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Thread: Apple Core Solo to Core Duo upgrade.

  1. #1
    Xtreme Owner FUGGER's Avatar
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    Apple Core Solo to Core Duo upgrade.



    Apple Mini Mac Core Solo:
    1.5Ghz single core Intel mobile CPU
    512MB DDR2 SODIMM, Micron D9 based 667Mhz 5-5-5-15<a href="http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/marketing/detail/0,1081,678,00.html">
    <FONT COLOR="blue">60GB SATA hard drive Seagate Technologies</FONT></a>
    Model Number:ST96812AS
    Capacity:60 GB
    Speed:5400 rpm
    Seek time:12.5 ms avg
    Interface:SATA 1.5Gb/s
    Matsheeta CD-RW Model 8124
    Intel ICH7-M ACHI 1.5G
    Intel High Definition Audio
    Bluetooth
    Firewire 400MB/s
    108G Airport Extreme
    Intel GMA 950 onboard graphics 64MB shared
    USB 4 ports built in, one high speed.



    Parts to be Installed:
    Intel Yonah 2.16 Core Duo
    1GB Centon DDR2 Elpida based.

    <img src="http://fugger.netfirms.com/box.jpg">

    I picked up an Apple Mini Mac for $599 and Fry's Electronics today. It was the low end unit with plans to swap out some of the guts for a mega upgrade that would be an unavailable configuration from Apple.

    For those with access to Yonah chips or prefer to purchase from an online retailer but did not have a platform to run it on, this is very cool interim machine to check out.

    The motherboard is an Intel Napa. It uses SODIMM and supports up to 2GB of DDR2 ram. It also run in dual channel mode as long as you keep DIMM's matched.

    You have no ability to manually adjust memory timing but it will uphold SPD information like a champ.

    I did some research into breaking the Apple spirit and getting windows operational and I know it will be possible based on depth of Apple protection.




    The case is held together with about 30 plastic clips on the bottom. These clips are pretty tough to get worked apart without hurting the case appearance. The most common method for case removal is a putty knife but this will leave bad scars on the case. I would suggest researching the wire method for case opening. It is very clean and takes the same amount of time.



    Once you get the case open it will take you a few minutes of spinning the thing around to figure out how to take it apart. Look for four black screws at the base of the black plastic CD/HD bracket. The four holes are show in this image at all four corners.





    You will see a lot of little black connectors at the rear of the CDROM, leave these alone as they can stay on and the whole assembly comes out.



    There is two antennas mounted to the top of the CDROM, carefully lift on the smaller one and it pops off, the larger has two clips from the underside that squeeze together and it will lift off very easily.

    Once those two parts are clear there is the one more connector at the front of the CDROM you need to be careful with when you lift the drives out. Undo that clip and the drives are free.



    You should be looking at the system board, the north bridge and CPU covered by separate heat sinks and the two ram slots. You will need to remove the motherboard to remove the CPU heat sink. The screw is located at the front corner with a taller spacer screw with hex top, it has a chrome finish and should be easy to spot.

    Carefully clear the front edge and pull it out. Nothing on the back panel prevents the motherboard from being removed, just be careful of metal shielding.

    The south bridge is located on the backside of the motherboard and has a thick piece of thermal interface material stuck to the bottom side of the case, remember this when pulling out or reinstalling the motherboard not to mess it up.



    Once the motherboard is out, flip it over and locate the plastic tabs that hold down the CPU bracket. Squeeze them and it will pop off. I highly suggest using one hand to hold heat sink level as it can and will flop to one side with possible damage to core edges. The same goes for reassembly. You will also see a small connector for a thermal diode attached to the underside of the heat sink once you have it loose, remove the clip if you want to remove it completely.

    With the CPU exposed, clean off the thermal interface material. It is black in color and feels like tar.

    I picked the Core Solo Mac version to show that all models are the same, it would just need a CPU swap. Like all Intel motherboards, memory selection is not an issue as this will accept pretty much any speed or timing SODIMM you put in it. I will be testing with Samsung and 1GB modules as well.

    I am very happy to see high definition audio onboard as well as all the other features available on this low end model.

    Two more upgrades may be planned, the HD to 200+ GB and DVD-RW drives are a bit less than optimal but will surely get the job done at the current price point of $599

    I have a new camera that will be here Monday with an uber macro lens. I will update with PLL and finer board shots.





    <a href="http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=91459">
    <FONT COLOR="blue">Discussion can be found an XtremeSystems Forums</FONT></a>
    Last edited by FUGGER; 03-07-2006 at 09:09 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Wow! Top job!

    Out of interest, thermally how much change do you see?

    P.s. is that a thermistor on the heatsink?



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    You copied forum code so you've got a url= /url link Might wanna change that!

    So what temps are being reported?



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    Xtreme Owner FUGGER's Avatar
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    Still posting more images, work in progress.
    Intel 6700K Overclocked
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  5. #5
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    Haha, beautiful stuff.

    I think I'll get one too
    In short, both AMD and NVIDIA discovered that their next-generation graphics cards are superior to each others' last-generation graphics cards.

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    Nice find there Fugger
    Can't wait to see T2600 in action.

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    no put some xfire /sli action and ln2 or cascade and have fun :P
    Incoming new computer after 5 long years

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    What are the SPD timings of the new Centons?

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    Xtreme Owner FUGGER's Avatar
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    Those are 4-4-4-15, I have D9 with tight timing, the Elpida's were available (at home).

    I brought all my SODIMM's home and yet to finish my run through as I am still screwing around with getting Windows XP running.

    The CPU socket holes are the same as say, a DFI 915GME so that heatsink would fit nicely without the fan (case closed)

    Ill post some pics, might give you a better idea how much testing I do.
    Last edited by FUGGER; 03-05-2006 at 06:25 AM.
    Intel 6700K Overclocked
    ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme
    ASUS GTX Titan
    16GB Kingston 3466 HOT AFR
    Intel 750 SSD 1.2TB
    Thermaltake 1500W
    Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate

    Intel 6950X ES
    Asus Rampage V Extreme
    Asus GTX 780
    32GB Galax 4000C12 HOF
    Intel 750 SSD 1.2TB
    Thermaltake 1500W
    Dimas Benchtable

  10. #10
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    Good joob FUGGER! Waiting for WinXP results!

  11. #11
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    Awesome job Fugger, that was one of my big question before getting one of those screamers.

    Have you tested the core solo mac? If so do you know if it's enough for everyday use (surf, mail, pics, music, video,...) and is capable of running HD video without frame drop ?

    ps : I've given the link to a french website

    edit : you should change the HDD by a 7200rpm model and after that the mini will really shine
    Last edited by antipop; 03-05-2006 at 07:39 AM.
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    may we see the scheme of that spd-reprogrammer?

    btw gj on mac modding!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by leviathan18
    no put some xfire /sli action and ln2 or cascade and have fun :P
    You cannot sadly change the vid card on this machine, we must wait for the new powermac to do this. But LN2 can be doable, however don't expect to have a bios with multi settings on a mac. OC are done the old hard way by removing and soldering resistors.

    I think we'll have some fun with those machines.

    Fugger will you try to oc it? Heat might be an issue in such a small case. I'm also interested to know if the cpu is stable and not overheating
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    Xtreme Owner FUGGER's Avatar
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    I do not have spd programmer, I am close to manufacture to where they will build what I need.

    I have DDR2 to SODIMM adapters, I can test SODIMM in P5WD2-E.

    It has a pretty good fan on it, upgrading the heatsink to copper is very possible since the mounting is standard. It would be very easy to install a water block and run the water lines out the air duct in the back of it.

    This block fits, even a gimpy water rig is more than enough on this cpu.
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    Slayer X
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    Congrats! Amazing work there! This should make many people very happy! I am hoping that the OS is somehow linked to the CPU and a cpu switch could give XP access - but maybe that isn't even needed.

    Looking forward for your further results!

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    http://digg.com/apple/Mac_Mini_upgra..._Duo_Processor

    the front page was going really slow (turns out my torrents were just roaring) so i pulled up digg to see if somebody had dugg this page or the front page.

    Fugger....prepare for server rapeage.

  17. #17
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    I hate you Fugger, your article cracked all my barrier and I just order a core solo mac mini (with superdrive and 1Gb of ram) waiting for the price of the duo to fall a bit before upgrading it.
    This is all your fault

    Anyway, I posted on a French website that you were the first to try a cpu change on the mini and they put on the front page
    http://www.macbidouille.com/news/2006-03-05/#12452
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    oh hell....you made macrumors too. The server is dead.....a good and bad thing at the same time.

    good luck with the project fugger!

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    You made it everywhere Charles!

    Now we cant read XS, the server is just o laggy

  20. #20
    Xtreme Owner FUGGER's Avatar
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    I moved images off site, a little better.

    We have exceeded our previous record of online people.
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    Excellent job at keeping things up! I was expecting it to be completely gone. It is functioning perfectly....just a little slow.

    Wow 2,766 that is HUGE. I bet that will be topped a little later tonight as well.

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    goodbye server!

    wish i had the money...woulda been way ahead of ya

  23. #23
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    I know this is dumb to bring up...

    but, from looking at apples website, you can get the solo for $600 and the duo 1.66 for $800.

    the 1.66 at newegg costs $250 + Shipping and time to mod.
    that brings the final cost to about $60 more, then it would cost to just buy a $800 Duo from Apple.

    so it's not always gonna be the best idea to go that route, if you want to be cheap about it.

    from what I see, this seems to offer the option of using CPU's that Apple doesn't currently offer as a upgrade right?




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    i cant see pictures, this was an awsome threat

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    Can't see the pics

    GJ fugger

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