$300 mini, should I buy?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tha5150, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. tha5150 macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2008
    http://support.apple.com/kb/SP29 - its the one on the left. 1.66Ghz

    thats online local to me for $500 and I talked the guy down to $300. I will be using it for watching HD movies (MKV, Etc) mainly on the 50" Plasma in the living room. I will put 4GB of RAM in it and connect a 1TB external HDD. Mini DVI to HDMI to the Plasma and access it remotely from work a lot. this will be my first mini and cant afford $600 for a new one. although the new one has the DL Burner, I also have a macbook with that burner and dont particularly need that on the Mini. just need to be able to read dvd's. come to think about it though, would it read the DL and just not burn them? another thing is the video card on that Mini…. would it be good enough for 720p and 1080i movies without seeing those black squares at times?

    any help is greatly appreciated
  2. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    That would be good enough for everything you are concerned about. I have a core solo 1.6 and do all that you have listed on it.
  3. facebokguru macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2009
    But which one is better?
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I just sold a 2 ghz Core 2 Duo model with a 500 gb hard drive for that much. But I really just wanted to unload it.

    Nope, it won't even boot if it has more than 2 gb in it. But that's plenty for video playback.

    Make sure you get a Firewire 400 drive.

    Playback is largely the job of the cpu, not the gpu. The Mini is capable of 1080p playback so long as your videos are at moderate bit rates. When I had the 1.66 gHz model, it would play 1080p at around 10 gbps, which is more than adequate for most content. Also, the Mini can passthrough Dolby Digital (and DTS if in an MKV container) out the optical port if you use Plex for playback and your receiver/TV is capable of decoding it.
  5. tha5150 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2008
    a friend is telling me it is a waste of money. but all I will be doing is using it to watch movies and the occasional looking at pics with the wife or friends.

    also using it to play music and such.
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Your friend is nuts. The Mini is just about the perfect HTPC.
  7. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    ^^ Agreed. Sounds like a fine deal to me, esp. for your intended usage.
  8. tha5150 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2008
    lol. thats why I am thinking but he has never failed me. he is always looking out for my better interest. but he pretty much does the same thing with his...
  9. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    The mini will be perfect for that. I had a 1.66 CD 2gb that I sold to buy my 09 mini. I wish I had kept it to use as a media center in the bed room. It might struggle with some 1080p content but for the most part my old mini was great.
  10. tha5150 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2008
    I have watched 1 or 2 1080p movies in the last year. most is 720p or 1080i. usually I just use my macbook to watch them but it is getting old bringing it to work and home and setting it up, etc just to watch a movie. plus I want to get a Harmony Series remote and set it up to everything in the living room for ease of access for the wife.

    the only thing I am fighting with is for $300 more I could get a new one all done up. but thats double what I could get this for. I would feel ok with buying this one and being happy with it and in a year go get a new one or something once I have more money. I just don't want to regret my decision.
  11. fletch33 macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    im the nuts friend and have 2 mini's setup as HTPC's and there is nothing better.

    my point to him was that $300 is too much for that unit for what it will do and although a 1.6 can play some mkv files it would be money better spent for him to get a newer unit.

    i have the 2009 2.0GHz (living room) and of course it runs awesome and i can throw anything at it and love the 256MB video.

    however i also have a 2007 (bedroom) that i upgraded to a 2.16GHz Dual Core 2 with the max 2GB ram and there is a night and day difference between the 2 on not only performance but video quality and CPU usage.

    anyway i love the Mini's and combined with a Logitech Harmony remote and Plex it just doesn't get any better :)
  12. benlee macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2007
    Depending on your financial situation, if you plan on adding a larger harddrive, and more Ram, you might want to consider just waiting for a refurbished one to show up on Apple's page for a little more money.

    But this one is certainly capable of doing everything you want it to do.
  13. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    I personally own the 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo Mac mini, it has 2GB of RAM and a 120GB HDD.

    I use Plex and run 1080p video. The GMA950 GFX card in it isn't the best, but it runs fine for me!

    *side note, it doesn't support 4GB of RAM, so don't get too excited.

    If you want something a little faster in it, drop in an SSD and run an external via FW400 <3

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