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jvreeland
October 20th, 2009, 11:39 AM
Looks like this morning (USA Time) that Apple refreshed the Mac Mini's

Official Link (http://www.apple.com/macmini/)

Features (http://www.apple.com/macmini/features.html)

Technical Specs (http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html)

Biggest change is that they now offer a Mac Mini server with no Optical Drive.

Official Mac Mini ServerLink (http://www.apple.com/macmini/server/)

I was hoping that there was a HDMI port added to the Mini, but there was not. The server does come standard with 2 500GB drives.

Overall - we saw a bump in processor (2.26GHz, 2.53GHz, or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor) and a Max Memory (4GB) increase.

Everything else still stays the same basically. This has been long awaited for most people and for me it signals the end of my Apple TV usage as I will now upgrade to the Mac Mini.

Thoughts?

infomofo
October 20th, 2009, 12:13 PM
It does seem like an ideal Boxee Box. You'll lose the optical drive, but honestly, I've never been a fan of Boxee's DVD interface anyway.

jvreeland
October 20th, 2009, 12:31 PM
Yeah - I have never once watched a DVD on Boxee :)

davidmt
October 21st, 2009, 04:44 AM
I am considering the new Mac Mini for a dedicated Boxee / Media Center unit. Question - would Boxee benefit from 4GB of RAM or will 2GB be good enough?

Thank you for the help!

lament
October 21st, 2009, 09:16 AM
honest question - why would you guys get a Mac Mini when you can build your own HTPC (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=10942892) for cheaper that can do more?

infomofo
October 21st, 2009, 09:34 AM
honest question - why would you guys get a Mac Mini when you can build your own HTPC (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=10942892) for cheaper that can do more?

Are you asking in general why people buy pre-bought computers that are already assembled vs putting them together themselves, or asking about general video driver compatibility on a mac?

lament
October 21st, 2009, 09:35 AM
no, rather spending more and getting less (both in terms of functionality and specs).

pyatta
October 21st, 2009, 09:52 AM
I have been going back and forth for days on this subject.

Here is why I am probably going to get a mac mini.

#1 - i dont like many of the mini cases
#2 - to many parts that might not "fit" together or "work" nicely. You have to "know your stuff" in order to put together a machine
#3 - time and effort.. i've never done this, would it take 20 minutes or 2 days.

bottom line, considering this is will be for playing movies & tv shows, for the $100 - $150 savings in building your own, the unknown problems and time of building your own, for me is worth spending the extra for the mac mini.

if you can shed more light on building your own, i'm listening.....

jvreeland
October 21st, 2009, 10:04 AM
I am considering the new Mac Mini for a dedicated Boxee / Media Center unit. Question - would Boxee benefit from 4GB of RAM or will 2GB be good enough?

Thank you for the help!

I cannot speak of the actual benchmarking because I have not done it personally or seen any for 4GB

BUT

It cannot hurt it at all. More memory is definitely a good thing for sure :)

jvreeland
October 21st, 2009, 10:06 AM
honest question - why would you guys get a Mac Mini when you can build your own HTPC (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=10942892) for cheaper that can do more?

Info makes a great point that this question relates back to the whole Pre-Built vs. Homemade PC discussion.

I personally am willing to pay an extra $200 - $300 to get everything working setup and supported. Its just not worth my time to try and do it on my own and support it on my own.

lament
October 21st, 2009, 12:51 PM
#3 - time and effort.. i've never done this, would it take 20 minutes or 2 days.

if you can shed more light on building your own, i'm listening.....

With the build that I linked above, it involves the following:

- putting RAM in the socket (30 seconds)
- inserting the CPU into the socket (30 seconds)
- screwing in the CPU cooler to the motherboard (5 minutes)
- placing the motherboard into the case, and hooking up a few wires (10 minutes)
- installing the DVD drive, should you want to (10 minutes)
- installing the HDD (10 minutes)
- cable management (this could take a little time depending on how anal you are and how and how nice and neat you want it). :)

building your own computer is actually really easy.

roontoon
October 21st, 2009, 01:43 PM
With the build that I linked above, it involves the following:

- putting RAM in the socket (30 seconds)
- inserting the CPU into the socket (30 seconds)
- screwing in the CPU cooler to the motherboard (5 minutes)
- placing the motherboard into the case, and hooking up a few wires (10 minutes)
- installing the DVD drive, should you want to (10 minutes)
- installing the HDD (10 minutes)
- cable management (this could take a little time depending on how anal you are and how and how nice and neat you want it). :)

building your own computer is actually really easy.


I assume you are talking Linux. If so then for MOST of the folks out there in the REAL world you will have to add about 1 year or maybe more for learning and tweeking it. Most folks want it to run out of the box, period.

d

jvreeland
October 21st, 2009, 01:56 PM
As it has been stated you are again dismissing all of the factors that play into building your system.

You are researching parts that will work together, gathering the drivers, installing them, and then supporting the whole process yourself.

TO ME (and a large portion of people) we would rather pay extra for a company to do that.

lament
October 21st, 2009, 03:05 PM
I assume you are talking Linux. If so then for MOST of the folks out there in the REAL world you will have to add about 1 year or maybe more for learning and tweeking it. Most folks want it to run out of the box, period.

d

No. I'm talking about building a computer, not learning an OS.

But about that - I'm a Windows guy and I put Ubuntu on it so I could take advantage of GPU decoding in XBMC and Boxee.

1 year to learn an OS? I must be the smartest guy in the world, because I had it up and working as I wanted in about a day, and that included 5.1 over HDMI. The only thing I don't have working to my liking (and I haven't put forth any effort to correct yet) is remapping my remote keys. Out of the box, the basic controls of the remote work fine. But I want to bind buttons for various functions.

For me, learning something new (Linux), saving money over a pre-built system, and taking advantage of GPU decoding were all factors that led me to build my own system.

gatherlight
October 21st, 2009, 04:15 PM
With the build that I linked above, it involves the following:

- putting RAM in the socket (30 seconds)
- inserting the CPU into the socket (30 seconds)
- screwing in the CPU cooler to the motherboard (5 minutes)
- placing the motherboard into the case, and hooking up a few wires (10 minutes)
- installing the DVD drive, should you want to (10 minutes)
- installing the HDD (10 minutes)
- cable management (this could take a little time depending on how anal you are and how and how nice and neat you want it). :)

building your own computer is actually really easy.

You are forgetting all the time it takes to research the exact parts that will fit and the time it takes to buy each part. I charge $75 a hour for my time working with computers and building websites. Anything over two hours of research here is going to kill your cost saving for me. Plus, I get a 1 year warranty and 90 days of free tech support with the mac mini. What is that worth to most people?

Then the big part. I get an operating system that is mostly bulletproof to all the spyware, malware and viruses that exist on the net. I can watch porn right out of the box with a mac without any virus protection. When you consider this is a "media center" computer, I want a something that does not pester me with virus updates all the time. I want to sit in from my big screen and use the handy Apple remote without having to get up all the time to tweak things or install another virus update to protect me from downloading media.

Yes, time is money, and your home built computer ends up costing me WAY MORE time, effort and money to keep it running than a Mac Mini in the long run. And it looks better too.

gatherlight
October 21st, 2009, 04:22 PM
honest question - why would you guys get a Mac Mini when you can build your own HTPC (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=10942892) for cheaper that can do more? What "more" can it do over a mac mini?

Most people here just want to plug the computer into a big screen and that is all it does, serve content to the screen from the internet or hard drive. Maybe do some encoding as well of movies to the hard drive from DVD. I'm not trying to run intensive programs on these media centers. I have laptops and work stations for that type or work.

Forgot to mention resale value as well. The mac mini is worth a lot more to later sell than a home build system.

lament
October 21st, 2009, 04:32 PM
What "more" can it do over a mac mini?

Most people here just want to plug the computer into a big screen and that is all it does, serve content to the screen from the internet or hard drive. Maybe do some encoding as well of movies to the hard drive from DVD. I'm not trying to run intensive programs on these media centers. I have laptops and work stations for that type or work.

Forgot to mention resale value as well. The mac mini is worth a lot more to later sell than a home build system.

- hardware decoding (technically the new Mac Minis have the same GPU as the ION, the 9400, but there's no hardware decoding that I'm aware of)
- audio over HDMI that doesn't require an additional $40 adapter
- 7.1 channel LPCM over HDMI (with said adapter, the Mini can only do 5.1)
- dual boot Windows and Linux ;)

roontoon
October 21st, 2009, 08:09 PM
No. I'm talking about building a computer, not learning an OS.

But about that - I'm a Windows guy and I put Ubuntu on it so I could take advantage of GPU decoding in XBMC and Boxee.

1 year to learn an OS? I must be the smartest guy in the world, because I had it up and working as I wanted in about a day, and that included 5.1 over HDMI. The only thing I don't have working to my liking (and I haven't put forth any effort to correct yet) is remapping my remote keys. Out of the box, the basic controls of the remote work fine. But I want to bind buttons for various functions.

And I am talking about an average user, which obviously is not you. An average person will not build a computer period. I have but I too am not average. I support several hundred people along with managing the LAN where they work. I know of no one in that group of average users that would first be capable of building a computer or second wanting to.

Believe me that a year to learn Linux for this group may be liberal. You are making a mistake in thinking that because you can build a machine that others can. Most of these folks don't even get that their files are not on their machine when they really are on a server in the building.

You are the exception not the norm. If Boxee is going to really take off then it has to appeal to the norm and that is why the Mini is so attractive to many folks.

d

infomofo
October 22nd, 2009, 02:22 PM
- putting RAM in the socket (30 seconds)
- inserting the CPU into the socket (30 seconds)
- screwing in the CPU cooler to the motherboard (5 minutes)
- placing the motherboard into the case, and hooking up a few wires (10 minutes)
- installing the DVD drive, should you want to (10 minutes)
- installing the HDD (10 minutes)


I think you just answered your own question of why someone might go with the Mac Mini rather than the homebrew :)

I don't want to do any of that.

stuey00
October 26th, 2009, 07:20 AM
I have been going back and forth for days on this subject.

Here is why I am probably going to get a mac mini.

#1 - i dont like many of the mini cases
#2 - to many parts that might not "fit" together or "work" nicely. You have to "know your stuff" in order to put together a machine
#3 - time and effort.. i've never done this, would it take 20 minutes or 2 days.

bottom line, considering this is will be for playing movies & tv shows, for the $100 - $150 savings in building your own, the unknown problems and time of building your own, for me is worth spending the extra for the mac mini.

if you can shed more light on building your own, i'm listening.....



And you have to run windoze

stuey00
October 26th, 2009, 07:40 AM
I've have just bought a mac mini with a wireless mouse and wireless keyboard. It's a dual 2Gb intel with 1gb RAM. The system drive is 160Gb although it doesn't matter how big or small it is, as all my boxee media is on a firewire 800 drive. For the ext drive i plumped with the 1TB iomega drive that copies the size and style of the mac mini. I have a mac pro 3Gb with an internal drive which holds all my itunes, this is on a home network and i sync the itunes media over the network.

The mac mini goes into my sony av receiver via hdmi.

I have a few other bits involved which also go via the sony av. It's all controlled via a logitech Harmony one. Simples !!

The mac mini looks great in the rack with the other bits, the wireless keyboard and mouse sitting on the TV stand makes for a really neat and very good tidy boxee set up.

I'm using both front row and boxee. I have eyetv version 3 running though front row (pyetv front row plug in) EyeTV records to the iomega 1TB drive which then encodes into a watch folder on the 1TB which is then picked up via boxee as the schedule grows.

I digress...

I've always been a mac user, partly down to being a mac/av tech for my work. Out of the box solutions which have at least gone through some kind of testing as a whole solution are, in my opinion far better than building one from scratch. If you are tech minded it's easy to bunng in a drive some ram and a DVD. Some people aren't and just wanna go home, set up a user account, install boxee and relax. Building machines from the ground up is a can of worms some people just haven't got the time to open.


Stu

larrydavis
October 30th, 2009, 01:22 PM
I just picked up a Mac Mini for use as an HTPC. Why? Because it's better plain and simple. I could go with a loud, ugly homebrew as was listed. Sure, it would have saved me all of $35. But I chose a nice looking, tiny, silent machine.

You can pick up the previous gen Minis for as low as $429 from the Apple refurb store. I opted for the $499 model with more RAM and more video RAM (and larger HDD but this was irrelevant to me).

In theory I could dual boot Ubuntu if I wanted. I wonder if I could utilize the VDPAU then. I might try that actually. Anyone know?

Quite frankly you can't build an equivalent to the Mini that looks as good and is as high quality. Nor will it run OS X for those time you want to (supported, not Hackintosh). But I could still run Windows or Linux if I chose too. The Mini gives me that option.

giantmike
October 30th, 2009, 10:05 PM
- dual boot Windows and Linux ;)

I'm surprised nobody else picked up on this. The Mac Mini can triple boot Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux with ease.

http://wiki.onmac.net/index.php/Triple_Boot_via_BootCamp

But really, why even bring up the mac mini vs homebrew in this thread? If you like the mini, buy it. If you like to build your own computer, then do so.

darkwoods
November 10th, 2009, 11:08 AM
I really dig the new updated Mac mini. I just bought the new wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse, but my old white MacBook still works fine tucked away in the entertainment center. I removed the magnet for the MagSafe, so I can close the clamshell and without going to sleep. I only have a 250Gb internal, so just music and photos (iTunes and iPhoto work better this way) on the system, with an external for movies. Boxee picks up my external content perfectly, even what's on my Leopard Server G4 over wifi.

I'll deginitely upgrade to the new mini when the MacBook dies for good, but I can wait. I could upgrade it's memory, but everything works well with 2Gb so far.

wileyj
November 11th, 2009, 07:20 PM
seriously??

i paid $600 for a mac mini last june when the new model came out, with an extra 500GB drive & putty knife to put that in.
your parts come to $498 + ~$40 for tax + ~$50 for shipping.

no warranty.
i understand if you're a linux hobbyist, and like to build your own machines for whatever reason....but if you seriously just want a machine that will plug into your television and work with a remote, it's silly to suggest you get a better value building your own machine.

and let's not forget the time....i doubt you can order all these parts and have them in less than 36 hours (which would add $$$$$ to the shipping price btw).
but for the same price, i can hop on the train to the apple store and have a mini plugged into my television and working in less than 1 hour.

there's just no value in building your own, unless you already have the hardware laying around. it's stupid to suggest otherwise.


honest question - why would you guys get a Mac Mini when you can build your own HTPC (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=10942892) for cheaper that can do more?

alawrence101
November 24th, 2009, 02:21 PM
Anyone have any suggestions of minimum specs for a used Mac Mini if I want to run Hulu, Netflix, etc. at fullscreen? I'm thinking about getting a used one on ebay, but I want to make sure it's up for whatever I throw at it.

I'm kicking myself for getting an Acer Revo (3600), on which Hulu (and even high def files) are unwatchable. I think I need an upgrade.

mdgm
December 9th, 2009, 06:25 AM
I'd get a C2D Mac Mini, preferably early or late 2009, but if you can't afford it the generation before that.

rocketpotp
December 12th, 2009, 08:52 AM
Just to share my personal experience. I've built PC's before and decided to try my hand at an HTPC. I outfitted it with an Asus HD ready MB, dual core Intel processor, 8 gB RAM, a 1tB HD and a dedicated video card. I loaded Vista (since that was my best option at the time). I spent 3 months struggling through codecs, compatibility issues, etc., not to mention being ticked off at how Vista slowed my hot PC to a Windows 95 generation speed. I happened to walk into a MacSuperstore one day and they had a home theater setup. I looked behind the big screen and saw the Mac Mini driving everything. To cut the story short, I got a mini, hooked it up in 5 minutes, and, as the commercial says..."It Just Worked". Sold the PC.

That was 8 months ago and I'm still happy. Get a mini, but I suggest 4 gB RAM. I just discovered Boxee and will be downloading that today.

alphajr
June 16th, 2010, 10:38 AM
looks like you got the HDMI you were waiting for (out today)

lament
June 16th, 2010, 10:46 AM
looks like you got the HDMI you were waiting for (out today)
yeah and a nice price bump to $699 for the low end - and no optical out and no remote! But hey, you have a Firewire port!

/facepalm

I'd be surprised if the Mini can do audio over HDMI. I bet they nerfed it so that you have to buy another cable for audio over HDMI.

skottles
June 16th, 2010, 12:25 PM
I'd be surprised if the Mini can do audio over HDMI. I bet they nerfed it so that you have to buy another cable for audio over HDMI.

According to the apple website it does do audio over hdmi:

http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html

lament
June 16th, 2010, 12:27 PM
According to the apple website it does do audio over hdmi:

http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html

Ah you're right.

Now all you need is an HDMI receiver. ;)

andrewsmit
June 17th, 2010, 04:44 AM
Ah you're right.

Now all you need is an HDMI receiver. ;)

Well if you get a "Toslink-to-Optical Mini Plug Digital Cable" and just plug that into your audio receiver, you're good to go. So technically, it does have optical out, you just need to buy a $7 cable.

Amazon link (http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-Velocity-Toslink--27017/dp/B0002JFN1K/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1276766713&sr=1-2)

gynetix
June 18th, 2010, 05:19 AM
Does anybody have experience using the extended desktop functionality from the displayport with boxee? I'm thinking this mac mini would be an amazing setup with dual displays, one to your desktop monitor, the other to your TV via HDMI.

Seems like it would have plenty of power to run everything quite well. Is it possible to run boxee in extended mode full screen while still having the dvi out running your normal apps and such?