Thoughts for a home bedroom setup?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kntgsp, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. kntgsp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    #1
    So I recently came across some extra expendable income, and I was mulling over doing this little setup for the bedroom. Lemme know what you guys think.

    Intel Mini Core Duo
    23" ACD or 30", not sure.
    External 250 gig for movie rips and what not.

    It'd be kinda nice to just lounge around with front row. I'm not a big tv watcher anyway, mostly all movies and TV shows I either...ahem...download....or buy on DVD when they come out. Plus I'd be able to do some web browsing and what not from the comfort of bed on a lazy sunday or late at night. I was just thinking I'd rather have that setup than a new 32" LCDTV or something, since i'd get more use out of another mac. However I do have a few questions:

    1. Can the Core Duo mac mini drive the 30"? I thought it could, but somebody told me the other day it would look like crap? any thoughts? I don't know why it would, but he insisted
    2. Since it uses integrated graphics, does it use part of the RAM then? I'm not too familiar with integrated graphics. Would more RAM = better video performance since it would have more to share?
    3. I ran photoshop CS on a 2.0Ghz Core Duo iMac, and it was.....interesting. Not horribly slow, but not the quickest. Would casual photoshopping on a Core Duo Mac mini be just reprehensible? It'll sit on my desk next to the bed, so it might get some use.

    Anywho, thanks in advance for the feedback.
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    I spent US$1534 on a 37" Westinghouse 1920x1080 LCD TV (setup here). Works great as a monitor and as a TV.

    As far as Adobe products go, the experience on the iMac is a taste of what it's like on the mini, only a bit worse (on the mini). I strongly recommend 2GB for the mini to help (I have only 1GB, but my mini isn't being stressed all that much).

    The mini will not drive a 30" - check out the specs on the Apple site. 20" or 23" ACD is the best it'll do. It will and does drive 1920x1080 and works wonderfully well with the TV I have.

    Just bear in mind that the main selling point of the mini is its size, not its graphical prowess. It'll do Adobe and other intensive apps, but it won't excel at them.
     
  3. kntgsp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    #3
    Yea I have the 32" Westinghouse LCDTV, but the salespeople tell me that the DVI on tv's is different than the DVI on computers, and that I wouldn't be able to hook up a DVI connection between a laptop and the TV. Is your setup conencted through VGA or DVI?

    It has DVI (HDMI without the audio) and VGA inputs, so just curious
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    I can't speak for all TVs, but the mini is connected via DVI to the Westinghouse (the 37" model, in this case) and runs flawlessly at 1920x1080. The TV has a second DVI port that does not support 1920x1080 (it supports something reasonably hi-res, but not true HD). So, even on this TV, not all ports are equal. I recommend a bit of research before purchase (or just get this 37" ;)).

    The Westinghouse isn't the perfect TV, but it's darned good and is, I think, absolutely unbeatable in its price range - nothing else there supports 1920x1080 that I've seen.
     
  5. kntgsp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    #5
    I just got mine last week at Best Buy. Some guy returned it as an open item, so it was 1000 bucks, down from 1200 normal, so it was a good deal. I'm thinking of returning it, and spending the extra to get the 37 and having the DVI in for the computer.....

    1500 you say?...............hmmmmmmm. I think I might spend extra for the nicer TV and a mac mini rather than a medium tv and a mac mini/display.
     
  6. kntgsp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
  7. polyethyleneguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #7
    I just bought the Westinghouse 37" from Best Buy last week. I paid only $1499. Its an amazing deal because it has gone clearance. Right now its just being used with an XBox 360. Oh, and it does support 1920 x 1080. Thats 1080p and there is no other LCD or Plasma screen that can show that kind of resolution for anywhere close in price.
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    That's the TV, and as mentioned it does support 1920x1080p. As I said, though, there are two DVI ports. DVI 1 supports 1920x1080p. DVI 2 supports a bit lower.

    It isn't perfect - the backlight is a bit obvious in the corners on dark pictures, even with adjustment, for example, but it is phenomenal for the price. I love mine.

    And, BTW, the in-store prices on that TV are much lower than the advertised web price - don't let that fool you.
     
  9. m-dogg macrumors 65816

    m-dogg

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #9
    One thing to keep in mind about Front Row is that it can be a little fussy about video.

    It won't play any AVI's...I think you'd have to convert them to QuickTime. And some of the other genres like music videos or TV shows tend to be driven off iTunes and only show purchased (from the iTMS) videos.

    Also, the DVD option in Front Row only plays DVD's where the actual disc is inserted into your computer. I haven't found a way to make it play any video_ts folders stored on my hard drive. Even though you can if you aren't in Front Row.

    Overall, I don't think Front Row is bad, I just think Apple needs to open it up a little more before it will really be great.
     
  10. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    arg! ive seen you post this in a number of places and it looks really cool! i just got a mini (core solo) and have an elgato eyeTV 200 on the way (should be here today) i would love to connect my setup to a monitor like you have! too bad im a college student and just spent all my extra money on the mini set up and now have to plug it into the 21" dell CRT that i got free :-/ anyway, awesome set up!

    as for being on topic. . . the reason photoshop, or any adobe product runs slower on and intel mac is that adobe hasn't released a universal build of any of its apps yet. that means any adobe product on an intel mac runs under the powerPC emulation of roseta. which means it will act slow. i say go ahead and get the mini now. and by the end of 2006 or early 2007 adobe will release a universal build of all of their products and they should run more more quickly!
     

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