options for streaming with a Mini 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by stanw, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. stanw macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #1
    I have a Mini 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 GB ram running 10.5.8

    I want to be able to stream Netflix and directv though I am unable to install chrome or Firefox and the version of safari I have 5.0.6 is not compatible. I ran software update and updated everything relevant. Is my only option to update the os? I was avoiding this because I wasn't sure if it could handle it well.

    What are my options?

    Thanks.
     
  2. crazeazn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
  3. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #3
    I also have a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo model, the early 2009 Mini, still with the original 120 GB HDD. It came with 1 GB RAM and Leopard (OS X 10.5). The upgrade to Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) went fine and was a big improvement. You need to have at least 10.6 to be able to upgrade to Mavericks (10.9) or beyond.

    The Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) upgrade required a minimum of 2 GB RAM, though at least 4 GB is reckoned to be better, I went up to 5 GB, and it runs fine.

    I have not bothered with the free upgrades to Mavericks and Yosemite. Until recently my internet was very slow so download would have taken forever (I got a shop do the 10.8 upgrade for me). I gather they run OK, but with older hardware some of the benefits are not available, so I'm content to stay with Mountain Lion. With an external HDD, what I have should see me right for another couple or three years.

    I suggest get a bit more RAM installed, do the OS X upgrade, and you should be fine.

    However, check out the cost of upgrades to the hardware and software. Then decide whether it is more cost effective to extend the life of the 2009 Mini for a few more years, or to replace it with the latest model, which can reap all the benefits of the latest OS X.
     
  4. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #4
    1. Based on my current specs, do you have any idea if I will be able to get a modern browser with snow leopard?
    2. Do you know if getting to Lion will work ok with my specs?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Micky Do, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #5
    1. Firefox and Chrome require OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or newer, so yes there.

    Safari 6.1 requires Lion at least. Safari 7 & 8 go with Mavericks and Yosemite respectively.

    2. Core 2 Duo is good up to and including El Capitan, at least.

    The minimum RAM requirement went up to 2 GB for Lion and remains so up to El Capitan. So you are good there, though at least 4 GB is generally recommended.

    To upgrade to 10.7 (Lion) you need to have at least 10.6.6 already installed.

    To upgrade to 10.8 or higher (Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan) you need to be updated to 10.6.8.

    In short, update to Snow Leopard, and you should be good to go with the current Firefox and Chrome browsers. However, an upgrade to at least 4 GB RAM will likely improve your experience.

    But as I suggested before, price your options and weigh up the cost effectiveness vis-a-vis a new computer and little or no hassle.
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #6
    Which Mini was it? 2.0ghz Core 2 Duo was available on both the 2007 and the 2009 (just different Core2duo families). If it is the older 2007, you can run all the way up to Lion (although you are better off staying with Snow Leopard). If it is the newer 2009, you can run all the way up to El Capitan. I am also asking this, because the 2007 had the lack luster Intel 950 graphics, where as the 2009 had the superior Nvidia 9400m which is a much better experience for playing back video.
     
  7. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #7
    It is the older 2007. I upgraded to SL, updated the browsers and now they are so slow I can't do anything. I'm able to get a good signal on my ipad in the room, though the Mini chokes while trying to load pages in safari and chrome. I rebooted with no luck. Is the graphics card not able to handle it or is it something else? It won't load anything on Netflix, yahoo and other basic sites.

    Thanks.
     
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #8
    I'm surprised it can't handle yahoo and what not. However, Netflix uses mpeg4/H264 (if I am not mistaken) for it's video. The Intel 950 can not decode mpeg4 in hardware and therefore must use software decoding. Software decoding is extremely processor intensive and probably wouldn't work at all especially HD sources (it MIGHT be able to handle 720P, but even that I question).

    EDIT: Just to back up my statements: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Graphics-Media-Accelerator-950.2177.0.html

    and: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r28152226-HSI-Size-of-typical-NetFlix-movie
     
  9. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #9
    My intended purpose of the Mini is to stream so I guess it is time to get a new Mini? I was able to stream with it 2 yrs ago, before I had to upgrade the browsers. Anything else I can try before giving up?

    Thanks.
     
  10. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    You could try upgrading the RAM to 4 GB (although the system will only see 3.3 GB) or upgrading the CPU to a slightly faster CPU, but I think your main constraint is gonna be the GMA950 GPU. It wasn't exactly a great GPU back then and it certainly isn't now. My 2007 MacBook is pretty much the same as your Mac Mini specs-wise and even with 3 GB of RAM and an SSD, it struggles with streaming these days.
     

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