Mini 2.53 for home theater ?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Jigsawjammer, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Jigsawjammer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    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
     
  2. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #2
    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).
     
  3. Jigsawjammer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    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
     
  4. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #4
    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.
     
  5. Jigsawjammer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    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.
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    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" ;)
     
  7. MikeinJapan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Jigsawjammer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    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.
     
  9. MikeinJapan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #9
    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.
     
  10. Smileyboy macrumors 65816

    Smileyboy

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #10
    Cool to see this. I plan to hook mine up to my plasma for NFL.com/gameaccess
     

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