Looking to purchase a Mac Mini for my TV. How much should I spend?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dlpowered89, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. dlpowered89 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I am trying to purchase a Mac mini for a main TV that I use frequently. I am currently using my massive desktop (workhorse) to do simple things like streaming and it just simply doesnt make sense to place to beside the TV.

    I am trying to avoid purchasing a new one but will if it can extend the life of the unit for what I use. I will be mainly using it to steam movies, watch 720p 1080p movies (in whatever format they may me. I will be using VLC) and maybe web surfing and occasional download of large media contents.

    I was mainly looking on past generations and I decided to cut the line at design refresh and pick a device that fits my bill. From what I see on eBay, I will probably end up buying Core 2 Duo with nVidia 320m (http://support.apple.com/kb/sp585) or new since there isn't a big price discrepancy between a first gen i-series & the latest unit in brand new condition.

    My question is. Will the used unit with Core 2 Duo strong enough to last me a while? The only thing I have against it is the USB 2.0 but I don't think I will be hooking up a lot of stuff. Will it be too damanding for me to ask 320m to drive a 4k content?

    Thanks for your help in advance,

    Don
     
  2. philipma1957, Jun 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #2

    do you need the cd/dvd slot? if the dvd player is not an issue the 2011 mc816 model has the best gpu


    many say this mini has the best graphics I have seen it go for 400


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-m...5398314?pt=Apple_Desktops&hash=item3ce125f2aa


    auctions

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=mac+mini+mc816&rt=nc&LH_Auction=1
     
  3. dlpowered89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #3
    Not really.. I was looking into that until I saw USB 2.0's. I have been quoted $550 for a new latest gen (low end model) and $360 for a 2.4 C2D w/ 320m and 8GB ram.
     
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #4
    if you are in the usa you can get a new mini for


    549 + 13 = 562

    http://www.rakuten.com/prod/apple-m...er-intel-core-i5-4gb-ram-500gb/247713858.html

    use this code springsave get back 8250 points use the points in two weeks and buy ram .

    link to it with ebates or some discount cc and save more.
     
  5. dlpowered89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #5
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
    $82.50

    I am a power buyer with them I have run an ebay business for years.

    I have earned 4000 dollars in points from them. more then 400,000 points.


    I would buy a mini or 2 each time they had a 15% point back.

    I would wait for the points to cash in them buy ram and or ssd's upgrade the mini and sell it on ebay. I have done this since 2006.

    Right now it does not work as the 2012 does not sell well on ebay even if it is pumped up with 16gb and an ssd.


    The 15% is offered if you are over a 150 dollar buy …

    that is good you would be over 549.

    they take about 2 weeks to be active.

    they last for about 3 months.
     
  7. dlpowered89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #7
    I see. Thanks for the explanation. This would be an excellent buy if there was a way to "Cash" out the points.

     
  8. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #8
    From my experience, anything up to 1080p will run pretty well on a 2010 Core2Duo Mini. I even run 1080p under Windows Vista 32bit when I connect my Aver DTV USB2 adapter (my model doesn't have a Mac driver).
     
  9. jimthing, Jun 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014

    jimthing macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    If you really want one immediately, I'd get the latest model, preferably the upper one for longer-term usage (and quad core), but the lower one (dual core) would still be ok.
    I have the upper model and the 4 cores make it great for transcoding on the fly (try Plex, it's truly great!), and can handle pretty much anything anything and multitask effortlessly.

    If you use the machine as your "home server" to store all your stuff (audio/video/paperwork files) with additional storage (USB 3 is very cheap, and smaller Tbolt's can be had for quite reasonable money now too). Then you can keep your laptop storage needs to a minimum in future, especially given cloud storage services are becoming a reality (eg. iCloud Drive cheap online now announced, et al.).

    ...However, if I was looking myself now, I'd hold-off until the new one comes out (who knows when, likely later in 2014) as it would mean USB 3/3.1, Tbolt v2 (even v1 Tbolt is SO fast for storage, but v2 handles 4K as well!), native 4K video out (the current one doesn't have this) and would get me a machine that'd last almost certainly a decent 3-4 years; at least until 8K comes along, lol!
     
  10. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #10
    I think the 4K issue is mainly a software problem.

    Uncompressed 4K video isn't easily playable even on current rMBPs and nMPs. A constant 4K stream would require around 32MB per frame x 60fps = almost 2GB/s. PCIe storage couldn't stream at this rate to RAM. You'd need 3s to send 1s of video to the display.

    Fortunately, a lossless compression makes playing 4K feasible. When we'll have broadly accepted and lightweight standards, maybe even a Core 2 Duo will be able to play 4K/60fps in theory.
     

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