Upgrading Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mags631, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    While I wait to buy my new mac, I'm going to take on a small project to upgrade my Mac Mini. I have a few questions before I buy the parts and start on it. Any help/input is appreciated.

    Hard Drive Upgrade
    I'm seriously considering buying a HITACHI Travelstar 7K100. It is a 100GB, SATA 150 drive. (newegg link:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822146053).

    Any known issues with this drive? I'd like to have at least 100GB and as fast as possible so that we can browse our large iPhoto library with minimal photo load times.

    Memory Upgrade
    I'm debating upgrading to either 1.5GB or 2GB. I currently have 1GB through 2x512s.

    Any significant performance hits if I were to have a 1x1GB and 1x512MB, as opposed to 2x1GB? I'm not concerned about the difference in memory, but the difference in memory sizes...

    Processor Upgrade
    OK, this is the strangest part of the upgrade. I currently have a Sony VAIO VGN-SZ110, which has a 1.83GHz Core Duo. My Mini has a 1.5GHz Solo. I only do Excel, Word, and PowerPoint on the laptop, so I'm seriously considering swapping the two. (Yes, the laptop is my personal machine.)

    Will the performance improvement on the Mini be noticeable? We primarily use the Mini for watching DVDs, listening to music, browsing the web, browsing our iPhoto library, and soon, I will install CrossOver to run Office XP on it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    No. The performance of paired RAM isn't much better at all then unpaired RAM (like, 5% at best, and usually less). You'd see a performance improvement because of the 2GB, not because it's paired (i.e., more RAM trumps paired RAM).
    Yes - the duo is much better at video than the solo. Not that the solo is bad, but things that choke the solo don't choke the duo. And a second processor is never a bad thing.

    That said... it'd be really easy to brick both CPUs if you aren't careful. If the solo works now, why risk it?
  3. mags631 thread starter Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    Thanks for the quick reply! I've done processor upgrades, so I'm not terribly worried about the risk. Beyond controlling static electricity, lining up the pins, and getting thermal grease between the processor and the heat sink, is there something else that I should watch for?

    The reason to risk it is that I want to get this machine up-to-snuff before I leave it with my wife for 9 months and we both have to rely on it for video-conferencing (forgot to mention that as a reason/use case in the original post).

  4. mags631 thread starter Guest

    Mar 6, 2007

    Quick follow-up.

    I installed 2GB of RAM and the new 100GB 7K RPM drive. My word -- the Mini is tightly packed!!! I opted to not install a new processor.

    Everything is running well... including Parallels with all the new RAM.
  5. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    MontCo., PA
    Good to hear, I've got a Core Solo Mini as well and I'd like to up the RAM and install Parallels on it.
  6. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Yeah, definitely tight in there. Good job. RAM and HDD upgrades are a little work, but not too hard. Same with the optical drive. CPU on the other hand would be a little trickier.
  7. MacBass macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2005
    La Crosse, WI
    It would also be a challenge if the laptop's processor was soldered to the motherboard. I wouldn't attempt a swap if that was the case.
  8. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    Woah, I almost got that drive. I sprang for the Seagate one instead.

    Was it just me or is it really hard to screw in the black frame thing after replacing the hard drive? Popping it open and the actual act of inserting the hard drive took all of one minute, but it was the screwing everything back that took me over an hour. Some screws wouldn't even fit for some bizarre reason, so now I have 3 leftover screws I couldn't do anything with.

    It was my third hard drive change on my mini, shrug.
  9. mags631 thread starter Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    After trying to pry it off with a screwdriver, I decided against it.:rolleyes:

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