2014 Mac Mini for XBMC/PLEX

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by eyalbi007, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. eyalbi007 macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2014
    Hi All,

    I'm looking to get 2014 mac mini to be used as HTPC using xbmc and plex.

    I wonder whether the entry-level model ($499, 1.4GHz, 4GB RAM) is sufficient or should I get the $699 model (2.6GHz, 8GB RAM).

  2. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    If you're just serving media and not transcoding, the base model will be more than enough. In fact a used model from a few years ago will be just fine. (2009 or later have HDMI)

    Bumping the memory will ensure a longer usable life of the machine though. Go with 8GB at a minimum for just a media server, so that it'll be useful for a few years. Get 16GB if you ever plan on doing anything else with it. That's more than you need now but think about what you'll need 3 years from now.
  3. eyalbi007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2014
    Thanks for the reply.

    Actually I use plex server to stream media to iPhone, iPad and Chromecast, so the HTPC will need to do transcoding.

  4. Skibba macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Then you'll probably want to opt for the 2012 I7 2.3 quad core.
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Read this thread for a lot of discussion on the 2014 vs. 2012 model, as a HTPC/PLEX server.
  6. AnalyzeThis macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    Why not use Raspberry Pi with Raspbmc and some accessories for $60 and spend money somewhere else.
  7. Skibba macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2014
    I'd advise the same if the Mac Mini is just being used as the HTPC client and not the Plex server, but if the Mac Mini is running the Plex Server software and transcoding to other client devices, RasPi won't cut it.
  8. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Northwest Indiana
    I have a i3 4 gb ram custom pc desktop that I use as both my htpc plex viewer and plex server. It works perfectly fine and has no struggle transcoding. I wouldn't bother getting the new one.

    Also I don't know if this is important to you but if you use Netflix the only way to get 5.1 audio via a htpc is with the Windows 8 netflix app. It may be more cost effective to just get a pc with a i3. My whole household is mac but my server is pc and I have been really happy with it.

    Regardless if you want to stick with a mac mini, any mac mini with an hdmi port will be enough to act as a plea server.
  9. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    I don't see why you would need the i7 quad core to serve up a couple streams. My base model i5 handled plex server and some transcoded streams fine.
  10. eyalbi007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2014
    Thanks everyone for their replies!

    Where can I get the late-2012 model?

    Regarding a PC alternative - I'm totally up for it, but I couldn't find a good PC competitor for the same money like the base model...
  11. carlob macrumors member


    Nov 23, 2014
    I am using the 2014 mini as HTPC, the middle model with 2.6GHz i5 and 8GB memory, and it works fine with Plex Server, Plex HT and streaming to my ipad/iphone.
  12. jafingi macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2009
    Entry level is fine. I have a 2009 Mini with SSD and it works perfectly with Kodi and 1080p files.
  13. Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    I use a 2010 entry level one for Plex HTPC.

    Plex Server is on my NAS and both are connected by gigabit Ethernet.

    The Mini is C2Duo and has only 2GB RAM.

    Works perfectly for everything.

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12 October 30, 2014