 Minute, 1 Sec.
    MacBook Core Duo: 1 Min., 44 Sec.

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 2.8x

    So in essence it has cut my DVD Ripping, Tagging, and Adding to iTunes time to the following:

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 3 Hrs., 13 Min., 2 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: 3 Hrs., 2 Min., 29 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 2 Hrs., 59 Min., 44 Sec.
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 1 Hr., 26 Min., 0 Sec.
    MacBook Core Duo: 1 Hr., 18 Min., 45 Sec.

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 2.2x

    DVD Burn Test
    Now that we know how well it can rip and encode, let's see how it does at burning a DVD-Video. I took a small 100 MB or so video of the Fam and threw it into iDVD. In iDVD, I told it to make a Disc Image. I used Disc Utility to burn the Disc Image.

    The image ended up weighing in at 1.13GB.

    Sorry about the lack of pictures in this one, Apple just hasn't made DVD Burning exciting enough yet to warrant screen shots. The whole thing ended up being a wash anyways with what seems to be the only thing that matters is the speed of the DVD-RW. All of my tests came in at 6 Minutes and 15 Seconds across both the MacBook and all configurations of the Mini.

    CD Burn Test
    The CD Burn Test though was a little different. I used an album playlist in iTunes, Aerosmith's "Just Push Play". All of the songs have the same following attributes, except for different song names obviously:

    [​IMG]
    The entire playlist comes in at 13 Songs, 53.6 Minutes, and 75.7 MB worth of Data. Press the burn button in iTunes and the following dialog comes up:

    [​IMG]
    Click OK, Start your Stopwatch and this is what you get:

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 6 Min, 10 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: 5 Min., 29 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 5 Min., 30 Sec.
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 4 Min., 40 Sec.
    MacBook Core Duo: 4 Min., 49 Sec.

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 1.3x

    CD Rip Test
    Now that we have our burned CD. We're just going to reinsert it right back into our Mini/MacBook and we're going to change the Artist's name when the CDDB info pre-loads (One - To avoid the warning message about importing dupicate songs and Two - To easily remove the duplicate songs for re-testing later). Here's the info on the file type, normal Audio CD File type:

    [​IMG]
    Create a bogus playlist and drag all of your songs from the CD to the playlist. Get out your stop watch again and watch it rip away. Oh here are the rip settings:

    [​IMG]
    Then after all of your testing is done, you find out this:

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 6 Min., 23 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: 4 Min., 31 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 4 Min., 50 Sec. (What the F?)
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 4 Min., 6 Sec.
    MacBook Core Duo: 4 Min., 17 Sec.

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 1.6x

    Transcode a WMV File to an MP4 File using EasyWMV
    Another hidden gem in the Mac world is a program called EasyWMV for converting WMV files to MP4 Files to view on your AppleTV or iPhone on the fly. I just thought this would be a good example of processor power for testing purposes. I'll spare you a screen shot of EasyWMV's insanely simple user interface and instead show you what the WMV file looked like before:

    [​IMG]

    and after the transcoding to an Mp4 file:

    [​IMG]

    These are your results:

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 9 Min., 6 Sec.
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: Did Not Test
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 8 Min., 11 Sec.
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 7 Min., 7 Sec.
    MacBook Core Duo: 6 Min., 59 Sec.

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 1.3x

    Transferring Data from a FireWire Hard Drive and to a FireWire Hard Drive
    This is also one of those things that doesn't really involve screen shots to be an effective presentation. I will tell you this though, the test file that was being dragged back and forth was a 247.3 MB TV Show Episode purchased off of the iTunes Music Store. It is an MPEG-4 Video File. 640x480, AAC Protected, yada yada yada.

    Results: (From FW / To FW)

    Mac Mini Core Solo: 12.5 Seconds / 13.3 Seconds
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R Drive Only: Did Not Test
    Core Solo w/ DVD-R & Hard Drive Only: 10.1 Seconds / 10.2 Seconds
    Mac Mini Core2Duo: 10.5 Seconds / 10.3 Seconds
    MacBook Core Duo: 12.0 Seconds / 13.4 Seconds

    Speed Increase from Core Solo to Core2Duo: 1.2x / 1.3x

    So that's pretty much everything. I waited a long @ss time for Apple to update the Mini with all of these features I wanted so that I could finally drop my long in the tooth Mac Mini Core Solo. But with processor prices dropping and no "Mini Event" in sight, I finally bit the bullet. I also figure that I'm going to give it a little coat of paint courtesy of Colorwarepc.com. I figure that they'll eventually make the new Mini look like the MacBooks and iMacs, so why not also get a jump start on that as well:

    The New Uni-Body Constructed Core 2 Duo Mac Mini

    [​IMG]

    Twice as Fast as the Original
     

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  2. iDriveX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #2
    Oh yeah and here's the 802.11a/b/g/n love:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. OttawaGuy macrumors 6502a

    OttawaGuy

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
  4. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    Um, what the hell just happened here? Did you actually rebuild a Mac Mini? Are these just simulated test results? I think you missed a lot of necessary information in that post...
     
  5. Bechmann macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    #5
    Great post. Hopefully Apple realizes that they have to update the Mac Mini, and releases one like this.
     
  6. iDriveX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #6
    Sorry about the miscommunication. Yes it is something I really built. It's all available using over the counter parts and a little googling. The paint job will be compliments of colorwarepc.com. I'll take high-res shots when it comes back.

    So yes, I rebuilt a Mac Mini with an Intel T7600, 2GB Crucial RAM, a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 250GB Hard Drive, a Matsushita slot-loading DVD-RAM UJ-857 super drive and an 802.11n chipset from a MacBook.

    All of the results from the test are legit.
     
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
  8. Dirty Harry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Valencia, SPAIN
    #8
    If Apple ever updates the mac mini it would make sense that, like the new macbooks, it will have no firewire.
    I am waiting for the new mac mini, but since I need firewire, I'll consider getting an old one somehow in case firewire is gone.
     
  9. MrZebra macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
  10. Tosser macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
  11. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #11
    Pretty amazing.

    Your post was really well constructed too. Thanks for that!

    andy.
     
  12. nsbio macrumors 6502a

    nsbio

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    NC
    #12
    Apple will take yours as a prototype, yank the Firewire and voila - new Mini.
     
  13. lastochka macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    #13
    Sounds like an act of desperation LOL :D !


    BTW: those "photos" look very photoshop, do you have any real photos of the aluminium case?
     
  14. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Very nice! That'd be an excellent upgrade if they did it, although i imagine they'll want to keep the specs behind the Macbook.

    This has got me thinking... would it be possible in the future for me to put in a new CPU into my existing mini(1.8 c2d)

    And put in display port even though DVI is fine :mad:
     
  15. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #15
    WOW! sorry i really underestimated this post… at first i thought it was spam! :eek: sorry :eek:

    good read sir.

    idea: email this post or another copy to Apple and cross your fingers for a reply?
     
  16. jag00 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    Nice work.

    How easy/complicated was the processor upgrade?
     
  17. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a

    iknowyourider

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    onanorthboundtrain
    #17
    Thanks for a cool post. Good job! I am a Mac Mini fan and enjoy working with my music and movies too. I am very tempted to upgrade my 1.83 C2D.
     
  18. migsev macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
  19. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #19
    Why no photos of the modded hardware in situ?
     
  20. iDriveX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #20
    Oh they are real photoshopped. I haven't actually sent away for the paint job yet. If you go to their website, you can color customize your own mini. I just figured this is what "Jony" Ive might make the new mini look like if the iMac, 24" LED, and MacBook / MacBook Pro all look like this.
     
  21. iDriveX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #21
    Yes, you could upgrade to the fastest Mac Mini processor ever made that Apple never put in the Mini. The Intel T7600 2.3Ghz Core2Duo. Swap out, Swap in. Very very easy.

    In fact, your mini has the potential to be slightly faster than mine. Your motherboard can handle a maximum of 3.1 GB of RAM while mine can only handle 2.0GB.
     
  22. iDriveX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #22
    There are a number of break downs available on the internet. Basically it comes down to opening the Mini's case with a thin butter knife. Then taking off the Hard Drive/CD/Fan Daughterboard. Then you have to take out the motherboard which rests on the bottom of the case. Detach the spring loaded clips that hold the heat sync on and you'll be staring at the Processor. Simply twist the little black knobby thing and the processor should lift easily right out of the socket. Put the new one in, twist it back, reinstall the heat sync, put her all back together and pray to God it boots up. :)

    I would say fairly easy. But I've been taking apart Macs for a while. It's easier than upgrading RAM in a PowerMac 8500.
     
  23. iDriveX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #23
    Because it's been covered in detail on various other websites but the unique tests I wanted to run weren't covered on other websites. I was just bringing original content. It's nothing special, just after market parts you can buy on eBay or pick up at your local electronics store.
     
  24. Oneness macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cowtown
    #24
    Great job on the upgrade..
    I recently upgraded my Mini from a 1.66ghz Core Solo to a 2.16ghz Core 2 Duo. I really wanted the 2.33ghz t7600, but couldn't justify the extra $140 that Ebay wanted. I put in 2gb of RAM, opted for a 1tb external hard drive, already had the superdrive and drooled over the N-wireless option. Unfortunately if I did the N-wireless that would mean an upgrade to my router and since I was already in the process of upgrading my TV/AVR/speaker system I (er, my wife) had to draw the line somewhere.
    Anyway, me and my mini are jealous.;)
     
  25. iDriveX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    #25
    I was in the same boat as you. Luckily I got a steal on a Buy It Now on eBay for $384 for the 2.33 Core2Duo. Otherwise I was going to go with the 2.16.
     

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