Upgrading a MacMini - you can do this!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by DHart, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. DHart macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2008
    My 2.26GHz base model Mini arrived this morning (Monday) from China. I ordered it on the Apple Store site last Wednesday. And also ordered a Hitachi 7200RPM 320GB drive and 4GB of RAM from Other World Computing. The FedEx driver brought both packages at the same time this morning... what timing! :D

    I fired it up, all worked as it should, so next I prepped the OR for surgery, laid out my instruments (Philips screwdriver & a putty knife), opened her up, dropped in 4GB of RAM and a 7200RPM 320GB Hitachi drive, sewed her back up again and she's hummin' along better than ever! Great computer! Better than the top of the line factory-spec Mini for about $876! If you sell the take-out drive for $30, the final cost is only about $846 or so.

    $749 2.26GHz base model
    $67 Hitachi 7K320 HDD from OtherWorldComputing
    $60 4GB RAM from OtherWorldComputing

    and now I have a brand new Fujitsu 120GB drive to sell... or to set up as a mobile StartUp Drive.

    Surgery went very smoothly and easily. Just learn the instructions first (iFixit.com), then follow them slowly and carefully and it's a piece of cake! :p
  2. SydneyDev macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Would you describe it as "snappy?" i.e. do apps load almost instantaneously, or is there 3 or 4 bounces? I am thinking of doing the same thing, but am worried that after all the effort it will still be sluggish.

    It is so tempting because there is an Apple Store nearby, and just down the road from there a PC shop with the Seagate Momentus 2.5" 7200 in stock, so could do this without even waiting.

    Edit: also, is it noisier with the upgraded HD? Thanks!
  3. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2008
    It is fairly snappy, but apps don't exactly load "instantly" by any means. All in all, the computer is sprightly and very enjoyable to use. If you have a high quality monitor, you're set! I will be using this machine as a Photoshop editing workstation in a professional portrait photography studio and also as a general purpose machine. Photoshop thrives more on RAM than on processor clock speed, so with 4GB, it's doing well. As for the 2.26GHz vs. 2.0, it was well worth the extra $149 to me as the machine will remain a little more current for a little longer and whatever improvement in performance there is will be nice to have.
  4. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2008
    Important suggestion: get a very thin bladed putty knife... thin as you can find. Then sand the edge of the putty knife to a fairly sharp edge... this will make it MUCH easier to slip the knife between the case and the body.... it's a tight fit!
  5. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Awesome - I will be doing a similar upgrade shortly. For the ones who haven't bought their stuff yet.

    Newegg offers 4GB RAM for $52.99 (free shipping)
    ZipZoomFly offers the 7K320 for $48 after a $20 rebate. (free shipping)
    iFixIt sells the puddy knife and screw driver for $10 + $5 shipping. You can find a $5 coupon on Google and basically get free shipping.
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
  7. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2008
    Nope... but if you break something, they're not likely to cover that.

    kappaknight... you found some awesome deals my friend... good going!

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