The Mac Mini family was first introduced in January of 2005.

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Mac Mini (circa 2006/2007) upgrade options

I recently discovered 2 Mac Minis in my basement during a purge. These used to be the ones used by my kids eons ago. I'm looking to make them into headless servers (because I'm bored and it's cold outside) but investigating upgrades before I decide. I will mostly likely use them as web development boxes or local file servers.

I couldn't find the DVI to VGA adapters so all the info I have so far is that one is an Intel model (a1176) and the other is a PPC model (a1103). They should be stock as far as RAM, HDD, etc. I lurked about looking for upgrade info and there was some good information but I'm still a little unclear as to what my best options are. Therefore, my questions are as follows:

1) Is there any value to upgrading or repurposing theA1103 or should I just scavenge the storage?

2) Is a motherboard upgrade possible, required, or simply unnecessary?

3) As for the A1176, what is the fastest processor I can safely install? Some of the threads provided conflicting info (one guy had no problems with processor X but another said his box ran excessively hot using same) so I was left confused as to how to use the advice presented.

3a) How much RAM can these babies hold and is there any specific config I should be aware of? For example, don't bother going to 8GB because the architecture can only address 3, etc.

3b) Similarly, are SSDs an option and how much disk space can I realistically hope to expand to?

4) If there are no "stock answers" to the above then what are the critical specs I need to take into consideration for each when trying to identify which motherboards (potentially), processors, RAM, and storage options I should be looking at?

Thanks in advance to you all for your help and guidance.

Rob

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Rob,

1. Ditch the g4, pata drive so salvage the storage is not viable.

2. A1176 will support max T7600 2.33 Ghz

3. 3gb, if you have mini1,1 you can flash to mini2,1 and use 3gb. Dont be fooled by those telling you that you can use 4gb, it is not true. System may report it as 4gb but you can only acces just over 3gb.

3b, yes an ssd works super in these machines but only up to 3gbps rate

Phunguss

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I use a G4 for a music server. I have it hooked up to my big speaker system. It's also hooked up to an old Brother black & white laser printer and prints receipts for incoming machines and shipping labels. Works great. A RAM upgrade my give it a little boost and would be cheap. It matters which A1176 you have. Different processor, different upgrade options. Please give the last three figures of the serial number so I know your exact machine.

UPDATE 12/1/15

Things change, go here: http://www.everymac.com/ultimate-mac-loo...

Put in your full serial number of any Mac product you have to get all the skinny on possible RAM upgrades, what processor and what socket it uses: http://www.everymac.com/ultimate-mac-loo...

Apple Mac mini "Core Duo" 1.66 Specs

Identifiers: Early/Late 2006 - MA206LL/A* - Macmini1,1 - A1176 - 2108

Apple Mac mini G4/1.25 Specs

Identifiers: Mac mini - M9686LL/A* - PowerMac10,1 - A1103 - 2026

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Hi Mayer,

Thank you for responding. Unfortunately, the label is missing on the A1176 and I'm still awaiting delivery of the dvi-vga adapters so I can't check it from the Apple menu. I should have those soon and will provide it as soon as possible. The serial number on the A1103 is YM5080BGRHT (it's a little smudgy so it could be YMS080BGRHT) if that helps with regard to the options for that one.

You seem to be something of a demigod around these parts so I'm very grateful for your input. :-D Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Rob

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Rob, Thanks for the compliment. Am no god, but I do try to stick close to him ;-=) I'm just a Mac lover from the very start and have seen them all and worked on most. Your A1103 has these specs: Apple Mac mini G4/1.25 Specs

Identifiers: Mac mini - M9686LL/A* - PowerMac10,1 - A1103 - 2026

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Hi Mayer,

So a couple of things. First, I found a third Mac Mini so I now have 3 systems to toy with! My home server farm is growing by the day! :D

Here's the info you requested:

1) A1176 #1 - Serial number: RM7330KNW0A

2) A1176 #2 - Serial number: YM80745TYL1

Thanks again, @mayer! I really appreciate any help you can provide with regards to figuring out the answers to the questions in my original post.

Rob

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Hi again,

I've been researching as much as I can to try and understand what it is I'm really talking about here and I think I'm starting to get it. First, 2 of the 3 machines are 32-bit systems (the G4 and the older A1176) so I don't think I'm going to bother repurposing those. This leaves me with just the one 64-bit A1176 which I'll look to upgrade. Now that I understand things a little better (or at least I think I do) it would appear that the following upgrades (totaling about $130) would be what I'm looking at:

1) Upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 2.33 GHz Dual-Core (CPU Socket Type PGA478, Socket 478, Socket 479, Socket M).

2) Upgrade the RAM to 4GB (2 x 2.0GB PC5300 DDR2 667MHz 200 Pin).

3) Upgrade the HDD to 60GB Mercury Electra 3G 2.5-inch 7mm SATA 3.0Gb/s Solid-State Drive.

So my questions now are:

1) Is that the absolute fastest CPU I can add to my A1176?

2) I keep reading that the only 3GB of the 4GB RAM might be addressable? Is this correct? If so, why and can this be corrected with an EFI upgrade?

3) Am I making a mistake with the SSD? Should I just go traditional HDD and get more space? For my purposes I want fast boot and OS (and MAMP) performance. I can add external USB storage and live with the USB performance hit I'll take for it.

I appreciate any guidance and input you guys can provide.

Thanks.

Rob

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> 3GB of the 4GB RAM might be addressable? Is this correct?

Yes. Been there, did that.

> If so, why

01 Apple wants you to buy a _new_ computer.

02 GOTO 1

> and can this be corrected with an EFI upgrade?

Haven't seen anyone say yes to that.

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Hank, Love your zeal! But, this is a very old question. How about focusing on the newer ones.

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Rob G will be eternally grateful.
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