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2014 Mac Mini vs 2006 Mac Mini Upgraded Help

 
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arctictundra
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:34 am    Post subject: 2014 Mac Mini vs 2006 Mac Mini Upgraded Help Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

Hope everyone is well.

I'm toying with the idea of buying a new Mac Mini but am not sure whether I would actually be making a positive step or not.

I presently have a original 2006 Mac Mini that I've upgraded to the following:

2.0ghz Core2Duo
120gb SSD drive (replaced the internal superdrive)
750gb Scorpio black hdd
4gb memory (showing as 3gb working memory)
External Blu Ray burner

Its presently running Snow Leopard and as I'm a teacher I use it for Keynote / Powerpoint, Word, iTunes, iPhoto and general surfing mainly. However I've also been converting blu rays to mp4's of late as my Mac Mini gets used as a Plex server to my Google Chromoecast device too. The WiFi on this model is intermittent and sometimes causes problems with slow connection.

The question is, should I:

1) Upgrade the processor to the T7600 SL9SD and stick with my present set-up

or

2) Bite the bullet and buy a new mac mini model - however my budget is around 400 tops (I can get a new 2014 Mac Mini 1.4ghz model for 358 with teacher discount).

Any help would be really, really appreciated guys. I love Snow Leopard but am concerned it may become extinct! I've had the 2006 Mac Mini since 2006 and found it to be fantastic really.

Artictundra
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Fox
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Location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are having wifi issues with your present device, that would be enough to have me looking for an upgrade, even if you can make do with the 2006. You also have a security risk because Snow Leopard is no longer supported. Ironically, you would probably not experience a gain in speed with a new mini because you have installed an SSD in the old one - the 500 gb standard drive in the base 2014 model is a very slow 5400 rpm drive. However, it is upgradable.

An alternative that you might want to consider would be to buy a 2012 model, a refurb, demo or used. This would give you a nice upgrade from your 2006, allow you to install Yosemite or any older supported MacOS, and you could easily install your SSD in it. This is what I did, albeit with a 2012 i7 (mid-level model) replacing a 2011.
_________________
Mini 1 (2012): 2.3 ghz Core i7; 10 gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500 gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8 gb RAM, 500 gb Seagate used as HTPC
Also a 13" MacBook Air, 21.5" i5 iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Manjaro
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arctictundra
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Joined: 28 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fox,

Thanks heaps for the quick reply- it's really appreciated.

Do you think I'd be better off buying a 2012 i7 Mac mini than something a little older? Is this version still able to be upgraded in terms of the hard drive, memory and processor?

Alternatively, is there any way to upgrade my 2006 Mac mini's wifi, if I decide to upgrade to a t7600?

Thanks again!

Arctictundra
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the type of apps you run, I would say that an i7 is overkill. (Actually it was overkill for me.) if you can save 100 by buying an i5, I would suggest you do so. Even a 2011 mini would give you a nice speed bump over your 2006. With regard to upgrading, both the 2011 and 2012 models allow RAM and HD upgrades, and both take 2 drives. But I don't think you can upgrade the processor in either.

The other thing to bear in mind is, that while upgradability is a nice feature, there are limits to the benefit of an upgrade unless one can upgrade the whole motherboard. In your case, the 2006 accepts only a core 2 duo processor, and no core 2 duo upgrade you can do would give you the speed of an i5 of even the first generation, let alone that of a second to fourth generation. Then there is the RAM limit. If I recall correctly, the 2006 can only be upgraded to 4 gb RAM, of which only 3.2 gb are actually used. Then you have the lower spec USB 2 and Firewire 400 ports. Compare these to the 2012 mini, where you have a 3rd generation i5 or i7 processor, Firewire 800 and usb 3 ports, and faster RAM with up to 16 gb supported. You get a little less in a 2011, but having owned one of them and a 2009 mini, I can tell you that the difference is pretty notable.
_________________
Mini 1 (2012): 2.3 ghz Core i7; 10 gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500 gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8 gb RAM, 500 gb Seagate used as HTPC
Also a 13" MacBook Air, 21.5" i5 iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Manjaro
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arctictundra
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Joined: 28 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the kind help and advice Fox.

I'm going to look into the 2012 i5 mini I think; as you say, given what I use the mini for this would save me a lot more money that shelling out for the i7.

Thanks again!
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Fox
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad I could help out. Let us know how you make out, and if you see a mini you want some advice on before buying, feel free to post again. Smile

One other warning to you or anyone else who goes to upgrade the drive in a 2011 or 2012 mini. Follow every step of the OtherWorld Computing video, one step at a time. This is particularly important if you are installing two drives, and have to pull out the motherboard to get the drive doubler in! There is a clip between the chassis and the motherboard that connects the IR and the "on" light. Pull the motherboard out too far before disconnecting and you will pull the wires out of the clip. The clip must be gently pried out from its holder on the motherboard, and if you push up the holder instead of the clip, it will break off. I know because I screwed this up on both my 2011 and 2012; the former by prying off the holder; the latter by pulling out the motherboard too far before dealing with the clip. Fortunately, only my 2011 was affected because after I messed up the 2012, I just changed chasses with the 2011. But it's easy to do if you forget about that clip or charge ahead with the installation too quickly. The impact isn't deadly - you just lose the functioning of the light and the IR, but better not to damage it in the first place.
_________________
Mini 1 (2012): 2.3 ghz Core i7; 10 gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500 gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8 gb RAM, 500 gb Seagate used as HTPC
Also a 13" MacBook Air, 21.5" i5 iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Manjaro
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