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What type of processor and video processor does the original Apple TV use? Can either processor be upgraded?
Officially, Apple only states that the original Apple TV uses an "Intel processor". Apple provided no further information regarding the processor and no information at all regarding the video system.
The video processor easily can be identified by the "NVIDIA" and "GO7300" printed on the chip. The Intel CPU, however, is a bit more challenging to identify as it has limited branding and the numbers provided do not seem to correspond with any provided on the Intel website. With a copyright date of "04" it was obviously not the latest and greatest processor.
The well-respected PC hardware site AnandTech posted a fantastic "unboxing and dissection" with details and speculation regarding the processor and video system. The website noted that the video is in fact a NVIDIA GeForce Go 7300 with "two 32 MB Samsung 700 MHz GDDR3 devices for a total of 64 MB of dedicated graphics memory."
AnandTech determined that none of the Intel processor "markings match up with anything in any of Intel's public databases" but "the North Bridge it was connected to was a Mobile 945G" and "we believe that the Intel CPU in the Apple TV is an Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M based on the Dothan core, running at 1 GHz (max frequency), 400 MHz FSB and a 2 MB L2 cache."
Both the processor and video processor are soldered to the motherboard and cannot be upgraded.
Much like the video processor, Apple provides no official information regarding the memory used by the original Apple TV. However, the same excellent AnandTech "unboxing and dissection" that revealed the processor and video details also noted that this Apple TV has four onboard 64 MB Nanya DDR2 devices "for a total of 256 MB of main memory".
Unfortunately -- particularly for those interested in "hacking" the original Apple TV -- there are no expansion slots so the amount of memory cannot be upgraded beyond the pre-installed 256 MB.