Opinions on old style Mac Mini (1.83Ghz) for HTPC

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by blizeH, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. blizeH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm on the lookout for a new HTPC - I love my Acer Revo R3610 with Windows, but it really struggles with 1080p videos on Plex so I'm on the lookout for something different.

    I've just seen a second hand Mac Mini for sale - 1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM etc, but I just have a few questions:

    1) Would this run 1080p videos on Plex client, as well as a Plex server without any issues?

    2) The lack of a proper HDMI port worries me, but it does have a Belkin HDMI adapter, will I encounter any issues with this?

    3) It's the old style Mac Mini - how is this with regards to noise, power consumption etc?

    Sorry to ask such silly questions, but I really have no idea about the Mac Mini, many thanks

    ----------

    Just found out the model number is MB138LL, so 5 years old!
     
  2. The "Dude" macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    #2
    How much were you looking to spend? I'll be selling my mid-2010 Mini shortly after my retina MacBook Pro arrives.

    MacMini Server dual 500gb HDs 2.6ghz Core 2 Duo 4gb RAM HDMI port
     
  3. blizeH, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012

    blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #3
    If I'm honest, as little as possible, I was tempted by the Lenovo Q180, but then saw a second hand Mac Mini for a reasonable price (~£300) that swayed me. I would be willing to pay extra for an improved CPU or SSD though, after a quick Google I think your machine would be well out of my price range, thank you though.
     
  4. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #4
    I think the 1.83 would be a little weak for 1080p, it would depend on bitrate and audio quality as well. I think you'd be better off finding a 2009 model where the low end was a 2.26 and put in 4 or 8gb of RAM. That should handle everything just fine.

    As for the HDMI adapters, I have used one on my 2008 mini HTPC for years without issue, I bought it form monoprice. For audio I use the optical out.

    The old model is fairly quiet, though when pushed the fan does ramp up, but at about 10 feet away it's not particularly audible. It's decent power wise, though obviously the newer models are better.
     
  5. blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #5
    Huge thanks, it actually gets a much better PassMark score than the processor used in the Q180 I've been looking at, but I don't know if OSX will require more overhead from that than Windows 7 would, hm! Decisions decisions.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    I have use one of those Minis at my house. Works very well and can play 1080p videos without a problem. Of course I did upgrade the CPU up from a 1.5Ghz CoreSolo to a 2.33Ghz Core2Duo. I'd image a 1.86Ghz would be the minimum for 1080p playback. If you're willing, you could always upgrade its CPU.
     
  7. philipma1957, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #7
    you want a 2010 mac mini. base model 2.4 ghz cpu 8gb ram. they are not too much.

    the one below is close to perfect for you.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-M...e_Desktops&hash=item20c6d3d817#ht_1224wt_1104


    he wants 579 plus 45 total 624 usd

    that is 400 pounds shipped to the uk. there is no way I would pay 300 pounds for a 1.83 machine when I can get this for 400 pounds.

    It seems you are in the uk. I would really try to find a 2010 base model with a ram upgrade. Much better then the 1.83.
     
  8. blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #8
    Many thanks, if I'm honest I won't be using it for 1080p an awful lot - the vast majority of things I watch are just 720p. Not sure what to do now though, I don't want be in a position that I'm in now and wish I'd gone for something a little faster!
     
  9. blizeH, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012

    blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #9
    @philip - thank you, but if I'm honest I don't really fancy importing one, I'm not even sure it'd work properly without some kind of power converter? (or could I just get a UK power lead?)

    Also, would I not have to pay tax on it? I don't know, seems risky somehow :(

    2.4Ghz would be a lot better, yeah, although I want it exclusively for Plex which apparently runs fine on the old model? It comes with some nice extras too (wireless keyboard, trackpad, remote etc) which make the deal more appealing

    I've been trying to compare the CPUs as well on the RL70 (AMD E450 1.65GHz), Q180 (Intel Atom D2700 2.13GHz) and the Mac Mini (1.83Ghz Intel C2D) without much joy
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #10
    The Mac Mini's power brick can take 110-240 volts at 50-60 hertz. You'll just need a UK styled cord for the brick.
     
  11. blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 3, 2009
    #11
    Ah, thank you, okay now that is slightly more tempting! Although I'm still worried about customs...
     
  12. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    That revo shouldnt have any issues running 1080p videos with plex. It has accelerated graphics from Nvidia, what are the issues you are having with it? What graphics drivers are you using?
     
  13. blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #13
    Ah, really? Maybe I've got it set-up incorrectly.the menus aren't particularly responsive, and video playback on 720p content is very jerky to say the least, the audio sometimes goes out of sync too.

    As for drivers, just the nVidia graphics drivers that came with it I think (but an updated version)

    Could it be because I have the server on the same PC as the client?
     
  14. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    The menus should be mostly ok, the first time you open plex after closing it's a bit laggy as it caches things. But then it should be ok. Video should be butter smooth, under prefs and system do you have DVXA accel enabled? Also audio sync is a known bug for sd videos with mpeg audio it just happens. but movies with dts and dd audio should be butter smooth.
     
  15. blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #15
    DVXA...? Based on my reaction to that I'm going to have to say no! Will check out the menus tomorrow, thank you!
     
  16. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    Sorry pointed you to wrong place, it's preferences, then videos, then player and make sure DXVA2 hardware accel is selected. :)
     
  17. blizeH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #17
    Perfect, thanks so much! It runs a lot smoother now! Now to sort my Plex input devices... ^_^
     
  18. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    If you are still getting jitters it's most likely going to be a setting on the tv for smoothing, 99% of the time this is what causes the issue.
     

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