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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

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Mac Mini Overclocking FAQ


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falltime
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I seem to be coming across more and more posts from users asking about or mentioning Overclocking a Mac Mini.

Is it hard? No.

Is it worth it? Yes, definitely.

I'm posting this thread to find out how many people would be interested in me generating a How-to FAQ.

I myself, have successfully overclocked 7, and lost none. A team of us have overclocked 11, and one idiot broke one (but that's another story). I've also been overclocking the 7445 eMacs for awhile now (very similar to the OC'ing the Mac Mini) so I'm very experienced.

If I get enough requests, I'll go ahead and make a FAQ.
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Meyvn

 
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On the same level, Does anyone happen to know how to overclock the iBook G4? There was a program for the G3, but not G4. I've got the 1.33 GHz model. I've heard this isn't all that hard, but I have NO idea how to do it as I've only tried overclocking with PCs in the past.

'cause when it rains, you know it pours.
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go on mate stick it up it might save millions of new threads asking for it
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schweb

 
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I say make one! That way when we nail down the FAQ formatting for the official FAQ forum, it should be easy to adapt it

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repeater75
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For God's sake, man! POST IT!

I've read a few of your posts and I do believe you know your stuff. So, I trust your results would be typical for anyone with a decent amount of experience tweaking their PC.

I am typing this from my OC'd Athlon T-bird which is getting replaced by a Mini on my birthday (March 14th, woot!). And I've been building PC's for over 10 years. I'm sick of this cheap PC hardware and the annoying OS. I've used Linux since 1999 but it just doesn't have the polish and great proprietary apps that the Mac has.

I have seen another thread in the switcher area that you posted on. The guy says he's going to use "hot tweezers" to pull the "jumpers" off the mobo. Does that work? I don't own a soldering iron, but my wife sure does have some tweezers in her scary bag o' cosmetics. I'm sure I could snatch them while she's not looking and kick the mini up to a respectable 1.58!

This is exciting too, because I was going to buy a stock 1.42 and now maybe I'll go for the 1.25 and get a 60gig 7200rpm drive and some RAM.

Also, it would be extra keen if you could take some photos and show which ones to pull off if you want which speed choices.
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falltime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repeater75
For God's sake, man! POST IT!

I've read a few of your posts and I do believe you know your stuff. So, I trust your results would be typical for anyone with a decent amount of experience tweaking their PC.

I am typing this from my OC'd Athlon T-bird which is getting replaced by a Mini on my birthday (March 14th, woot!). And I've been building PC's for over 10 years. I'm sick of this cheap PC hardware and the annoying OS. I've used Linux since 1999 but it just doesn't have the polish and great proprietary apps that the Mac has.

I have seen another thread in the switcher area that you posted on. The guy says he's going to use "hot tweezers" to pull the "jumpers" off the mobo. Does that work? I don't own a soldering iron, but my wife sure does have some tweezers in her scary bag o' cosmetics. I'm sure I could snatch them while she's not looking and kick the mini up to a respectable 1.58!

This is exciting too, because I was going to buy a stock 1.42 and now maybe I'll go for the 1.25 and get a 60gig 7200rpm drive and some RAM.

Also, it would be extra keen if you could take some photos and show which ones to pull off if you want which speed choices.
Well then it looks like I'll be posting a FAQ within the next couple days.

...As far as using hot tweezers to remove the resistors, I guess it’s worth a try, but they would have to be pretty thin tweezers - the resistors are literally no bigger than the tip of a small sewing needle. And I'm not entirely sure how advantageous heating up the tweezers would be in effectively removing the resistors since most standard soldering irons operate at around 800 degrees - so I can't imagine there would be any obvious difference in using hot tweezers or tweezers at room temp... All in all, you are just trying to rip off the resistors anyways.

Also, to bring your Mini to 1.42GHz, a soldering iron is required since the resistor configuration for that particular speed requires that you close an additional circuit (meaning you would have to solder a bridge between 2 of the pins). The configuration for 1.50GHz and 1.58GHz does not require that you close the additional circuit - all you need to do is remove the resistors. So, ironically, it is actually easier to reach 1.50GHz/1.58GHz than it is to reach 1.42GHz, especially if you are an inexperienced solderer.

I do recommend the Cold Heat Soldering Iron (www.coldheat.com) if you are interested in soldering or learning how to solder - you can pick one up at your local radio shack for $20. It is a great tool, especially for beginners.
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falltime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyvn
On the same level, Does anyone happen to know how to overclock the iBook G4? There was a program for the G3, but not G4. I've got the 1.33 GHz model. I've heard this isn't all that hard, but I have NO idea how to do it as I've only tried overclocking with PCs in the past.
Well, its not hard, but its not done with software.

It's very similar to overclocking a Mac Mini - you need to open up your book and remove some 0 Ohm resistors AKA Jumpers to effectively increase the CPU multiplier. I've heard the G4's in the ibooks don't OC as well as the Mac Mini low-power variants.... So in all honesty, I'd say just stick with what you have.
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VakeJ

 
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Yes, please definitely post it!

I've got a quick question, which can be included in your FAQ. I currently own the 1.42 mac mini. If I overclocked the system to 1.5-1.52, is there a noticeable increase in the performance? If so, is the difference significant? Which programs would tend to benefit from this?

Regards,

VakeJ
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repeater75
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Oh, yes and another cool thing would be if you could include something about how to make the "about this mac" or whatever system properties screens report the correct clock speed for the OC'd processor. You indicated in another post that it will default to saying "750 Mhz" because of the non-standard speeds in whatever reference table the OS uses to report clock speed of the processor.
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mynameis

 
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I just looked at those resistors on my mac mini, they are so small, my soldering iron just seems to bulky for something of that precision, I might have to go get a new one.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falltime
...As far as using hot tweezers to remove the resistors, I guess it’s worth a try, but they would have to be pretty thin tweezers - the resistors are literally no bigger than the tip of a small sewing needle. And I'm not entirely sure how advantageous heating up the tweezers would be in effectively removing the resistors since most standard soldering irons operate at around 800 degrees - so I can't image there would be any obvious difference in using hot tweezers or tweezers at room temp... All in all, you are just trying to rip off the resistors anyways.
For what it's worth...when I mention hot tweezers...I'm not talking about the pair your wife or GF plucks her eyebrows with...I'm talking about something similar to THESE. A friend of mine has a pair...not this exact model...but a similar tool. We've used it before to remove components from PCBs in 900Mhz radios...and I'd imagine it do quite well to remove these resistors here as well. But certainly...a steady hand, good lighting, a nice magnifying lens, etc...all make the job much easier.
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falltime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsenerd
For what it's worth...when I mention hot tweezers...I'm not talking about the pair your wife or GF plucks her eyebrows with...I'm talking about something similar to THESE. A friend of mine has a pair...not this exact model...but a similar tool. We've used it before to remove components from PCBs in 900Mhz radios...and I'd imagine it do quite well to remove these resistors here as well. But certainly...a steady hand, good lighting, a nice magnifying lens, etc...all make the job much easier.
Yeah in your other post, I figured that's what you meant... I was mainly referring to Repeaters remark on using his wife's tweezers - while I'm not sure how practical it is, I suppose its worth a try for anyone with limited SMD and soldering experience.
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mcsenerd

 
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Well...I was just trying to clear up any confusion. I'd hate to see someone burn their hand or their PCB using some kinda drug store tweezers heated up by their favorite bic lighter!
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falltime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VakeJ
Yes, please definitely post it!

I've got a quick question, which can be included in your FAQ. I currently own the 1.42 mac mini. If I overclocked the system to 1.5-1.52, is there a noticeable increase in the performance? If so, is the difference significant? Which programs would tend to benefit from this?

Regards,

VakeJ
Well you can only overclock the Mac Mini to specific speeds: 1.42, 1.50, and 1.58. There is no flexibility; you cannot pick a speed in between the defined speeds - the CPU clock multiplies off the unalterable system bus which is why there are significant gaps in the clock speed steps.

I'd say going from 1.42 to 1.58 would bring about a decently noticeable performance increase. You probably wouldn’t observe the increase as much using Office apps, or in just general OS GUI response, but you'd definitely notice the increase in video editing and graphic design apps. I would imagine you would receive a decent FPS gain in games as well.
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repeater75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsenerd
Well...I was just trying to clear up any confusion. I'd hate to see someone burn their hand or their PCB using some kinda drug store tweezers heated up by their favorite bic lighter!
Holy crap, I feel dumb!
This is totally embarassing, but that is pretty much EXACTLY what I envisioned when I read your original post about using "hot tweezers"!!

I am truly laughing at this one. Now I have to show my wife this so she can giggle her little butt off too. I don't know why I'm such a glutton for punishment!

At any rate, I never did a lot of soldering but its never too late to learn! I imagine I'll go for the $20 job that was mentioned from Radio Shack.

I can't wait for the guide!
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