is 1gb too little for HTPC

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wartnig, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. wartnig macrumors member

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #1
    Hi, I have a Mac Mini 2009 model 2.0ghz 1gb ram...
    It plays your basic .avi files no worries, even handles my dvd converts (apple tv preset in HB).. but when I try and play a 720p or 1080p hd file... (.mkv) it seems to struggle (stutter slightly)... doesnt matter if its through frontrow or plex... same issue..
    do u think it could be that my mac mini is underpowered in the ram department?
     
  2. nicroma macrumors 6502a

    nicroma

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    #2
    I would say your CPU would be the first issue I would look at. 2.0 ghz is a little slow for high-def playback, although more RAM can't hurt and would help some.
     
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    I think more RAM is exactly what you need. The computer itself should be capable of running 1080p stuff, but only when topped out. Not sure how much RAM you can put in that machine but I'd try for 4gb if possible. Otherwise, as far as using a 1TB hard drive, that will be fine for a few months (depending on how often and what format files you have). Naturally you're able to plug in another 1 TB at a later time.
     
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #4
    Check out Activity Monitor before making decisions. It will tell you if CPU or memory is a bottleneck.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #5
    It's RAM or app you are using. Core Duo Minis are able to play HD content and so are all Core 2 Duos. Get more RAM and it'll play it fine
     
  6. pj- macrumors member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    #6
    I can play 1080p files all day long on my 2.0ghz 2009 mini. If you're having problems, it's because you don't have enough ram or some other program is hogging the cpu
     
  7. nicroma macrumors 6502a

    nicroma

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    Midwest, USA
    #7
    I'm still new the Mac community and I am not familiar with mini's. It it has a core duo, yea, I would bet that you would only need to upgrade your RAM. I was thinking it was only a single core 2.0ghz which is why I recommended checking out the activity on it.
     
  8. wartnig thread starter macrumors member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #8
    Hi, how do i check the activity monitor? What am i looking for specifically?
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #9
    Run the 1080p movie on the background and check your RAM usage. If there's more than 80% in use, you need more.
     
  10. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    its definitely the ram. you need at least 2GB. i cant believe apple sold a product in 2009 with only 1 gig, thats ridiculous... 2 should get it working for you, i have a macbook 2.26ghz 2gb and it plays hd content no problems, so id say 2 could get the job done but really youd be better off with 3 or 4.. do you know if you have 1x1GB or 2x512? Id guess its 1x1GB and then you can get a single 2GB and youd be set for awhile...

    EDIT: to check the activity monitor just type "activity monitor" into spotlight and open it. or go to Macintosh HD/Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor... then towards the bottom you can choose between CPU and System Memory among others...
     
  11. wartnig thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 4, 2009
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    Shropshire, UK
    #11
    Cheers for the responses guys.. looks like I will be ordering a 4gb RAM kit on pay day! Next thing i've gotta do... figure out how to get the mini open and replace the ram... time to check out some video tutorials and get myself a putty knife!!
     
  12. brendu macrumors 68020

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    yeah just be careful but with 4gigs in it that should be a pretty good HTPC, ive considered selling my custom built windows HTPC and getting a mini but since i just got win7 for 30 bucks and i have 2 other macs i decided id keep it for now... i like having the ability to tinker with it more than a mini, and someday ill switch the AMD parts for intel and go hackintosh perhaps..
     
  13. wartnig thread starter macrumors member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #13
    hey guys this was the result of my activity monitor... do u think this justifies upping the ram??
     

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  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    Yea, you need more
     
  15. wartnig thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 4, 2009
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    Shropshire, UK
    #15
    Thanks! What makes you say that? what figures are you looking at?
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #16
    Page outs and amount of RAM you are using.

    Page out = amount of data that has been moved to HD because not enough free RAM left. This causes lag
     
  17. brendu macrumors 68020

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    you have essentially no free ram... you want to have lots of free ram...
     

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