Is a Mac Mini PPC underpowered?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by AppleTVNoob, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Hi all,

    I have been offered a free Mac Mini PPC, either 1.25Ghz or 1.42GHz with 1 Gig of RAM and a 1Tb external drive (USB). I want to use this to stream audio and video content to my Apple TV or PowerBook or Airport Express and manage via Leopard Screen Sharing.

    This machine doesn't have an airport card and I will connect it via ethernet to the router to which the Apple TV is connected.

    I'm planning on just using iTunes v9.0 to stream content to the Apple TV rather than synching all the time.

    Is the Mac Mini powerful enough to run iTunes and stream content to the Apple TV and PowerBook. I don't intend to run any other applications on this or use it as a file/printer server, or proxy.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    If all you are using it for is streaming, then it is more than powerful enough.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yep, its just for streaming for content.
    Thanks for your help.

    Anyone else out there with a similar setup?
  4. macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    I haven't used my PPC Mac Mini for streaming, but would suggest they are more than powerful enough for this task.

    If there is any lag or slow issues, then consider upgrading it to the full 1GB ram or replacing the hard drive with a faster one.

    Remember the 1.25/1.42 GHz models came with very slow 4200rpm hard drives vs. the 5400rpm drive in the 1.5GHz silent upgrade Mac Mini PowerPC model.

    I upgraded my 1.5Ghz Mac Mini drive to a 7200rpm hard drive and it now has incredible performance (I didnt find the performance of the 5400 drive acceptable). I sourced a Seagate ST910021A, which is 100GB 7200rpm 44-pin IDE drive (not SATA).
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    It already has 1 Gig in there and I was planning to leave it switched on, so no problems in boot up times.

    Will keep the content on the external 1Tb drive. But if its really slow booting up, I might try using a spare external firewire to boot from before installing a new internal drive.

    The only restrictions I can think of are network, hard drive speed and CPU speed.

    Any ideas on what it would be like streaming 720p video to the Apple TV?
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Since you are going with Ethernet, you won't have any problems streaming HD content. Before my ATV died, I didn't have any problems streaming 720p wirelessly on a G network.

    The drive speed shouldn't affect performance either, since the ATV will buffer when streaming.

    CPU speed won't matter at all, since you are only streaming from the mini; the ATV is doing the playback. The only thing CPU speed will affect, along with RAM, is how well your mini will run Leopard and iTunes 9. I am running Leopard on an old 1GhZ 12" PowerBook G4, with 768 megs of RAM, and it is a bit pokey but otherwise fine.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Thanks to everyone for your guidance.
    I will post how I get on with setting it up and the performance.

    Have a good weekend!!!!:)
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Another question I thought of is how do I manage sync my iPhone with the mac mini.

    The mini and external hard drive with all my music and films will be housed in a cabinet, but I don't really want to connect to it and sync. Especially as iTunes 9 on a PPC mini running leopard will be pretty slow.

    Any ideas? Can I sync it via my PowerBook?
  9. macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I would just sync it via the PowerBook. Keep a copy of whatever media you want to have on your phone on your laptop, which is now even easier with iTunes 9 Home Sharing.

    The question is whether your cabinet will allow enough airflow for your mini and your hard drive. If it is going to be too hard to get to to sync your iPhone, it's probably going to be too enclosed for proper cooling.

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