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Upgrading CPU on older Mac Mini

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December 9, 2012 3:31:00 AM

I have an older 2006 Mac Mini with a 1.66 GHz Core Duo processor. I want to swap it out for a faster Core 2 Duo. I read online that it is possible to swap the processor to a Core 2 Duo. However, I am not sure which specific models of the Core 2 Duo work.

Here is the article I was reading http://www.o0o.it/mini/

My guess is that all Core 2 Duo processors would work. But I'm not sure if there would be any issues with the different sockets. Some say socket m, and some are socket p.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_micro...

Does anyone know if there is any difference between socket p and socket m? also would high FSB cause problems with any? thanks in advance
December 9, 2012 4:50:46 AM

The last CPU made compatible with the socket M (both physically and electrically) is the T7600 made in 2007.

AFAIK there are no compatible CPU's on the market.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_M
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December 9, 2012 2:38:08 PM

photonboy said:
The last CPU made compatible with the socket M (both physically and electrically) is the T7600 made in 2007.

AFAIK there are no compatible CPU's on the market.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_M

So basically any of the Socket M processors will work, but not the Socket P?
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December 10, 2012 10:43:55 AM

rjackowens said:
So basically any of the Socket M processors will work, but not the Socket P?


What I've told you is that the last compatible (Socket M) CPU made was in 2007. You won't be able to buy one now.

There are processors that are physically compatible (pins fit) but not electrically compatible (different voltage, so won't function).

There's simply no way to upgrade your computer.
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December 10, 2012 10:49:30 AM

There are loads of T7600 on eBay. (Not that I think it's an upgrade worth doing.)
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December 10, 2012 12:04:43 PM

Ijack said:
There are loads of T7600 on eBay. (Not that I think it's an upgrade worth doing.)


Wow, I never thought they'd still be around. I saw this linked from Wikipedia too:
http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-Mac-mini-Model-A...

The other important detail is WHY is he doing this upgrade?
Gaming would mostly be bottlenecked by the GPU, and general multi-tasking is often a product of the RAM amount and Hard Drive.

If he wants snappier loading times for programs and the Operating System a better upgrade would likely be swapping the Hard Drive for an SSD.

Also, if it's for PLAYING VIDEO, there are better media players that can hardware accelerate the video. I'm not familiar with the GPU he has or what's available for OSX however.

This might be the best MEDIA PLAYER:
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

*Media players can use GPU hardware acceleration to offload CPU usage, but only if it is available. I recently used a 2006 Mac (all-in-one) and it stuttered playing video because the CPU was underpowered. I didn't try installing VLC however.

In VLC, there's an option to enable hardware acceleration. If video is stuttering, maybe try that and see if it helps. It's possible however that the GPU has no support for that like most/all do now.
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December 10, 2012 12:18:26 PM

Don't try to open these things up. They are a nightmare.
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December 10, 2012 4:49:24 PM

Thanks everyone for your help. The reason I wanted to upgrade would be because I just wanted a little performance boost. But I am not sure how much of a boost it would give me. Is it hard to replace the hard drive for a SSD? Is it even worth the money? Thanks!
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Best solution

December 10, 2012 4:50:28 PM

Putting in an SSD is pretty much the biggest upgrade ever.

Until you've tried it you will never know. Everything is more responsive. it's like a new machine.
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December 10, 2012 5:04:16 PM

darth pravus said:
Putting in an SSD is pretty much the biggest upgrade ever.

Until you've tried it you will never know. Everything is more responsive. it's like a new machine.

I have heard that it will speed up a 5 year old computer to be "brand new" again. Is it worth it to try to put one in my Mini? How do you know which ones are compatible?
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December 10, 2012 5:06:57 PM

Assuming the mac mini has a sata connection then pretty much any SSD will work
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December 10, 2012 5:37:19 PM

darth pravus said:
Assuming the mac mini has a sata connection then pretty much any SSD will work

Ok thanks. I think it has a Sata connection. I think that is what I will do then. Just get a SSD instead of upgrading the CPU. Thanks again everybody for the help!
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December 10, 2012 5:37:56 PM

Best answer selected by rjackowens.
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December 10, 2012 5:55:33 PM

rjackowens said:
I have heard that it will speed up a 5 year old computer to be "brand new" again. Is it worth it to try to put one in my Mini? How do you know which ones are compatible?


The "performance boost" depends on what you need improved. As I've said above:

1) Gaming performance won't be affected much as the Graphics portion will bottleneck things.

2) If Video stuttering is an issue that IS your CPU, however VLC with hardware acceleration MAY help. Simply test this.

3) If BOOT TIMES, closing/opening programs feel sluggish then this is primarily caused by your Hard Drive so yes an SSD will help (insufficient RAM can also contribute).

It sounds like you really just want an SSD.

*Read this:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=632512

Which one?
First determine the Capacity that you need. It's approximately $1 per Gigabyte, so if you need a 256GB model it might not be worth it to upgrade an old Mac Mini for $200. If 120GB is sufficient they can be found for roughly $100.

Not all models are recommended. Good models include:
- OCZ Vertex 4
- Crucial M4
- Intel 330
- Samsung 840

If in doubt, pick the cheapest one of these, upgrade the firmware, then CLONE your HDD to the SDD. I can't recommend specific cloning software since I don't use Mac. If it's easy to reinstall OSX that might be better.
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December 10, 2012 6:46:22 PM

photonboy said:
The "performance boost" depends on what you need improved. As I've said above:

1) Gaming performance won't be affected much as the Graphics portion will bottleneck things.

2) If Video stuttering is an issue that IS your CPU, however VLC with hardware acceleration MAY help. Simply test this.

3) If BOOT TIMES, closing/opening programs feel sluggish then this is primarily caused by your Hard Drive so yes an SSD will help (insufficient RAM can also contribute).

It sounds like you really just want an SSD.

*Read this:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=632512

Which one?
First determine the Capacity that you need. It's approximately $1 per Gigabyte, so if you need a 256GB model it might not be worth it to upgrade an old Mac Mini for $200. If 120GB is sufficient they can be found for roughly $100.

Not all models are recommended. Good models include:
- OCZ Vertex 4
- Crucial M4
- Intel 330
- Samsung 840

If in doubt, pick the cheapest one of these, upgrade the firmware, then CLONE your HDD to the SDD. I can't recommend specific cloning software since I don't use Mac. If it's easy to reinstall OSX that might be better.

Thanks again for your help. I think upgrading the hard drive to a SSD is a great idea. I don't need much storage, just use the Mini as a machine for movies and web surfing. I probably wil get an OCZ Vertext 4 128 GB. It is rather expensive, but it will really prolong the life of an older machine.
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