old iMac G5 vs. new Mac Mini as media center

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by El Phantasmo, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. El Phantasmo macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2005
    i've been trying to decide what to do with my setup for a while, and who better to give me good advice than mac rumors visitors :D

    so... my setup for the past couple years has been an iBook G4 for portability and a iMac G5 for photography/web design on my spare time as a hobby and extra income (i work as a web designer full-time)... plus an iMac C2D at work.

    i'm getting a new macbook pro at work and i will be able to take it home so i will use it for virtually everything (work, games, web surfing, etc...)

    i will pass on my iBook to my sister since i wont need two laptops. And since i have all my music, movies and pictures on external drives i thought i could leave my G5 w/ the drives as a media center. I can hook it up to the stereo for music and a 720p LCD TV (i will buy the tv in a couple months) for movies.

    But then, here's the question: would i be better off selling the iMac and getting a new mini? i would hook it to the tv as a monitor... but what i dont like is the fact that the mini has 64MB of SHARED video ram.

    so to sum up:

    iMac G5

    -real video card (although i guess it will split its vram 64MB for the built in display and 64MB for the TV)
    -cheaper (i wont need to buy anything besides the tv)
    -two displays (i could use the imac for music and still be able to have something playing on the TV with the volume turned down or watch Formula 1 races on the tv with the live timing from f1.com showing on the mac)

    -no apple remote (its an old imac tough i can still use my cel phone w/ salling clicker and a bluetooth keyboard)
    -old technology (dont know if it will be able to handle HD TV stuff)


    -faster than the G5
    -apple remote
    -frontrow on the lcd tv

    -crap video card (will it play HD content?)
    -more expensive

    i appreciate any input you guys may have... thanks
  2. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Mac Mini

    The video card doesn't matter for video playback. The Core 2 Duo processor is what matters. It's way faster than the G5, which could struggle if you had 1080p h.264.

    Plus the mini is the perfect size for a media pc, and has front row, apple remote, etc.
  3. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    With Leopard, all Macs can legally use Front Row. No remote still for them, but you can use keyboard.

    Second, my iMac G5 2 ghz can play h.264 video smoothly up to 720p. At 1080 the framerate drops to the half of the video's FPS.

    Intel mini can (except Core Solo 1.5 ghz) run every HD H.264 resolution with ease.

    BTW, if you want to run your second monitor (TV) with iMac not in a mirror mode, you need to hack the firmware to enable screen spanning.
  4. El Phantasmo thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2005
    thanks guys...

    i actually use front row with the keyboard and my cell phone... but nothing beats the simplicity of the apple remote..

    but i guess that i will try to sell my iMac and get a mini..i have now made up my mind and i'm sure it will be much nicer having the mini + HD TV than having two screens and no remote...

    oh and i already hacked my imac to have two individual displays running off it...

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