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

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Sep 3, 2011
3,120
3,790
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.)
 

GLS

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
360
105
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.
 

shortcut3d

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2011
1,112
15
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
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/keyboa...WT.srch=1&ci=0

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
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/remote...iversal-remote

Links
Enabling AHCI for Windows on 2011 Macs:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/fo...1-now-possible

Tuner Salad:
http://mychannellogos.com/TunerSalad.aspx

Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Schedule A Tasks:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...chedule-a-task

Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Disable / Enable Hibernate:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...e-disable.html
 

sam.dg

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2012
10
0
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.)

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

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,522
709
Plano, TX
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