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View Full Version : Debating Between Last Gen. Mac Mini & Old Macbook




alexanderdlarge
Aug 15, 2010, 08:40 AM
Hi, i'm in college and have my own little set up that includes a 47" LCD screen and i often hook up my macbook pro i7 to it and love it, however i would like to find an option for a dedicated machine just for media for that will be hooked up to it all the time.
I am debating between a 2.26 ghz last generation mac mini and a used 2.0Ghz intel core 2 duo macbook (old white one and used) the difference in price isn't a big deal to me but I simply think the macbook is more practical for me at this time I wanted to know if the macbook be able to handle it? I'm pretty certain that it has a GMA 950 graphics card which I know isn't the best but i won't be watching many media files at all that are bigger than 4GB (even for most of my bluray backups). Is that graphics card to weak to handle near perfect playback? Or should I get the mac mini (or even spring for a used NVIDIA graphics card enabled macbook if that is an absolute must?) Oh and the macbook would have 2GB of ram whereas the mac mini would have 4GB- playback would be at 1024 x 720 60hz hdtv., Again just wanted to clarify i'm not looking for a debate on which is a better computer (the mac mini is clearly more capable vs. the GMA but I just want a media center computer and wanted to see if an old macbook could handle it)
Thanks and any help at all would be much appreciated.



roidy
Aug 15, 2010, 08:54 AM
Saying that you're not going to watch files over 4Gb in size means nothing. Playback has nothing to do with the file size and everything to do with the resolution and bitrate of the file.

If your looking for a dedicated machine and you already have a Macbook Pro i7 then why would you want another lower spec Macbook instead of the more powerful Mini?

Again just wanted to clarify i'm not looking for a debate on which is a better computer (the mac mini is clearly more capable vs. the GMA but I just want a media center computer and wanted to see if an old macbook could handle it)

You've kind of answered your own question, if the Mini is clearly more capable then why even consider the Macbook.

waw74
Aug 15, 2010, 10:01 AM
do you want an open laptop sitting by your tv, or a mac mini? with doing hi-res videos it will run hot, and you'll want it open to let it cool.

mini also has a smaller footprint than the macbook.

you say "just for media" and hooked to the tv at all times, but it sounds like you have other thoughts? otherwise the macbook really wouldn't be an option unless it's a price issue which you said wan't a big deal.

size: mini
processor: mini
graphics card: mini

alexanderdlarge
Aug 15, 2010, 10:26 AM
hey- the mini does have a smaller print and better specs but I just prefer the portability of the macbook. with the mac mini i'm kind of tethered to the lcd and big screen like that is actually a little bit overbearing if I just am running in real fast and don't want to or don't have my i7 macbook pro with me. I love the mac mini concept (and I can tell by the amount of people using them as media centers how much others do to) but also realized that a lot of the stuff the mini can do is stuff I absolutely am doing solely on my macbook pro and therefore wouldn't need the mac mini to do- it would just be playing videos but it just seemed like a better idea to look into an old macbook as well since the footprint wouldn't be as big. If it's going to run hot then i think I will just go with the mini. but just out of curiosity what are the things i should be looking into as the requirements for goodback from the machine i end up going with?
Graphics card suggestions?
RAM suggestions?

roidy
Aug 15, 2010, 12:29 PM
with the mac mini i'm kind of tethered to the lcd and big screen like that is actually a little bit overbearing if I just am running in real fast and don't want to or don't have my i7 macbook pro with me.

Make your mind up... In your original post you said the following:-

however i would like to find an option for a dedicated machine just for media for that will be hooked up to it all the time.

So either you want a machine hooked up permanently or you don't which is it?