Mini for HTPC

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by noahmateen1234, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. noahmateen1234 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #1
    I am in need to upgrade my HTPC and I was thinking a Mini would be a good fit. I need it to run XBMC and play my .mkv 720p and 1080p files on a 1080p HDTV. How old of a Mini could I use and have it run fast and smooth. Ideally I would like to upgrade the hdd inside to a SSD because all my media files are stored on external USB 3.0 drives. Bluetooth would also be nice to have to use a bluetooth remote with XBMC.
     
  2. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #2
    The oldest suitable is the 2009. That one has a 9400M GPU which delivers GPU video decoding in XBMC. The prior model manages to struggle through 1080p content too by having the CPU take care of it, but it means the fans kick in badly.
    I would say the 2010 is best, as it has the built in PSU and allows a BR drive to be mount.
    I don't need BT, I programmed my Onkyo receiver remote to act as Apple Remote and it works with XBMC.
    Old Mini's don't have USB3, but for playback it is no problem. Only to move large amount of movies over USB2 is not so fun. I try to do every movie transport over gigabit, so I don't mind. Gigabit is perfect for keeping up with the full speed of large hard drives.
    Oh, for media center purposes, skip SSD. You're better off with a much cheaper fast HD like a Scorpio Black. That delivers 750GB for 60 bucks or so, and still doubles the speed of the stock drives.
     

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