Mini 2.53 for home theater ?

Jigsawjammer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 29, 2009
233
0
NYC
Hi- just wondering what your opinions are on the 2.53 last gen mini to play back HD video? I want to axe cable and the refurb 2.53 mini seems like a great deal in performance compared to the new mini. I am wondering though if the 320M will make video that much better and would be worth the cost or if the 2.53 mini can handle stuff like Hulu and netflix just fine?

Thanks
 

indg

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2007
456
8
the 320m will make a difference for 3d graphics (games, cad, motion graphics, etc). for video, not so much. from what i've personally observed, even apps that utilize hardware decoding for h264 don't utilize the gpu that much more than apps that don't. you hd video will be bottlenecked by cpu power and to a lesser extent hdd throughput (depending on the bitrate of your video).
 

Jigsawjammer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 29, 2009
233
0
NYC
Thanks for the reply. Figured the 2.53 should handle video well enough. Now- could I get by with just the 2.26 mini with 2gb's of ram? Is 4 gb's going to make a huge difference in video playback from netflix and hulu?
Thanks
 

indg

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2007
456
8
the 2.26 might struggle with some hd flash videos while it's streaming, like 1080p youtube. but 720p should be fine. and 1080p less than 150Mbps bitrate in avi/mkv/mp4 container should be fine as well. hulu and netflix will work fine.

2GB vs 4GB of ram won't make a difference for video. just don't have like 20 apps open at the same time, which would A) use up available ram, and B) waste cpu cycles in the background.
 

Jigsawjammer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 29, 2009
233
0
NYC
Thanks again... I guess the 2.53 is a way better value costing $90 more than the base model for double the ram and harddrive along with a faster CPU.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
the 320m will make a difference for 3d graphics (games, cad, motion graphics, etc). for video, not so much. from what i've personally observed, even apps that utilize hardware decoding for h264 don't utilize the gpu that much more than apps that don't. you hd video will be bottlenecked by cpu power and to a lesser extent hdd throughput (depending on the bitrate of your video).
QuickTime X can decode h264 videos the GPU quite alright, you are looking at a ~50% reduction in CPU usage through the use of GPU decoding support of QTx.

OP: you will have NO troubles playing a 1080p direct BD rip on your machine using Plex or VLC (it has a nice update that is performing quite well) - flash will always be an issue but thats a "given" ;)
 

MikeinJapan

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2010
205
0
Tokyo
I have a last gen 2.26Ghz 2GB RAM and it runs 1080p no problem. I have 2 TB of movies in SD, 720p and 1080p the mini has never missed a beat. I think 4GB would help but not really needed. I guess you know but PLEX is required.
 

Jigsawjammer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 29, 2009
233
0
NYC
Thanks for the kind replies. Had no idea about PLEX and I will do further research into it- thanks for making me aware. I guess the refurb 2.53 is still the best bet considering that it might have to be actually used as a computer as well depending on my future. Just sux not to have the latest stuff when dropping coin but it makes the most sense.
 

MikeinJapan

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2010
205
0
Tokyo
You have to use plex. It is the best media device out there and looks great. Labelling the files sucks but everything else is perfect.
 

Smileyboy

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,119
114
Cool to see this. I plan to hook mine up to my plasma for NFL.com/gameaccess
 

Similar threads

  • ashleykaryl
2
Replies
2
Views
107
  • r6mile
4
Replies
4
Views
275
  • marclondon
5
Replies
5
Views
313
  • tevion5
0
Replies
0
Views
442
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.