Mac mini and the many options

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by slamd50, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. slamd50 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #1
    So i am sure many people have made or are in the same process of making the same decision I am trying to. First let me start by telling you what I do have...50" Samsung 720p plasma, Denon 3208ci receiver, Airport extreme n-router, and a WD 1tb external hd... also I already have a mini display port to hdmi cable and optical wires for audio.... My blu-ray player will be used for most hd film content that will be my main source. However I have installed plex on my macbook and it has my wheels turning. If it isn't already obvious where i'm going with this is i am planning on purchasing a mac mini to complete my set up. Primary use will be to play audio and my old dvds that are stored on the external HD. Aside from that, light web browsing, and pandora will probably the remainder of the use. The question is which mini is best for me? I have pretty much ruled out the older model, because I hear the newer is near twice as fast. But as for which new one and options I am still uncertain. I don't want any lag while watching movies but at the same time i don't want to go overboard and spend more to get options that i would never have missed... What do guys think? I would love to hear from anybody with a similar set up, and any pros or cons they have encountered. thanks ahead of time! and one last thing does anybody know the chances of a possible update? i always seem to jump the gun when buying
     
  2. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #2
    I have the original G4 mac mini connected to my TV, it does not run most media software so I wouldn't know but I guess I say why not. Sometimes its fun to play some games and do other stuff from the couch.

    However really we are making a totally virtual transition here, and we play everything off our apple tv and ps3... Thats the future :p

    -omi
     
  3. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Get the base Mac Mini and upgrade to 4GB. It is cheaper upgrading it yourself, but you wont scratch the Mac Mini if you get it through Apple. Since you already have a 1TB external hard drive, there no need to upgrade the hard drive unless you really need to. I suggest the 500GB Scorpio Blue.
     
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #4
    As MM2009 mentioned, just grab the 2.0GHz mini and dump 4Gigs of RAM on there and you're set.
     
  5. slamd50 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    thanks guys... go the ram will effect the playback? i'm just waiting for a base to come up on refurb at the mac store so i can save $100
     
  6. slamd50 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    I'd get the cheapest you can buy and add an external FW400 hard drive. That's plenty for your needs. One gb ought to be fine, but two would be better for running multiple apps.

    That's not true. At 2 ghz, the old Mini and new Mini are about the same (a bit better with the new because of its bus speed). That may change with Snow Leopard apps that can leverage OpenCL, though. I play 1080p MKV with AC3 or DTS audio on my 1.66 ghz Core Duo Mini without stuttering or discernible dropped frames using Plex.

    Plex has a low RAM footprint. You should try 1 gb, but be prepared to upgrade to 2 gb.
     
  8. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #8
    Just a quick question: When did you get that TV? 720p on anything larger than 32'' looks like crap.

    I saw the mini in the refurb store, a 2.26 320 GB model for $799 today. Check the refurb store, there are amazing deals there.

    The old mini isn't a slouch. My 2 GHz with 2 GB RAM can handle everything I throw at it. But if I had the choice, I would most certainly get the new one, mainly to take advantage of Open Cl.
     
  9. slamd50 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    the tv is about 2yrs old... the picture looks better then most i've seen and since cable cant produce higher than 720... and my receiver is upconverting it really isn't that big of a deal...as far as the the refurb store the $799 is way out of my price point... $500 or under is where i want to be
     
  10. milk242 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #10
    You should just make the apple refurbished website your homepage, that's what I did to get my mac mini for 499.

    My setup is currently the 2.0 mac mini with a 320gb 7200 rpm hard drive and a western digital mybook studio II 2tb in mirror mode connected via firewire 800. All of this is connected to my 46" samsung with plex and boxee running. It works really well... I probably could have just gone with an older generation mac mini, but I really wanted the firewire 800 port.

    Problem I ran into was with the mini not displaying right on my tv via mini displayport -> hdmi. I had to play with the viewing mode options on my tv... not sure if you'll run into that problem with a 720p set.
     

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