Used Mac Mini - Intel or PowerPC ??

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MVallee, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. MVallee macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    Ok I want to get a Mac Mini to use as a better version of Apple TV. I have a 1TB External HD filled with video, and just need it to run FrontRow and Perian and play my videos.

    I've been looking as ones on Craigslist and alot of them are PowerPC. Does it matter? For what I'm using it for do I need Intel?? I have a few Intel Macs but never owned a Mac when PPC was used.

    What should I get??
     
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #2
    PPC should be fine, BUT do not attempt to play HD movies! It will really suck big time. SD is fine but HD is a big no-no. As an added suggestion, try that other media center software, it's free and open source. Can't remember the name of it...

    EDIT: Just searched and found it. Try Plex. The functions of that free/open source app is vast. Theres so many options.
     
  3. seattle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #3
    I have the Intel core solo Mac Mini and I am very happy with it. It runs much faster than my G4 1 Ghz iMac and I don't think I would buy a non Intel Mac anymore.
     
  4. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    All my videos are just .avi files, so they should be no problem, right?
     
  5. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

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    Slovenia, EU
    #5
    I would not buy any of the old PPC models today. That technology is old for todays standards. Especially for HD video.
     
  6. asme macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #6
    The intel ones are not only faster but also have a better internal layout. Switching out parts, including the processor, is very easy.
     
  7. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #7
    G4 will run you fine, try to get the highest model (1.4ghz), and that'll happily give you lots of life, i will suggest you max the ram out (1GB), it's not going to be a speed demon, but for just video playback you'll be fine.

    EDIT: I used my Mac Mini G4 as a media hub with my TV for ages for watching films, it's amazing, if you can, get a wireless mouse and keyboard for it (providing the model you buy has bluetooth, it's helps so much.
     
  8. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #8
    To future-proof yourself, I would go only with Intel-based ones.

    There's a supposed update in Jan, so you should see even more available in the used market.
     
  9. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #9
    Well I found this ad on Craigslist

    Sounds like a good deal. I dunno how its still sealed in the box though. But w/e.

    Do you think that would be good as is, or better to find an Intel?
     
  10. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #10
    If you really really need it now, get it now, but otherwise wait for January, I'm something will happen to the mac mini on that date, mac minis are amazing little machines, see what january has in store for us and your decision might change at that point :)
     
  11. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #11
    I don't exactly need it RIGHT now, I just have the money now and might not have the money later.

    I'm really just trying to get the cheapest machine I can, I can't afford to spend alot so $375 is pretty inciting.

    The seller replied back and he said his work was selling old inventory and he bought the mac mini's they had. Its never used, so thats also very inciting.

    So do you think that machine is a good one for what I want? It will be ONLY for using FrontRow and playing .avi files.

    ???
     
  12. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #12
    G4 is the past of Macintosh. If you need Classic this is the way to go.

    Core 2 Duo (or even Core Duo) is the future. Two cores makes it a lot snappier in real life. Supports 3x the memory. VMWare (and BootCamp) allow the use of the occasional PC program. You can upgrade a used Solo to a C2D processor. More programs are intel only now, like Snow Leopard will most likely be.
     
  13. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #13
    It does sound like a good deal, I'd personally buy an Intel one though, the speed difference is VERY noticeable.
     
  14. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #14
    I doubt the G4 will have front row, mine doesn't and it sounds like the same machine.
     
  15. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #15
    Wait, I thought all Macs with Tiger had FrontRow?

    Can I install it if its not on there??? I have a file on my system called "FrontRow.pkg" that says its a FrontRow Installer. If it isn't pre-installed, can I add it with that?

    Also, does the Apple Remote work with the G4 Mac Mini's??
     
  16. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    Jun 13, 2007
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    #16
    No, the iMac G5 was the first mac to have front row, after the intel switch, the entire line up got it, apart from the mac pro though.

    Remote will not work on a mac mini G4 without a 3rd party addon, which is about $50/75.

    Unsure about simply dragging and dropping it onto the mac mini, might work, might not.
     
  17. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #17
    No, the iMac was the only PPC Mac that worked with Front Row. The G4 Mac mini doesn't have an infra-red port for the remote nor does it have Front Row.

    Front Row is now a standard part of Leopard so you could access it via the keyboard on a G4 Mac mini (if you put 10.5 on it of course) but the Intel machine comes with a remote and has the IR port so you can use Front Row properly.

    Honestly I wouldn't touch a G4 Mac mini now, the new ones are much better machines and the faster ones will cope with HD video playback quite well.
     
  18. MVallee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #18
    Thanks guys, I was all set to buy it and would have been screwed if I found this stuff out after.

    I don't want to spend the extra money making an older machine do what I'd like it to. If this had worked with FrontRow and the remote out of the box I would have bought it.

    Now I need to find a used Intel one instead. All the ones on Craigslist right now are G4.
     

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