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Mac mini G4 Q&A - Updated March 10, 2007

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Is the CPU on the Mac mini G4 upgradable? How is it mounted?

The diagram on page 16 of the Apple's Developers Note -- as well as photographs from Mini-ITX -- show that the processor on the Mac mini G4 is mounted directly to the motherboard. Consequently, it is not feasible to upgrade the processor.

How do you upgrade the RAM in the Mac mini G4 models? How much RAM of what type do these systems support?

All Mac mini G4 models support a single 184-pin PC2700 (333 MHz) DDR SDRAM memory module. From January 11, 2005 to July 26, 2005, the Mac mini G4 systems shipped with 256 MB of RAM, and from July 26, 2005 until February 28, 2006 -- when the series was discontinued -- the Mac mini G4 systems shipped standard with 512 MB of RAM. Each of the Mac mini G4 models can be upgraded to 1.0 GB of RAM by installing a single 1.0 GB memory module.

Apple notes that the memory in the Mac mini is only to be upgraded by an "Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider". Consequently, EveryMac.com does not advise self-installation contrary to Apple's recommendation. Given the small and densely packed nature of the Mac mini G4 this is not the ideal system to upgrade yourself without previous experience upgrading the RAM in similar systems.

However, site sponsor Other World Computing provides an excellent video instruction guide covering memory installation, and iFixit has a great step-by-step walkthrough as well.

Site sponsor Other World Computing sells RAM, hard drives, and optical drives that are compatible with the Mac mini G4. If you do not feel comfortable upgrading the Mac mini G4 yourself, the company also offers an inexpensive and convenient "upgrade by mail" service.

How do you upgrade or replace the hard drive in the Mac mini G4? What type of hard drive does the Mac mini support?

Officially, Apple only revealed that the Mac mini G4 models shipped with a 40 GB or 80 GB hard drive. All are 2.5" Ultra ATA/100. Most were configured with a Toshiba 4200 RPM hard drive, but several readers reported that their Mac mini G4 arrived with a Seagate 5400 RPM hard drive, so components vary somewhat.

Apple does not recommend that individuals attempt to upgrade the hard drive or other internal components themselves. Consequently, EveryMac.com does not advise self-installation contrary to Apple's recommendation.

However, site sponsor Other World Computing provides an excellent video instruction guide covering hard drive installation (as well as memory and the optical drive), and iFixit has a great step-by-step walkthrough as well.

Site sponsor Other World Computing sells RAM, hard drives, and optical drives that are compatible with the Mac mini G4. If you do not feel comfortable upgrading the Mac mini G4 yourself, the company also offers an inexpensive and convenient "upgrade by mail" service.

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