Mini Core Duo - 1080p playback?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by digitalpencil, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. digitalpencil macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    I'm looking at running a mini as a media center, pulling media off a big Linux server i keep in the back. There's going to be around 3TB of movies/tv shows, some of which are 1080p rips all stored on the Linux box and accessed over the network via the mini running Plex.

    So a few questions:
    I've found a standard 1.8 ghz Core Duo on ebay for £265 with an 80gb disk and 512mb ram, is this a good price?

    What's the max ram a CD mini will take and how much will I need to ensure reasonable HD performance through Plex?

    Will the standard 80gb HDD be fine given I won't be storing anything locally?

    Will 1080p content fly over wireless N happily or will i need to lay a hard line to the router?

    and finally, does anyone have any recommendations for remotes when using Plex? i've been looking at Logitech's Harmony.

    Thanks :D
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    1. Max the RAM to 2 gigs.
    2. Use Plex, and only Plex.
    3. I use my iPhone and the XBMC remote software.
    4. The Mini has 802.11g, and you won't be able to stream through it; however, the ethernet port would be perfectly fine.
  3. digitalpencil thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Thanks Cave Man,
    I wouldn't think of using anything other than Plex, finally the mac has the media center it deserves :D

    I gather the XBMC remote software for iPhone is still buggy though when used with Plex? Is this not true?
    Also, will the standard 80gb be cool given i won't be storing content locally?

    I think i'm going with the following:|66:4|65:15|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

    it's like £75, granted the disk wants replacing and i'm probably going to end up replacing the CPU and maxing the ram but it's still way cheaper than anything else i've come across! :p
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I haven't used it all that much yet, but it requires that you use Plex in Library mode, which is a bit more convenient than Front Row because it does the scrubbing for you, but it also can make mistakes. What I think is most attractive about using the iPhone/iPT is that you can put your computer in another room since the remote is through wifi and not IR. Makes the room a little more quieter if you have a fan blowing on the computer.

    That will be fine, but you'll still need to send HD content through ethernet (although SD content should be fine over 802.11g provided it's in h.264 or other highly-compressed format).

    You will have to replace the cpu if you want to do HD content. The Core Solo simply doesn't have the horsepower for handling HD content. You'll also need to upgrade it to Leopard. The cost of all those upgrades will put you pretty close to a new entry-level Mini (which can take 3 gigs vs. 2 gigs that you're considering). Just fyi.

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