Entry Mac Mini and 4K

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacBH928, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. MacBH928, Feb 25, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017

    MacBH928 macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #1
    I am looking to buy the entry model which comes with Celeron CPU and 4GB RAM. If you have this model can you tell me any pros or cons? I am mainly using it for media player and looking to make it future proof to play 4K video locally or streaming but I am worried about that Intel Celeron and the non-upgradable 4GB RAM.

    I want smooth playback, no stuttering or chopping.

    EDIT: Sorry, core i5 not Celeron CPU. Got mixed up doing a lot of research
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    Celeron CPU? I am not a "hardware guy", so maybe I don't know what that means. But I have an entry level 2014 Mini and it has an Intel 1.4ghz i5 CPU. Is that the same thing?
     
  3. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

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    Jan 12, 2014
    #3
    All Mac Mini 2014 support 4K 3840x2160 at 30hz. No 60hz.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP:

    Pay attention to above post.
    The 2014 Minis (all of them) can only do 4k @30hz.

    If you want "full 4k" @60hz, do not get a Mini.
     
  5. robotica macrumors 6502a

    robotica

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  6. now i see it macrumors 65816

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  7. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2015
    #7
    It's a core i5.

    And DO NOT, under any circumstances, buy any Mac Mini if you plan on using a 4K monitor. Period.

    P.S. These things are absolutely not "future proof". They aren't even "past proof".
     
  8. twalk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #8
    It depends. For some people, it's always brutal. For most people, 30Hz on TN isn't good, but 30Hz on IPS or one of the TV panel types, along with a mostly static display tends to be fine. However since 1440p screens run fine and give you 90% of what you want with 4K, there's really no reason to go for 4K 30Hz
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2017 ---
    Oh, and the sick part here is that the cheap, garbage, low-end Celeron Kaby Lake part can easily do 4K at 60Hz. Only $45 at retail price...
     
  9. rbrian, Feb 25, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017

    rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #9
    You'll want a 7th gen core I processor. It's not really about power - if a Fire TV or Roku can do 4K, why do you need a full-fat processor? It's because Windows (and macOS, and Linux) is a full-fat OS, with all the file sharing and piracy capabilities that scare content providers into ruining it for the law-abiding user, while the actual pirates break the copy protection in short order. Only the 7th gen (Kaby Lake) have the necessary DRM, which together with HDMI 2.0 is required to allow 4K streaming with Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    http://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2016/11/21/13703152/netflix-4k-pc-windows-support

    Think of it like the president, who's just a man quite capable of riding a bicycle, but doesn't go anywhere without an armoured motorcade for security. It costs a fortune, but an ordinary law abiding citizen won't get close. A rocket propelled grenade, or a kamikazi plane however, could kill him with or without the motorcade - so what's it actually for?

    I'm waiting for the new Intel NUCs to be released in the next couple of months, which have much higher specs than the Mac mini, with full 4K capabilities, for about the same price.
     
  10. sublunar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #10
    Others have already mentioned, but Apple use an i5 in the 2014 Mini - Celeron or Pentium (low end) Intel CPUs have never been anywhere near the Mini. Modern Intel CPUs have integrated GPU capable of running 4k content but only at 30Hz. This is because the CPU in the 2014 Mini is from 2013 - a Haswell model. It's Skylake or Kaby Lake that you want for true 4k at 60Hz. Logically, this should be the hardware installed into the next Mini if they choose to continue.

    However, with connectivity for Retina 4k/5k screens being less than simple I can see why Apple might not want to get involved in having to support a 2017 Mini for people trying to get 4k or 5k video out.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #11
    :D LOL

    That is very true. I use my base 2014 Mini as an iTunes server - it just sits there and runs iTunes with Home Sharing 24/7, all my media is on a fast USB 3.0 disk. It's fine for that, but I really would not recommend it for anything else. It is a really slow computer, my 2012 base Mini was noticeably faster and it only cost $65 for me to upgrade the RAM to 16gb.

    If you want a Mini I think you need to get one of the higher spec models and will probably want to max out the RAM, especially if you're concerned about the future. And they start to look really overpriced when you do that unfortunately...
     
  12. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #12
    So when do I want to use 60hz? This will basically be a machine to play videos (local and stream) on the tv. Am I better picking the mid-range one?
     
  13. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

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    #13
    No Mac Mini supports 4K 60 Hz.
     
  14. sublunar macrumors 6502

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    Jun 23, 2007
    #14
    I'd be waiting on an AppleTV 5 (rumoured to support 4k) and stream content off an existing server.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    OP wrote:
    "Am I better picking the mid-range one?"

    Scroll up and read reply #4 carefully one more time.

    NO Mini -- not one -- can do 4k @ 60hz.

    If you want 4k 60hz on a Mac, you have to choose something else.
    Either a MacBook Pro (possibly MacBooks as well), or an iMac.

    IF there is a 2017 Mini released this year, it probably will do 4k @ 60hz.
    But it's uncertain as to whether Apple is going to release a new Mini at all.
     
  16. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #16
    Where is the video coming from? How long do you intend to keep your new machine? Do you watch 4K? Will you next year, or the year after?

    If you want near-future proof, don't get any kind of Mac mini, get a 7th gen Intel NUC. If you only watch 1080p, then get the cheapest one, so you don't lose too much when you change it in a year or so, for something with a Kaby Lake or later processor, which is the minimum spec for streaming 4K from Netflix, and isn't available in any current Mac mini (because the "current" one is 3 years old).

    http://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2016/11/21/13703152/netflix-4k-pc-windows-support
     
  17. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #17
    do you have intel nuc? i heard hardware failure is common
     
  18. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #18
    Not yet, I'm waiting for the 7th gen. I hope to buy one in a couple of months. I haven't had looked at reliability - in the last decade, I have had exactly zero hardware problems with computers and phones (except cracked iPhone screens, which I blame on the asphalt, not the phone).

    I have, however, had 3 hardware failures and 4 software failures in 8 years with PVRs (the shiny new Humax remote record app which causes the box to lock up, and fail to record anything, was the last straw) which is why I'm switching to a computer. I can easily change the operating system, the PVR software, and the hardware, and do what I like with the files.

    I originally wanted to use my old 2011 Mac mini, but the Hauppage TV Stick isn't compatible with macOS, and the Windows driver for the HD3000 graphics is completely broken, displaying nothing but a black screen (which is why Apple doesn't allow Windows 10 boot camp on that machine).

    I tried the stick on a £150 HP Stream with a crappy Atom processor, and it worked perfectly, although it was a little slow to stream over my network, can only go up to 1080p, and has nowhere near enough storage. This experiment led me to the NUC - Apple just doesn't make anything remotely suitable. You could also look at Gigabyte and Zotan, but I assumed Intel would do a better job with their own chips.
     
  19. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #19
    I have a base 2012 mac mini. It can't drive 4k and the new mac mini can't either. We are past the point where most new tvs are 4k. Apple doesn't care about mac mini for tv customers. They'll probably update the mini someday and act like they courageously invented 4k. I'm going to replace my mini with a pc regardless.
     
  20. now i see it macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #20
    My old Mac Mini died & I just purchased another 6 year old model on eBay for $200. I like to stay 5 years behind the curve because ultimately it wont make one bit of difference when I reach 85. Assuming that happens. 5 years late? So what. You always catch up eventually, except on the last five years... & by then you couldn't care less (or remember how to turn it on :)
     
  21. sorcery macrumors regular

    sorcery

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    Ring of Fire
    #22
    Or check out the nvidia shield tv. $200.
     
  22. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #23
    So I bit the bullet and got the base model... Its fine for now and its fast enough for what I want it to do.

    One problem, if I go close to the tv, I can clearly see compression and artifacts of the background wallpaper. I can also see the compression on web videos like on YouTube even on 1080p. Is this normal?

    I don't notice this on my archaic laptop(2008 macbook) at half an arm length away.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 16, 2017 ---
    the thing is that with the shield the software is too limiting but thanks for the tip
     
  23. ceraz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #24
    OK now that ATV 4K is around has someone checked if the mac mini 2014 can stream 4K @ 60hz to the ATV 4k via airplay?

    Basically, if you load a 4k @ 60hz in the iTunes library it won't play locally. But at least it should be able to stream to the apple TV as the ATV is in charge of displaying the 4k@60hz movie not the mac. Do we agree?
     

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