2011 or newer - which to get?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Knighthammer, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Knighthammer macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2013
    Hello - very new to the forums and Apple products (well if you don't include Apple 2e from a long time ago). Anyway - looking at a mini mac for a HTPC system - will use Plex for sure, not sure what else at this time.

    But I would like 1080p video output and good power to back it up for encoding or what ever else I want to do with it. Is the late 2011 with the AMD discrete video the best way to go, or should I get a newer one - or even wait for the new Intel chips?

  2. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    I'd go for a 2012 quad core if you are going to do video coding. Also with large video files you will likely need USB3.0, unless you like to wait. Mainstream movie mkvs can get up to 30gb. The 2011 is USB2.0. The GPU on the 2012 if good for HTPC. I have run the 3000 and 4000 for a HTPC and it is good. No problem with 1080p.

    If you want the discrete GPU then it is a good machine but you will sacrifice CPU power and USB transfer speed.

    I run a 2012 2.6Ghz with 16gb ram for what you want to do and it's a ripper.
  3. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Between the 2011 and 2012, I'd take the 2012 for the same reasons (processing power & USB3.0). If you're not in a hurry there's a good argument for waiting; the next model might offer something cool like 4K support that could prevent re-buying too soon.
  4. Knighthammer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2013
    Well maybe I'll hold off for a bit longer then. I've waited this long - whats a couple more months :)
  5. blanka, Aug 7, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    For HTPC I prefer the 2009/2010 as you pretty much can buy 2 for the price of a new one. They do everything they have to do, and allow to insert DVD's or even Blu Rays if you upgrade the drive. From the 9400M videocard Mini's have enough oomph to decode even heavy fullHD streams. USB is not relevant for me as all the copying goes over Gigabit, which pretty much maxes out HD read/write speeds anyway (SSD for storing movies does not make sense yet). You can find nice deals on the 2009/2010 ones.
    Also the Nvidia cards are better in tweaking to custom refresh rates (for example 23.976 or 47.952 fps), as Nvidia was into hardware decoding and HTPC use way earlier than Intel, which was until recent merely offering some basic display driving.

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