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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
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    Mac Mini mid-2007 upgrade potential
    About my setup:-
    Mid-2007 Mac Mini
    Mac OS X V10.6.3 Snow Leopard
    2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    Intel GMA 950 64 MB Built-In Graphics Card
    Hitachi 160 GB 5400 RPM Internal-HDD
    WD MyBook 1 TB External HDD (Firewire 400)
    Seagate FreeAgent Go 250 GB Portable HDD (USB 2.0)

    I want to upgrade my setup as lately it has been lacking performance in the multi-tasking department. I have seen way too much of the rainbow wheel than I'd like.

    I need help with what upgrades would do me good and are also value for money - performance and cost. The Mac Mini is my primary computer.

    a) What sort of processors are compatible with my Mac Mini?
    b) Do I need a faster processor for my requirements?
    c) How much can I look to dish out for a decent one?
    d) What kind of RAM should I pick up? (I was thinking about upgrading to 4 GB - 2 x 2 GB).
    e) Does brand matter when it comes to RAM?
    f) I was thinking about swapping my internal HDD with my 250 GB Seagate. Is there a way to duplicate drives in such a way that I wouldn't even notice a change after its re-configured?
    g) Is it possible to upgrade the Graphics Card?
    h) What sort are compatible? How much do they cost roughly? (I am not a gamer as such but I want to at least have the option to play games etc if I choose to - currently I don't even have the minimum system requirements for The Sims 3!)

    Lastly - I know there are plenty of you out there who are capable of doing all of the above yourself but I doubt it that I will be one of them. If I were to purchase all the hardware myself and present it to the Apple Store - would they put it all on for me? I am still under the 3 year Apple Care Protection Plan. I'm happy to pay for the service charge but not the insane prices they'll charge me for the parts!

    Thanks heaps guys for any suggestions...

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    The easiest answer to most of your questions is...the only upgrades you can do to your Mac-Mini are the ram & the hard drive.

    Your Mac-Mini officially can be upgraded to 2gig of ram (what you have currently)...but folks have been able to upgrade to 3gig using one 1gig & one 2 gig sticks of ram.

    As far as Apple doing the installs under warranty. I doubt it...upgrading a computer is not a warranty issue. But of course Apple will perform the upgrades for you for a fee. I'm guessing that if you bought the parts, they would do the installs...but again, for a fee.

    Hope this helps,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
    Posts
    43
    I'm guessing that means that it won't recognise a 4GB RAM? Is there going to be much of a noticeable difference in performance with an additional 1GB of RAM?

    I just don't understand though how is it that doing the most basic tasks, admittedly all at once can use up all 2GB worth of RAM:-
    Finder
    Mail
    Safari
    Vuze
    iTunes
    QuickTime/VLC

    Is that too much for a 2GB RAM? Even if its only running on idle in the background?

  4. #4

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
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    26,455
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    You could probably get some relief by upping it to the 3GB of RAM, but I would think, not much.

    My guess would be that your biggest problem is not enough free space on your drive. My machine became unbearably slow for me at 30% free space. If you're under 15-20% free space, you have a lot of movies/music or other large files that you add & delete from the machine... no doubt in my mind, there is your primary culprit.

    You can create a bootable copy on the 250 GB drive using either SuperDuper! (my recommendation) or CarbonCopyCloner and then just change the drive out. Re-boot the Mac from the external drive after making the copy to make sure it works before you go to swapping the drives.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Aug 09, 2010
    Posts
    28
    If your problem is lack or ram for multitasking apps that want a lot of ram, then adding ram might help you. Otherwise I'm assuming that it swaps the app that you just left to the hard drive and loads the app that you are switching to. A little more ram might give it just enough so it doesn't have to swap apps.

    Also a faster hard drive would help with the swapping. You could go with a larger 7200 rpm drive, or even an SSD, although an SSD larger than your current hard drive would be pretty expensive.

    Mac minis still maintain very good value on the used market so your best bet might be to sell yours and buy a new one with better/bigger everything. (I just bought a "new" 2009 mini from Apple with specs not much different from yours, but I'm not going to stress it that much.)

  6. #6

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
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    Modesto, Ca.
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    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPhone 3GS Note 8!
    Besides the excellent advice Bobtomay gave, I would also run Onyx and run some maintenance on OSX. That might speed things up a bit also.

    I have not messed with Vuse on an Intel Mac but I know on my G5 iMac with 2.5GB RAM, Vuse slows things down quite a bit when it and other apps are running at the same time.

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    47,163
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    @fuzzy23:

    Keep in mind that your Mini is a difficult machine to work on with regard to swapping out the hard drive or even adding memory. The new Mini is much easier to add memory but the hard drive is still buried deep within.

    Personally, I would not upgrade it. You might be better off selling it and buying a new machine instead. Just my opinion.

    Regards.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
    Posts
    43
    @bobtomay:
    My internal HDD is down to 10% free space only. I'll firstly give that a shot by getting rid of stuff of it. Problem is i realised that most of the space is taken up by my iTunes library (100GB out of the 160GB). And i don't know how to get it to relocate to a new place without stuffing everything up, since i've spent a lot of hard work keeping all my downloaded material looking as close to bought as possible (album covers, composer names, genres, year of release etc). I have read a few guides but they've not won my confidence since theres a lot of people out there saying things can go horribly wrong.
    As for cloning the HDD n swapping it around for a bigger one - I think i'm gonna take most people's advice n stick to just switching to a newer mac mini.
    Cheers for your advice!

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
    Posts
    43
    @bjmini:
    Thanks for the advice mate. Probably will stick to this machine for now as is. At best maybe another gig of RAM. The SSD is definitely not worth it for me with the price. The newest mac mini doesn't look too bad - only wish it had just a few more key features in terms of future compatibility (quad-core processor, 1TB and not or CD/DVD drive and perhaps a slightly better GPU).
    Will try n look around for a buyer now. $500-600 including wireless keyboard and mouse sound reasonable to expect?

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
    Posts
    43
    @dtravis7:
    Thanks mate but for me uploading/downloading is one of the most essential part of using a computer so Vuze is a must. Funnily enough though, even now as i type this it appears that Vuze is guilty of only 117MB of RAM usage as compared to 262MB used by Safari!

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
    Posts
    43
    @chscag
    You're probably right. Just need to find a buyer now. Don't wanna discuss selling on this thread since its not in the right section but how much do you reckon i ought to get for my set up? $500-600 sound about right including wireless keyboard and mouse?

  12. #12

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzy23 View Post
    Don't wanna discuss selling on this thread since its not in the right section but how much do you reckon i ought to get for my set up? $500-600 sound about right including wireless keyboard and mouse?
    Got to:

    Mac2Sell

    ...and see what it's worth. I get about $380 for the computer itself.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
    Posts
    43
    Geez thats a handy website! Thanks heaps pigoo3!!! I got AUD$430 which sounds about right even as far as eBay goes. I reckon round about $500 up with the wireless keyboard and mouse thrown in would be a good deal. I'm tempted though to hang on to my mac mini until the next one hopefully with the quad-core processors start rolling in. Any idea when the next mac mini series is due? Do Apple follow the trend pattern in terms of launch month like they do for iPods (september if i'm not wrong)?

  14. #14

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzy23 View Post
    Any idea when the next mac mini series is due? Do Apple follow the trend pattern in terms of launch month like they do for iPods (september if i'm not wrong)?
    Apple just updated the Mac-mini about 8 weeks ago...so it's probably going to be a while till the next update. Beyond that...nobody knows.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  15. #15

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    I doubt the mini will get the quad core chips until the 2 core chips are pretty much phased out.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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