Strongly considering Mac Mini as replacement for current HTPC...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by APlotdevice, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    I have done a fair bit of research over the past couple weeks, as I always do with hardware purchases, though I still have some questions that I hope existing owners can answer:

    1. Exactly how loud can the Mac Mini's fan get? It would help if you could provide a noise level comparison with something such as a game console.

    2. How well does the base model handle 1080p MKVs?

    3. Is it possible to use a DVI-to-VGA adapter with the included HDMI-to-DVI adapter? (Why even consider such an arcane video connection you ask? Well because my HDTV has two HDMI ports and one VGA, and I would like to keep my consoles plugged into the HDMI ports if at all possible.)
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    1. More like Wii, not like XBox

    2. My 2009 can do it so the new ones should have no problem.

    3. Not sure. I thing the adapters are DVI-D so I doubt it.
  3. Dixi1801 macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2012
    South Yorkshire, England.
    Oh dear! I was hoping to do this as my monitor is vga!
  4. Cloked macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2012
  5. GLS macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    1. I've never heard mine; but then again, all it does is playback of video files. No encoding, etc.

    2. Just fine. Mine is a base model; however, I did stick 8 GB ram in it.

    3. Can't answer that question.

    Also, I'm running XBMC on the mini.
  6. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I currently use a custom built / modified 2011 Mac mini with very good results as my HTPC. It is the centralized media gateway for Live TV, DVR, Movies and Music. I encode everything with Handbrake to H.264 files in 720p for comedy and romance, and 1080p for action and sci-fi. I use bootcamp and leave the system on 24/7. Below are the complete configuration, settings and links.

    Tuner Configuration
    SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime-6CC-3X2
    Signal Strength: 99-100% (-0.1db - 4.8db)
    Signal Quality: 100% (34db - 36db)
    Symbol Quality: 100%

    Netgear ProSafe 10/100/1000 Switch
    Motorola Signal Booster 2-Port BDA-S2
    F-Type 75 ohm Terminators (on all open ports, bulkheads, etc. to reduce interference from LTE signals)
    Quad Shielded RG6 coaxial cables (to reduce interference from LTE signals)

    Apple Mac Mini HTPC Configuration
    2011 Mac mini 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7
    8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X
    512GB Samsung 830 SSD
    1TB Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400RPM

    Logitech diNovo Mini

    Microsoft Windows 7 HTPC Configuration
    Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (on Samsung 830)
    AHCI enabled
    Disable Hibernate
    Disable Sleep
    Control Panel > Power Options > Balanced
    Control Panel > Power Options > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings
    > Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after - 20 minutes
    > PCI Express > Link State Power Management - OFF (if AHCI enabled)

    GPU- AMD 6630M:
    Use the Boot Camp driver only. Do Not install Catalyst Control Center. CCC will cause the 29/59 issue to manifest itself.

    Broadcom NetExtreme Gigabit Ethernet:
    All Offload options disabled
    Rx & Tx Flow Control enabled
    802.11az EEE disabled

    Microsoft Security Essentials:
    Excluded D:\\Recorded TV
    Excluded .wtv files
    Excluded ehshell.exe; ehSched.exe; ehRecvr.exe

    Windows Media Center:
    Tuner Salad for up to 12 tuners (currently use 6 tuners)
    Media Browser & Neo Theme
    Channel Logos

    Scheduled Tasks:
    Weekly restart of the HTPC (shutdown /r /f /t 0)
    Weekly restart of SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime ("C:\\Program Files\\Silicondust\\HDHomeRun\\hdhomerun_config.exe" {tuner ID here} set /sys/restart self)

    Two (2) Xbox 360 Slim 4GB extenders
    Logitech Harmony One

    Enabling AHCI for Windows on 2011 Macs:

    Tuner Salad:

    Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Schedule A Tasks:

    Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Disable / Enable Hibernate:
  7. sam.dg macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2012

    You may want to have a look at this adapter. Albeit I'm not sure whether it'd work or not!
  8. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX

    I think this would work.

    Best Buy also sells a Rocketfish brand for slightly cheaper.
  9. Dixi1801 macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2012
    South Yorkshire, England.
  10. APlotdevice thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Alright, I thank everyone very much for their input!
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  12. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Display port to VGA cable and 2005 vintage monitor here, with an early 2009 Mini, 1GB original + 4GB = 5GB of RAM and Mountain Lion. Sweet as....

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