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Mac Mini 2011 build!

Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Macbook Air
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz
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Nvidia 340m
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Classic Mac
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Ok so I am defiantly going to need a way to ground the case as the case currently has no electrical connection to ground... It looks as though the H81T/CSM has an internal power connector that is a direct line to the DC converter powering the entire pc. I am thinking of using that connectors ground and running a ground wire to one of the 3 bottom plate mounting screws.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Macbook Air
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz
Graphics
Nvidia 340m
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Classic Mac
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Geekbench 3 results!! (32 bit version)

Based on these results from the 32bit version I am matching the 2.6Ghz i5 mac mini model. That models MSRP is $799.... My mini is about $550.
 

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Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Macbook Air
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz
Graphics
Nvidia 340m
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Classic Mac
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Prime95 torture test completed to test out my fan tuning. With the fan set to a custom silent mode, after 5 min of prime95 CPU temps where around 65c. At this point the CPU started to throttle. Temperature remained at 65c +- 1c while the cpu dropped to a stable core clock of 2.4GHz. Not bad at all with a silent fan tune! Internal ambient air stays at about 45c with the ssd at that same temp.

One thing that I have noticed is that HWmonitor is rather inaccurate.... It consistently reads 10-15 degrees above BIOS. I am inclined to trust the BIOS over HWmonitor.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
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H87-D3H
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i7-4770
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HD5850
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Hi zackmd1. On my rigs I usually use Zalman ZM-STG1 because it works great and you can apply the thermal grease with a brush.
On the instruction I can read "After application, approximatively 7 days of regular computer use will give optimal performance". Maybe the same with your thermal grease :).

If your fan has 4 wires maybe you can use PWM management from your BIOS to increase the speed of the fan automatically when the temperature rises up ?

Have fun
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Macbook Air
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz
Graphics
Nvidia 340m
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Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
I am currently using the manual control on the asus Q fan settings in the BIOS to control the fan! Thanks for the tip on the thermal compound. I am considering adapting a heatpipe cooler from a laptop with a 35watt processor to see if I can bring the temps down some. I think my biggest issue is that I have no way to really exhaust the hot air from the case. If I had more room to add a case fan to exhaust air out the bottom then I think I can bring my internal temps along with the CPU temps down. The issues with the heat pipe coolers are that they seem to actually run hotter then what I have currently. It looks as though my temps are actually fairly normal for this type of application.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
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Motherboard
Macbook Air
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Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz
Graphics
Nvidia 340m
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I might be able to use the mac mini 2010 heatpipe and cpu fan! The 2010 heatpipe is slightly different from the 2011 and up models as the 2010 had to handle cooling both the 25watt core 2 duo and the 320m which from my research consumes 23watts max. If I can manage to fit the heatsink with the fan in the case I will create an adapter plate (likely out of copper) to adapt the heatpipe to an LGA 115x pattern.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Macbook Air
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Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz
Graphics
Nvidia 340m
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Ok just purchased a 2010 mac mini heatsink for $12! The plan is to augment the current copper heatsink with the heatpipe and then use a mac mini fan in place of the macbook pro 13 fan. I will have to hollow out the center of the current heatsink to mount the heatpipe. The fan will then sit to the side blowing onto the heatpipe heatsink and exit out the side of the case. Pic below shows basic idea.
 

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Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Macbook Air
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz
Graphics
Nvidia 340m
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Have not updated in awhile but here is the progress so far! The new tray is in and fits pretty well! Still not quite correct (of course apple had to pick a very odd dimension for the cases rounded edges) but it is close enough! My current project has been trying to internalize the wifi antennas.... What a pain in the a** that is.... I have settled on having one antenna placed right under the apple logo while having another external for the time being. I am working on getting an actual mac mini antenna plate to try and internalize the last antenna. Until then I am using ethernet.

For cooling I am planning on just adding in the mac mini's 12v fan for the cpu and just using the MBP fan as a secondary case fan.
 

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Joined
Jan 20, 2016
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Hey Zackmd1,

I gotta know, how much was your Shapeways custom rear panel/motherboard tray and Mac mini cover, and what is the easiest way to get one?

OK, now thats outta the way.... Love your build!
 
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Joined
Oct 25, 2014
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Asus H97I-Plus Mini-ITX
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Intel Core i7 4790T
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Galaxy GeForce 750 Ti 2GB
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Hi Zackmd1,

Great build and craftsmanship! I too am interested in your Shapeways custom rear panel/motherboard tray and Mac Mini bottom cover. I looked up your profile on Shapeways, but I only see the bottom cover for sale. Any chance the rear panel could be made available? How easy would it be to modify to fit the port layout of another motherboard (I have the Gigabyte GA-H170TN in mind)?

Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work!
 
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