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Don't wait for Apple - upgrade your Intel Mac

DIY a Duo

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There's an upside to Apple's decision to use bog-standard PC chips. Mac owners don't have to wait for the aftermarket to produce custom boards to rev their machines. And they don't have to sit idling in front of roadblocks set up by Apple, either.

No sooner had the single core Mac Mini rolled onto the market, than an enterprising hardware hacker has given it a professional upgrade - using standard Intel chips.

Xtreme Systems MC 'Fugger' has taken a single core 1.5Ghz Mac Mini and given it a dual core upgrade, with a 2.16Ghz chip.

It's not a procedure for the faint hearted, but it's not rocket science either. The Mini's cooling system proved perfectly capable of cooling the dual core chip.

Unfortunately, the Mac Minitel's Achilles heel - its lack of a dedicated graphics card - can't be fixed by opening the box, so until PCI Express video cards arrive, and can be shown to work well, Apple has little to fear from souped-up Minis cannibalizing sales of their more expensive systems.

It's really news you can use in the future. Right now, with a list price of $637, the Duo costs more than a new Mini itself. But when the chip becomes EOLed in 12 to 18 months time, owners will be able to find an upgrade for $200 plus labor.

You can find images and a discussion here at Xtreme Systems. ®

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