Playing video on the Mac mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ginopiazza49, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. ginopiazza49 macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Port Chester, NY
    I recently have gotten into video, such as downloading .mkv files from Vuze, and .mov and .avi files from various other places. Now that I will be purchasing a Mac mini I hope to watch movies from the iTunes Store. One of the things I hated about my Power Mac G4 500 is that it's slow processor could only play about 45 percent of the videos I had. The rest of the videos I tried either the audio and video would either out of sync, just sputter along, or refuse to play at all. Will the 2.0Ghz processor of the new Mac minis be sufficient for video, or do I need to go with the 2.26 Ghz processor offered in the "build-to-order" option?
  2. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2009
    I have last years mac mini with the 2.0 C2D and three gigs of rams and it plays video without any problems. I have played everything from Lost on Hulu in HD to the HD movie trailers from the apple store in Plex without any problems. I am going to venture a guess that the new model with the much better GPU will do even better
  3. macrockbuddy macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2008
    I am in the same boat as you. I have a 2.4 MB w/ 4 gigs and it handles everything fine. I wanted a mini for an htpc but was worried the lesser spec'd machine wouldn't handle it as well. I searched the forums here and at a home theater site and found that the prior 1.8 processor did well. I feel confident that the bump to 2.0 and the help of nvidia graphics should tackle the job just fine.
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I have the previous Mac mini with 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo and it plays 1080p videos fine.
  5. Durandal549 macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2007
    I have a 1.66 core duo and it will do some 1080p. It stutters on .mkv and h264. 720p has never been an issue. I have no doubt that the new ones will be just fine.
  6. Pigumon macrumors 6502


    Aug 4, 2004
    Hmm.. I think our definitions of "fine" are not the same. I have the 2GHz C2D 3GB ram and it really peters out at true 1080P. Are you watching it scaled down maybe? A monitor that's not 1080 or above would not be true 1080P.

    My mini plays 1080P on a 1080P Sony TV, but the frame rate drops to almost 10fps in very detailed scenes.

    I'd guess though that even the base NEW mini will handle 1080P without a hitch. It finally has a real graphics card. That was the only thing holding it back.

    Time to visit the Apple store, download the BBC HD trailer of Japan and give it a test drive. :)
  7. Drumerdude macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Any new mac mini will play video fine. Make sure your monitor is good though. The video card helps put just a little, but the card might not do any good with a 10 year old monitor.
  8. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    some possible misinformation on here

    it depends on what you are using to play the media

    i.e. front row, vlc, or plex

    plex is the best in my opinion but at this time only is really impacted by the processor

    the video card is nice but unless the player can use it to accelerate the playing of the file its not going to do much

    the big change will most likely come in snow leopard as it will allow utilization of the graphics cores in the nvidia cheap side by side with the coreduo
  9. sngx1275 macrumors regular


    Jan 27, 2009
    1.83 Core Duos struggle mightily

    My 1.83Ghz Core Duo Mini with 1GB RAM will not play 1080 mkv files fine. It struggles badly, definitely not watchable. I've tried it with Plex, Quicktime, and VLC. I was tempted to install Windows and try them with CoreAVC but never got around to it.

    This would be more disappointing to me if I had faster internet, but I don't, so in an effort to save time/bandwidth/ratio I try and only deal with 720p movies. They play fine.

    I'm banking on the new Mini being able to play the 1080p mkvs because I am probably going to get one and pass on my older Mini.
  10. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Initially, I based my comment on my Mac mini's ability to play 1080p trailers from Apple's site on my monitor (which has a native resolution of 1920x1200). After reading your reply, I decided to download some 1080p mkv content and give it a shot.

    As has been noted, attempting to play 1080p mkvs in VLC will result in some stuttering. However, if I use XBMC the videos play fast and without any hiccups. I didn't try QuickTime or Plex (Plex only works with Leopard, my mini is running Tiger).

    Give XBMC and/or Plex a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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