Does the Mac Mini 2007 display HD content well?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by StevenShort, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Alright, I am looking a a 1.83 ghz 4gb ram 2007 model Mac Mini on ebay. I want to use it for playing videos on my 40 inch HDTV and want to know if this mini will display HD content without skipping any beats. What worries me is the 64 mg graphics. I will be connecting via DVI to HDMI monster cable and want a picture that will not be lacking. Does anyone know if this will suffice or do I need to just bite the bullet and go for a new mini with the new graphic processors? Thanks!!!
  2. macrumors 65816


    Wirelessly posted (BB 8900: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    I was fairly certain that the old mini with the gma950 had 128mb shared vram.

    Anyway. My 1.83 plays 720 and 1080 video without any problems. Mkv can be a problem sometimes, but only the 1080.
  3. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    64 MB of VRAM.

    My 2 GHz with 2 GB RAM plays everything I throw at it, no problem. Even Flight Simulator on near-highest settings.
  4. macrumors 603


    I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new mac mini to be used as a HTPC as well here.
  5. macrumors 68020


    my 1.66 Intel Core Duo with 2GB of RAM can handle HD just fine. it does get up to ~130% processor usage when very loud parts come up... all in all i don't miss any frames or have any audio skipping.

    i can imagine that a newer one with a core 2 duo would be more than fine
  6. macrumors newbie

    Thanks guys!! What about ripping using Handbrake? How does it handle that?
  7. macrumors 68020


    that is very processor dependent. it can do it but even on my MacBook it takes a while.

    then again if you leave a couple of videos on your queue before a movie night.. turn it on a day or two in advance and it will definitely be done in time.

    i could usually crank out 4-5 .avi's -> m4v's (at ~600MB) over the course of 24 hours on mine.
  8. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Pretty terribly. It gets the job done, but not at a great speed. I tried to do the first season of House on my 2 GHz and it would have taken at least all week.

    My Dell Studio 540 (2.33 GHz C2Q, 6 GB RAM, 750 GB HDD) on the other hand, got season one of House done in 48 hours, at most.

    If you want to do some ripping, get at least a C2Q.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Sorry Shake 'n' Bake but I'm new to the forums and don't know how to quote your reply. What bit rate are you ripping them at? I run mine through at 2800 and my 2.4ghz macbook pro gets them done at about 1.2 times the runtime of the movie.
  10. macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    1500 into a .m4v.

    I do a two-pass encode, though. That adds about 1.5 times the runtime to the total. With out the two pass, it's almost the runtime of the video.

    That's on my Dell. The Mac mini would fare far worse.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Thanks. I will be doing most of my ripping at night before I go to bed, so time might not be such a huge concern. If it is I can always use my MBP... I'm trying to go the cheaper route. My biggest concern would be HD content playback from iTunes... Is it worth it to go for the improved graphics of the current model?
  12. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    On Macs, video is currently decoded by the cpu, not the gpu. The gma950 Mini is perfectly adequate for 1080p playback at moderate bit rates in Quicktime apps (e.g., iTunes, Front Row), and higher bit rate Blu-ray rips with Plex. My 1.66 Mini can play any 720p content I've attempted (in m4v containers with h.264 encoding around 7 mbps). It will even passthrough AC3 or DTS if using Plex and thus provide 5.1 surround through the digital optical port.

    I think you'd be fine with the 1.83/950 Mini for all 720p and most 1080p playback.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Thanks guys! One more question... Do you think ebay is the best place to purchase a gently used or refurbished mini?
  14. macrumors 68020


    eBay is a great place to buy anything. make sure you are READING all of the auctions - and you don't jump on something for the low price. make sure they have a high feedback rating and you'll be okay
  15. macrumors 6502a

    What is your budget going to be? I don't think Ebay represents such a great value considering that you can get a latest gen 2.0ghz refurb from the Apple refurb store for $499 - you just have to keep on top of it (try the refurb widget for example or one of the refurb email notifiers) to make sure you're ready when they're in stock.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Around 400 dollars. Apple refurbs good?
  17. macrumors 65816


    Brand new condition (literally, you'd never be able to distinguish it from a brand new machine). Full warranty. All accessories. A whole lot cheaper.

    You can't go wrong with refurbs.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    I prefer craigslist for a non portable Apple computers. The reason why I wouldn't do a portable is that a lot can happen to it in day to day usage. But a non-portable will just be sitting there so odds are better nothing got banged up.

    My most recent craigslist apple purchase was a 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mac mini (Mid 2007). I bought it Jan 2009. The seller originally put it at $850 but at the time, I remember that a 1.83 C2D Mac Mini was $599 on the Apple store ($579 w/ a student discount) and a refurbished 1.83ghz Mac Mini was $499 when available. I used that to bring the price down.

    It was just a few months old too so I had a long warranty remaining. Ultimately, I got it for $375 which was a good deal considering the slightly upgraded ram and the bigger HD, but I did get screwed a little because the seller messed some things up in the inside during the install (you can see the full story here:

    For a portable, I would aim for refurbished if possible otherwise, student discount a new one.
  19. macrumors 65816

    I agree - far too often I've seen Apple stuff go for near retail or other insane (IMHO) prices such as around $50 for a b/g Airport Express. Accessories seem more reasonable at times - often 50% of new prices; but computers seem to get bid up pretty high. At any rate, I'd only buy from a real reputable seller and pay via PayPal.
  20. macrumors 6502

    My 2006 2 GB Core Duo MacMini can just play 1080p fluently on SL

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