Mac Mini Upgrade

We are great fans of Apple OSX operating system, computer hardware and devices. Here in the Cleveley Dynamic office, we have a Mac Mini (Late 2014 Model, which was the previous refresh and is only a couple of years old…) and it’s now time to give it a new solid state drive (SSD) as ours only came with the slow mechanical drive.

Step 1: Clone the old drive onto the new SSD this took around 2 hours. Not joking about how slow that mechanical drive is!

Step 2: Everything needs to come out of the case! A Mac Mini is a very compact system and they are not joking about the mini part. Apple is renowned for it hardware design, and this is no different. The design of the internal fixtures and fittings is really nice and the machine is a pleasure to work on, even if it takes some time to figure out how everything fits together.

Here is the system with just the drive left in it. The power supply, cooling system and main logic board are all removed from the Aluminium case.

Once everything was out, we decided to renew the thermal compound on the CPU as well. Whilst it wont massively boost performance it will help to keep the CPU running faster for longer because the cooling system will be running at maximum efficiency, and the CPU can turbo boost for longer.

CPU cooler removed, and waiting for cleaning.

Close up of the CPU package on the motherboard.
Old drive removed….

Step 3: Time to reassemble the machine and give it a test!! Success and the machine is back up and running. You can really feel the difference between an old mechanical drive and a new ultra fast Solid State Drive. This is probably the single largest performance boost available to any computer running a mechanical drive. You definitely feel the difference…

Interested in getting more out of your equipment? Why not contact us and see what we can do for you?

The Blame Game

We have all done it, blamed the software and made comments like “My OS (Windows or Mac OSX) is running slow, the software i need to use is running soooo slow, it’s driving me nuts! Why can’t they write software that actually just works!!!”
Well sometimes it’s not the fault of the software. I had a call from a client last week with almost that exact same complaint. The problem was the computer was struggling to start Windows let alone complete any tasks. The machine was needing some simple hardware upgrades anyway, so we duly picked up the computer and brought it back to Dynamic Central to have a look and see what is going on.

Once back on the bench we tried to start the machine and it actually managed to crawl into Windows. Ok thats a good start no disk issues! First part of the start up seemed to work fine, but then performance drops to zero. Right, I have an idea of what is going on here, time to take the side of the computer and explore the internals. After pretty much 25 years in computers I have come across these symptoms before. Just as I thought, the temperature of the processor is incredible. Just to touch in that area was painful it was so hot. Problem here is not a software issue, but the computer and its ventilation is clogged up with muck!

A computer relies on a healthy air flow to keep vital components cool. The problem here is all the air flow is being blocked so the computer was working on start up when everything was cold but once it heated up and could not get any cooling it was just stopping or running super slow.

So, before upgrading any components in this system, we are going to have to strip everything and clean it out, and get it back to woking order.

A hoover of the case, cleaning out the processor cooler and fans later, we now have a speedy system that starts up perfectly and runs really stable. Now where did I put that new graphics accelerator and solid state drive? Time to upgrade this workstation.

If your machine(s) are slow, why not get us to take a look at it? Maybe its not your software…