Buying Advice: Mac Mini 2018 HTPC

MFDoom

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 30, 2009
61
9
I’m toying around with the idea of getting a second mini as a home theater PC.

It would be headless in my entertainment center. I have about 60gb in music media and about 10gb in movies. I will eventually get a blu-Ray ripper and convert about 15 additional movies over as well.

I would be playing/streaming to panels connected to a couple of 4K FireTV’s and 1 4K ATV.

Lastly I have a toddler aged child, so at the most two clients streaming/playing media for the next few years.

Which config 2018 Mac mini would you suggest for this use case?
 

ysvsr1

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2013
43
6
I’m toying around with the idea of getting a second mini as a home theater PC.

It would be headless in my entertainment center. I have about 60gb in music media and about 10gb in movies. I will eventually get a blu-Ray ripper and convert about 15 additional movies over as well.

I would be playing/streaming to panels connected to a couple of 4K FireTV’s and 1 4K ATV.

Lastly I have a toddler aged child, so at the most two clients streaming/playing media for the next few years.

Which config 2018 Mac mini would you suggest for this use case?
I5/256/8 configuration should be good enough for media center and video tasks. I am using the same for plex and I am happy with its performance.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,007
2,417
Seattle
Mac mini makes a reasonable server. I’m running the i5 as mine. Unfortunately there are some (Apple-limitations) downsides if you’re re-encoding media, but for direct play it’s great.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
999
NYC & Newfoundland
Which config 2018 Mac mini would you suggest for this use case?
If you're set on a 2018, great, but I'm using a 2014 Fusion drive mini to play video and music, and it's more than up to the task. If a 2018 mini, I don't see why you'd need more than an i3/128GB, but perhaps others can provide a reason. Personally, for the use you describe, and if I didn't need macOS apps on the machine, I'd buy the cheapest computer that can do the job and run Linux or Windows (taking into account, when working out cost, that a Windows 10 Home license costs about U.S.$100).
 
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mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
713
220
Base i3/8gb/128gb would be fine. I use that with a drobo5c as my iTunes server and is more then adequate for the job.
 
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archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,791
1,325
Oregon
I run mine as a server and my main desktop PC. Plex serving all content. But my TV's all have streaming devices. I have a couple of apple tv's, some chromecasts, rokus, shield, and others.
HTPC's aren't worth it anymore. Not when streaming devices do the job so much better.
You have a mac pro. Plug a drobo in it and use that. Much better solution IMO.

At this point I have 1500 movies, housed on a drobo connected to the mini.
 
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