Upgrading 1.83GHz Mac mini to run lion.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jklondon, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. jklondon macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2013
    Hi, I have been given a 1.83GHz Mac mini (MA608LL/A), Intel Core Duo, 512MB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300).

    Firstly I am looking to upgrade this machine to run with a 500GB hard drive and I would like to upgrade to use Lion so I can run photostream.

    I have heard that I need to upgrade my CPU to a C2D (Intel T7200 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo Processor), so therefore do I need to purchase the new hard drive to be compatible i.e 500GB APPLE MAC MINI Core 2 Duo 1.83 GHZ?

    Any advice please, will all this work and worth my while? Also If you can provide me any further details on what else to get will help greatly. Also any tips on how to get Lion working on this setup would be fantastic.

    Thanks again.
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    You need to upgrade to at least a T5600 which is a 1.83ghz Core2duo processor (I did the same upgrade to two 2006's and bought one T5600 for $10-20 on Ebay). The reason is because Lion requires 64bit compatible processors, and the Core Duo's are not. Then you will need to upgrade your RAM to at least 2GB. You can flash your Mini to be able to take up to 4GB of RAM (only about 3GB will be usable tho). As for a "compatible" hard drive, any SATA 2.5" hard drive will work.

    Now, your question is whether it is all worth it. That's entirely up to you. To do all three upgrades will run you less than $200 US. It makes it a pretty decent machine (albeit the GPU stinks). It won't come anywhere near a new Mini though, so again it is entirely up to you.
  3. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    As a comparison, a refurbished i5 Mac Mini is $509.

    I can't imagine upgrading a processor in a Mini without some SERIOUS engineering skills.
  4. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    The CPU in that particular Mini should be in a ZIF socket.
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    The original Intel Mini's until 2009 were not soldered to the motherboard like they are now. It is actually a pretty simple process. As stated, the 2006-2008 Mini's had Zif sockets. It's a bit more difficult than say a big tower, but overall not difficult at all. I've already done it twice with no issues.
  6. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    Even if you could upgrade the processor, I'm assuming that the installer will check what kind of machine it is and say something along the lines of 'sorry, you need a newer Mac'

  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    *Facepalm* Please, if you are going to comment at least know what you are talking about.

    OP -> Do not listen to those who have never owned this particular Mini or tried to do what you are asking because they do not know what they are talking about.

    All that is required is a PLIST file to be deleted and then Lion runs just fine. Both of my 2006 Minis have run Lion (one still does, and the other runs Snow Leopard).
  8. jklondon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2013

    Hi, thanks for your comments. They have been a great help.
    I intend to use the mac mini as a home computer to play films through my tv and will hold all my music and photos.
    Do you think its worth upgrading to Lion just for photostream or stick with snow leopard?

    Thanks again.
  9. bingeciren macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2011
    For what you intend to do, stick with SL. It will run faster than Lion, will need less in terms of hardware and aside from running photostream, will do everything you want. A friend of mine has the same machine and he put a 120GB SSD in it, increased RAM to 4Gb (but only 3Gb is utilised) and keeps the media files on a USB external disk. Since OS and programs run from the SSD, it feels like a different machine now.

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