Mac mini G4 - speeding things up & making it more beautiful
  • Cocoon
    Cocoon
    pikewerfer
    Posts: 43 from 2021/7/9
    Hi guys,

    I am looking at my Mac mini G4 - nice machine. But too slow. And also ugly. I want to do something about it.

    Naturally, looks first! The sides are nice and silvery and can stay that way. But the top has this very ugly, whitish top with the Apple symbol. I would like to open up this Mac and replace this top with a different cover. Preferably one with a MorphOS logo. Does anyone know of any options?

    Is there anything else one can do to make the G4 mini more beautiful?


    Then RAM. Seems like I have 1GB. Now, I heard I could go no further. Sad. How about adding RAM via USB - using Virtual Memory? Is that possible?


    How about the hard disk? I heard you could replace it with an SSD mSATA using an IDE adapter. Has anyone tried this? I assume it makes the system more responsive.


    I also know that it is possible to overclock the Mac mini from 1.25 to 1.5 GHZ. Did anyone try this? I am not good at soldering but would pay for it. :-)


    What else have I missed? Ideas?
    Mac Mini 1.25 GHZ, 1 GB RAM, MorphOS 3.17
  • »12.05.22 - 14:43
    Profile
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    koszer
    Posts: 1161 from 2004/2/8
    From: Poland
    Quote:

    pikewerfer wrote:
    Hi guys,

    I am looking at my Mac mini G4 - nice machine. But too slow. And also ugly. I want to do something about it.

    Naturally, looks first! The sides are nice and silvery and can stay that way. But the top has this very ugly, whitish top with the Apple symbol. I would like to open up this Mac and replace this top with a different cover. Preferably one with a MorphOS logo. Does anyone know of any options?


    Changing the "lid" would not be so easy, as it's (AFAIR) glued-and-bolted in place. It would be far easier to remove the top casing (the metal sides plus acrylic top) and have it painted with whatever design you like.

    Quote:

    Then RAM. Seems like I have 1GB.


    And that's maximum for this machine.

    Quote:

    How about adding RAM via USB - using Virtual Memory? Is that possible?


    Never heard of any method to add more RAM to Mac Mini (especially with MorphOS).

    Quote:

    How about the hard disk? I heard you could replace it with an SSD mSATA using an IDE adapter. Has anyone tried this? I assume it makes the system more responsive.


    You can surely do that. And yes, it makes the system much more responsive. But do not expect miracles - the data is still being pushed through IDE interface.

    Quote:

    I also know that it is possible to overclock the Mac mini from 1.25 to 1.5 GHZ. Did anyone try this? I am not good at soldering but would pay for it. :-)


    This can actually be done. And requires re-soldering some resistors on the PCB. You can find detailed info on how to do this here.
  • »12.05.22 - 15:12
    Profile
  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    sailor
    Posts: 245 from 2019/5/9
    From: Central Bohemi...
    Quote:

    pikewerfer wrote:
    Hi guys,
    How about the hard disk? I heard you could replace it with an SSD mSATA using an IDE adapter. Has anyone tried this? I assume it makes the system more responsive.

    Yes, I have in my Mini I have 44-pin IDE -> mSATA adapter + mSATA SSD

    Quote:

    pikewerfer wrote:
    I also know that it is possible to overclock the Mac mini from 1.25 to 1.5 GHZ. Did anyone try this? I am not good at soldering but would pay for it. :-)

    I overclocked my Mini from 1.5 GHz to 1.83 GHz. Generally it is possible. Top frequency depends of your real CPU - you have to remove heatsink and see the exact markings. CPU 7447A is less capable of overclocking than 7447B. And I read somewhere, that 1.42 GHz and 1.5 GHz versions have better cooler, but I cannot confirm this, because I have only 1.5 version.
    Look at link that kozser sent. Also on obligement.free.fr is another article.
    If you will be patient enough, I will write during few weeks an article about Mac Mini updates.

    Quote:

    pikewerfer wrote:
    What else have I missed? Ideas?

    Clean the fan and heatsink, and you can put your Mini on little stands for better cooling of bottom side. Bottom side serves as cooler for builtin GPU.
    And you can connect external storage via FireWire - there are some in Mac Mini design (Iomega MinMax, and G-technology )
    You cannot do much more - it is a Mini ;-)
    AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOneX1000
    MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook G4, Mac Mini, iMac G5, Powermac G5 Quad
  • »12.05.22 - 15:39
    Profile
  • Butterfly
    Butterfly
    Flash
    Posts: 86 from 2019/11/1
    For MacMini I suggest you to find a silent upgrade to 1,5GHz and 64mb ram gfx board.
  • »12.05.22 - 15:41
    Profile Visit Website
  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    sailor
    Posts: 245 from 2019/5/9
    From: Central Bohemi...
    @Flash
    I totally agree. I have problems even with 64MB VRAM. I am used to open own fullHD sreen for every main application ;-)
    AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOneX1000
    MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook G4, Mac Mini, iMac G5, Powermac G5 Quad
  • »12.05.22 - 16:02
    Profile
  • Moderator
    Kronos
    Posts: 2055 from 2003/2/24
    Quote:

    koszer wrote:


    Changing the "lid" would not be so easy, as it's (AFAIR) glued-and-bolted in place. It would be far easier to remove the top casing (the metal sides plus acrylic top) and have it painted with whatever design you like.





    Well it has been a decade (give or take) since my 1st Mini and I just kicked out the plastic top replaced it with piece of acrylic (was some work to grind it to a perfect fit) and placed a printed out MophOS-butterly behind it.

    Look good at 0.5m or more.
  • »12.05.22 - 19:01
    Profile
  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    Zylesea
    Posts: 2027 from 2003/6/4
    Quote:

    koszer schrieb:


    You can surely do that. And yes, it makes the system much more responsive. But do not expect miracles - the data is still being pushed through IDE interface.



    But it's close to miracles, the ide controller used in the mini seems to be done pretty well . My ide adapter mSATA Kingston ssd comes really close to the IDE theoreticall maximum. For comparison: the Kingston ssd (of coure another model, but similar leage of the mSATA model used in my mini and pb) in my iMac G5 does not yield better speeds.


    To make it short: the ssd replacement is pretty easy to do , most el cheapo ide2mSATA adapters seem to work, the original hdds are slow and generally old anyway. The replacement is very well spent money and time.
    --
    http://www.via-altera.de

    Whenever you're sad just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.
    ...and Matthias , my friend - RIP
  • »12.05.22 - 21:51
    Profile Visit Website