Best Mac Mini for Handbreak DVD ripping, and Media Server?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BigdaddyMBP, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. BigdaddyMBP macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2008
    No gaming, just Media Server, and ripping DVD's / constantly. Also would be connected to HD TV for 1080p playback so it needs to be able to perform graphically when playing back content.

    From a performance perspective which is the best bet?

    No Gaming
    No Major Photo Editing
    No Movie making etc
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The quad server would be best for handbrake, and also offers the most storage. It can also easily play HD content.
  3. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    Can the $800 mini also play HD content easily?
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    any of them can play HD content well
  5. Unpleasant macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Upgrade to i7 if you want helps with processing it faster.

    8Gb of ram. From my experience it seems to eat a lot of ram. So having 8 would have with headroom.
  6. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    Fastest Handbrake rips will be with the quad core server model, but none of them are bad choices.

    To put it in perspective, the base model mini is essentially the same as the 13" base model MacBook Pro. On my 13" MBP I can rip an average length movie in about 35-40 minutes.

    On my quad core mini server, it takes about 20-25 minutes.

    Whether that is worth another $350 (because you absolutely must add RAM to the base model) is up to you.

    If you're going to be ripping DVD's constantly, then you probably have a large collection to go through and the speed will be worthwhile. Having the two, faster, 500GB hard drives built in already is also helpful for a media server.

    It will also be helpful for future use, as at some point you may decide to use an external Blu Ray drive and rip from those. Converting those files in Handbrake will be more time consuming than standard DVD's, and you'll be thankful for the speed boost if you ever decide to do that.

    For your purposes, you will want to pick between the base model or the server model. The $799 one with the GPU may be good for gamers, but it will be useless for your needs, and the processor isn't going to be noticeably faster.
  7. LucasLand macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2002
    New England
    if people aren't ripping blue ray , then why bother? Even then, how many times will you watch the films?
  8. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    You clearly don't have young children. :D I have over 50 kid's movies ripped/encoded and I'd bet each has been watched well into double digits.
  9. rayyu882 macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2010
    I use my new Mini the same way and I have the base model ($599) with 8GB RAM upgrade, working just fine.
  10. Seydlitz macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Are you going to use it as "media Server" or as HTPC?

    If the first I would suggest a Synology Nas, which is cheaper and in some ways more versatile.
    if the second: yes, I fully recommend a mac Mini (and would still strongly advice to add a cheap Nas!)
  11. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    It is really quite ironic that so many people use the Mac Mini as a media server and RIP DVD's on it, but Apple chose to take out the Optical drive. I bought my Mini in 2010 and use it with two USB Toshiba Canvio 1Tb drives. Movies on one and TV shows on the other. Don't see myself considering an upgrade anytime soon. I run Plex to manage the content.

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