Older Mini's as HTPC/Servers

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Galpha, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Galpha macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've been on the lookout for a cheap HTPC/Media Server/Backup Device solution for a while, and just snagged a 1.66 Core Duo Mini (60GB/512 ram) for $125.

    I was going to max out the ram at 2gb and get a new drive for it, but before I spend anything else I was just wondering if anyone out there still uses a comparable machine for similar tasks? Does it still hold up? I need some validation!

    Thanks!
     
  2. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #2
    You'll be a little limited cause there won't be any GPU video decode acceleration, and the CPU alone probably can't handle complex/high bitrate 1080p stuff. Basically if you can limit your sources to 720p I think it should be ok. That stock 60GB is slow as hell though, if it feels slow in regular use you should probably replace that part first. On the extreme side of things you can get a 64GB SSD for about $100.
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #3
    I had one until 18 months ago when I replaced it with a 2.53ghz c2d. It was a tank and a beast. 1080p was a challenge even with a 7200rpm drive installed. The codecs and bit rates have to be just right. 720p was never an issue. An upgrade to a 2ghz c2d might be a good upgrade as they sell for $25 on eBay and will give you about 30% more CPU grunt as well as the ability to run Lion, if you want to. For hd go for a momentus xt for space or an SSD (the cheapest will do as it's a SATA 1.5gb connection) and an external fw/USB drive. It was an excellent file server as well and never let me down.
     
  4. Galpha thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    #4
    Thanks guys! I'd pretty much resigned myself to 720 or lower content (don't really have a back-catalog of BD rips or anything). If I can watch web videos, backup wirelessly and remotely pull up content from itunes, I'm happy.
     
  5. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #5
    Well I just realized another limitation: you won't be able to run Lion. You could upgrade the CPU and get Lion on there with some extra work but I'd suggest trying to sell and getting a C2D model at that point (cause the CPU upgrade is a pain).

    Probably not a huge deal but just something else to keep in mind down the line I guess.
     
  6. niewiesznic macrumors regular

    niewiesznic

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Location:
    Internet
    #6
    Hello,
    I have a Mac Mini 1.1 upgraded to C2D 2,16 GHz, with max out RAM - 2Gb and 64 SSD. It's lion powered. It is OK for 720p and lower, but no higher, I guess due to the intel integrated 950 GMA graphic card (it sucks so much).
    Some 720p files tend to stutter sometime, but rarely.
    I use Synology NAS as a source of video files.
    For audio with 64bit files it rules :)
    I also have PLEX on it, and it runs fine. http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/27302/plex
    Install Remote Buddy software, best buy for HTPC for a mac.http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/21872/remote-buddy

    Take care,

    P. G.
     

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