Upgrade to Snow Leopard? Any point for Mini 2007?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ericinboston, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Hi all. I have a Mac Mini that was refreshed in late 2007. It has 3GB RAM (expandable to 4) and OSX 10.4.11. I believe the OS is 32bit and as such every website claims that it can only address 3GB of ram (which makes sense).

    The CPU is a Intel Core 2 Duo which is a 64bit chip.

    Now, I have Snow Leopard 10.6.3 unopened and was wondering if there is any point in upgrading the Mini based on my criteria below.

    1)Is 10.6.3 64bit?

    2)Will 10.6.3 allow me to take advantage of 4GB if I added RAM?

    3)It is possible for me to upgrade ONLY the OS and not the iLife apps?...we absolutely love the current iPhoto version and don't want it mucked up.

    4)I am contemplating replacing the hard drive with an SSD. However, I don't see any documentation on what OSX level actually supports SSDs. Will 10.4.11? Will 10.6.3?

    Thanks so much in advance!
  2. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    Your CPU might be 64Bit and SnowLeo surely knows how to handle 64Bit, but that won't help you much when the mobo only supports 32Bit (I think it's till the same as it was with orginal CoreSolo/CoreDuo IntelMinis).

    So it will only address 4GB, some of that blocked by non-RAM components so you will allways fall short of the full 4GB.

    Back in the day I had a late 2006 Mini (CoreDuo 1.83GHz) and I updated it Leopard shortly after it was released and it was surely worth it. Never bothered with SnowLeo but from what I've heard it was more of a bugfix/cleanup for 10.5 so it shouldn't perform worse on limited HW.

    My advice:
    Backup and give it a try.
  3. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    What do you mean by the mobo only being 32bit? That can't be true...you can't stuff a 64bit CPU into a 32bit mobo. :) It's possible some of the hardware on the mobo may only support 32bit and therefore that is the bottleneck...but to do that in late 2007 would be a huge design flaw in my eyes.

    In the Wintel world, if you have a 64bit CPU, it automatically supports 64bit OSes and as much RAM as the mobo can handle....because nobody would sell you a "computer" that has a 64bit chip but is hardware restricted to all the 32bit limitations...that company wouldn't sell a single computer.

    Yes, I will likely just backup the computer and try it.
  4. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    I'm quite sure I've could have updated my 2006 Mini with a Core2Duo-CPU (64Bit), and AFAIK thats just what :apple: did with the 2007 models.

    The underlying HW would still be restricted to a 32Bit addressspace.
  5. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    That's just terrible what Apple did...releasing a 64bit CPU/32bit mobo in late August 2007 and likely not a "refresh" for another year or more. I don't need terabytes of RAM but it would have been nice to, golly, have 4GB and actually be able to use it.

    But my Mini is a nice little machine...been ticking well now for 5 years...but we do only use it for iPhoto a few times a month so that's not saying much. :)
  6. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Like others have recommended, be sure to create a clone of your drive before you update the OS.

    I have a 2006 iMac that ran great using Leopard. Then I upgraded to Snow Leopard so I could use Mac Dictate and I began experiencing kernel panics- sometimes three a day. Prior to that I had seen only one kernel panic since I began using OS X when 10.3 was introduced.

    All my software was compatible with SL. I had to go to a lot of trouble to get things relatively stable; now kernel panics are rare. But it was a royal pain in the a** to get it to this point.

    The loss of AppleTalk was also a bummer. I've never been able to get my Apple LaserWriter 360 to operate normally after upgrading; a USB/Ethernet adapter cable got me part way there, but forget about printing envelopes and trouble-free printing...

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