Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Apple TV and Home Theater

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Oct 26, 2012, 03:47 PM   #1
lrmat
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
New Mac MIni as htpc overkill?

I've been vacillating towards building an htpc and i kinda had my parts mapped out: itx mobo, ivy bridge i3, ssd, lian li case, etc. close to $700 in parts and who knows how many hours in putting it together and configuring (something i've done numerous times before but find harder and harder to do as i get older and have less free time to futz around). With
apple's recent announcement, it hit me. i could get this new mac mini with ivy bridge and 4000 graphics, i have an antec 4 drive encloser with usb 3. I am a relatively recent apple computer convert (the previous mac mini server 2011) and that worked out great.... why not get a mac mini for an htpc? low wattage, small, easy on the eyes (and easy to hide if need be... but really). my question is, is the quad core i7 mini overkill? here is what it would do initially:

Utorrent
Plex server / xbmc / Boxee (i'm figuring this out, i'm transitioning away from my boxee box)
some blu-ray to mkv conversion
with the very real possibility also being a cable box through either homerun hd or ceton's infinity4 (which probably means installing windows, i know).

it should be able to do all or at least most of these at the same time with out crapping out.

there's probably more that i'm forgetting but that should give you a general idea.... what do you think? i7 or go with the cheaper i5?
lrmat is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2012, 04:24 PM   #2
iPadPublisher
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Some data centers are running racks full of Minis, even doing virtual servers with them. They're surprisingly meaty, the new ones even more so. I think you'll be okay.
iPadPublisher is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2012, 05:16 PM   #3
Cinephi1e
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northwest Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrmat View Post
there's probably more that i'm forgetting but that should give you a general idea.... what do you think? i7 or go with the cheaper i5?
As a lover of technology, I am as guilty as anyone of "overspecing" when it comes to purchases. If I was in the market for a new Mac Mini I would be really tempted to go for the i7. However, you may want to read this:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/...e-extra-juice/
Cinephi1e is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2012, 11:44 PM   #4
lrmat
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
I appreciate the prompt replies. and i read the link..... it still didn't answer my question...... but in the end i'd rather bring a gun to a knife fight then bring a knife that just ain't big enough.
lrmat is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 27, 2012, 12:19 AM   #5
orestes1984
In Time-Out
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Australia
What is overkill really? You could get away with less with a low power i3 CPU and a nice GPU video decoder that could handle H.264 as you already intended, if you want to spend less it'll do what you want. It might be a little jerkier for CPU intensive tasks, but it depends on where you're happy to draw the line in the sand. The Mini won't be able to rip Blu-Rays without an external drive though.
orestes1984 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 27, 2012, 01:36 AM   #6
LeandrodaFL
macrumors 6502a
 
LeandrodaFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
I sugest you build your own PC. The MacMini will be really sad if you only use him as a HTPC.

Besides, buidling is fun and you can add expansion cards, like a capture card or even a gaming card.
LeandrodaFL is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 27, 2012, 12:00 PM   #7
lrmat
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
I mapped out a build and I'm just not that into going through all that trouble and trouble shooting. Especially since the build would be itx for form factor. I'm not concerned with the Mac being lonely...... It's a computer. Besides it will be near my other Mac mini. They can commiserate.
lrmat is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 12:36 AM   #8
Djlild7hina
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tokyo, Japan
I'm in a similar boat as you (debating to build a pc or buy a mini) and decided to just buy the mini. The i7 is overkill and you can probably get away with the 2011 or 2010 model too for just htpc. the i7 will convert videos faster but that's probably the only thing you'll notice between the two.

Btw, what is that 4-bay enclosure that you have? I'm looking around for a 4 or 5 bay enclosure
__________________
15" rMBP 2.3/16GB/512GB, OSX Yosemite & Windows 8.1
128GB Unlocked Gold iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.1.1
Hackintosh - i7/32GB/256GB + 1TB, 2x6TB WD Red, Windows 8.1, OSX Yosemite
Djlild7hina is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 03:46 AM   #9
lrmat
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
The encloser i am/will be using (right now its off and under my desk) is a Vantec nexstar. I had an hp media server that died and bought the encloser to liberate the data on the drives (every once in a while I'll copy around data trying to consolidate all the data spread throughout three of those drives).

Back to the mini....... Here's my thing. The i5 is a dual core, the i7 a quad. I want a device that might be doing torrenting while, while recording a few streams of hd tv, while serving out and transcoding to a few iOS devices some hd content...... And maybe throw in converting a blu-ray to mkv.. Can the i5 do this with out choking? Can the i7 for that matter? I intend to have seperate drives for seperate things, ie, a drive for torrents, a drive for movies/tv, one for backups, etc.
lrmat is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 09:38 AM   #10
Scarpad
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
I'm using my 2009 Core 2 duo Mini as a Plex Media Server and it works great. Then I use plex on all my devices. In the Living Room I use my Xbox 360 as a DLNA player to play from Plex and that too works fantastic.
__________________
Imac 2011 I5 12gb * Ipod Touch 5g 16gb* Ipad Air 128gb LTE *ATV 3
Scarpad is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 02:50 AM   #11
Ruahrc
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Sorry if you already thought about this but why don't you kill 2 birds with one stone by using your older 2011 mini server as the HTPC and then getting the 2012 quad core mini as your new computer? That way you get an HTPC that is still plenty good in terms of specs, and your main computer gets an upgrade too
Ruahrc is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 2, 2012, 10:12 AM   #12
noteple
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Remote Control thru IR port
noteple is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Apple TV and Home Theater

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mac Mini for HTPC noahmateen1234 Mac mini 8 Dec 19, 2013 07:24 PM
What Mac Mini do I need for HTPC use ? FrenchPB Mac mini 15 Oct 28, 2013 11:11 PM
Is this overkill? Mac Mini buying advice Jaguar619 Mac mini 19 Nov 28, 2012 07:49 PM
New Mac Mini as HTPC BenBKK Mac mini 13 Nov 13, 2012 04:12 PM
Mac Mini HTPC needs? ClemsonDV Apple TV and Home Theater 9 Jun 20, 2012 02:54 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:02 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC