Adding VRAM to a Mac Mini?
November 2, 2005 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to add more VRAM to a Mac Mini?
posted by Tlogmer to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Not that I've heard, though the upgraded ones that Apple is now unofficially shipping do have 64 MB instead of 32 MB.
posted by smackfu at 5:29 PM on November 2, 2005

Best answer: No. The VRAM is soldered onto the board.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:50 PM on November 2, 2005

Response by poster: Bah. So much for Civilization 4. (I couldn't really afford it anyway.)
posted by Tlogmer at 6:51 PM on November 2, 2005

The Mac mini motherboard does actually have blank space on the motherboard for extra chips, but they're surface mount BGA so you'd never be able to solder them by hand, and it probably wouldn't work if you did.
posted by cillit bang at 6:51 PM on November 2, 2005

Best answer: because of the BGA packaging. BGA stands for Ball Grid Array and is, literally, small blobs of solder on the underside of the chip that melt and solder themselves to the pads on the board. it's not like a surface-mount DIP package like older RAM/etc. used; you basically have to reheat the board to get the solder to melt and do it while not affecting anything else. this page from Agilent even has a nice picture (though it's pretty technical). if you've got a video card or other board that's got the RAM chips that look like discrete black squares hotglued to the board, then you've got some examples of BGA chips.
posted by mrg at 8:15 PM on November 2, 2005

Civ 4 isn't out for the Mac until Febuary '06 anyway. Plenty of time to upgrade to that G5!
posted by xmutex at 9:43 PM on November 2, 2005

xmutex does have a point - Mac minis have a relatively decent resale value. Or just buy the G5 and keep the mini around as a server (seriously.... at my work, we're running whole bunch of Applescript powered FileMaker and Illustrator automation on Minis.)
posted by nathan_teske at 10:00 PM on November 2, 2005

Response by poster: Plenty of time to upgrade to that G5!


I should probably get a job.
posted by Tlogmer at 1:34 AM on November 3, 2005

I just ended up buying a PowerBook 17" (not arrived yet!) because of the Mac Mini's few downsides (slow drive, no CoreImage support, no memory over 1GB).. and the ability to take it out on the road.

A Mac Mini with CoreImage support, 2GB RAM, and a 100GB 7200RPM drive would have suited me, alas.. and, no, the PowerMac G5 is no good, it's gigantic, gaudy, and noisy. :-(
posted by wackybrit at 9:41 AM on November 3, 2005

By the way, Civilization IV for PC is about half the price, out already, and.. you can throw together a PC that could run it for less than a Mac Mini.

I'm a bit of a Mac zealot, but still keep a PC around for "essentials" like this ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 10:48 AM on November 3, 2005

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