Is a 1.5Ghz Core Solo mini viable as a HTPC?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Axegrinder, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Axegrinder macrumors regular

    Axegrinder

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Preston
    #1
    My daughter has a mini with the specs outlined in the title. I'm thinking of taking this off her (evil dad! :) ) and using it under the TV but is it powerful enough? If not, would upgrading the processor to a 2.0Ghz Core Duo do the job? And finally, can someone tell me the model number for the processor I'd need to look for?

    Cheers
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    It'll work fine for DVD playback, but probably not for HD content. TV (e.g., Eye TV Hybrid) is probably iffy. It does have optical audio output, so if you installed Plex or XBMC you could get 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS from those DVDs.
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #3
    Even a 1.66 CD would do most HD content without problems. The 1.5 CS will be stretching things.
     
  4. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #4
    A 1.5 core solo isn't powerful enough to play HD video.
     
  5. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    What media front end are you using?

    If it's XBMC then you're in luck! Well, you are if you're willing to do a little surgery and invest about $30 more.

    You can purchase a Broadcom Crystal HD and open the mini up, pull the wifi card and install the Broadcom in the PCI-E slot.

    XBMC's developers are promising the near release of OSX drivers to allow the use of the Broadcom to watch HD 720 and 1080p video and take the burden off of the CPU which will give your mini new legs!

    Once again, this is only if you are: 1) patient (as they haven't released the drivers yet); 2) Willing to use XBMC for OSX (which is great, although I'm a PLEX user XBMC is still great); 3) Willing to crack that mini open and update it, and are able to have a wired internet connection to it.

    Finally, if you are unable/unwilling to do the above, you could sell your mini on craigslist for probably between $300-$350 relatively easily and then invest that plus a little more in a current gen.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    I've been following this and it seems like the XBMC teams have made great progress. (The latest release of XBMC from a few days ago is a very nice improvement on its own.) It is a very attractive solution, so let's hope it succeeds. Of course, the card replaces the wifi card in the Mini, so you'd have to use ethernet or buy a wifi USB dongle, which may be more attractive anyway since the Mini only has 802.11g.
     
  7. grayskyz macrumors regular

    grayskyz

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    Mod much? I'd do a cpu swap! you should be able to put in a 2.0Ghz+ lots of details can be found here:

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/mac_mini_core_2_duo_swaps.html

    C.
     
  8. tomacintosh macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2005
  9. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #9
    Any Merom should work in it. Also make sure you max the ram out to 2gb. My 1.66 CD with 2gb of ram was great with HD content, upgrading the proc and ram in yours should make for a sufficient HTPC.
     
  10. tomacintosh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    #10
    Still, the T7200 is the most readily available/best performing of them all :)
     
  11. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #11
    The T7200 kind of the sweet spot for proc replacement. If it were me, however, I would sell the CS mini and buy a refurb 9400m unit.
     
  12. Axegrinder thread starter macrumors regular

    Axegrinder

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Preston
    #12
    I've already upped the ram for it and have no worries about upping the processor. I just wasn't sure exactly which model numbers I should be looking for. Not knowing the prices (yet) I might find it cheaper to pick up a used one off ebay.

    Its good to know it should do the job though so thanks all.
     

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