minimum specifications for a Mac Mini to be able to reliably/smoothly play 1080p30? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking about getting a Mini as a "living room box" for doing all manners of things including HTPC functions, but the only real heavy lifting I'm expecting of it will be occasionally playing back 1080p30 video (and maybe very, very occasionally 1080p60 video) unscaled to a 1920x1080 HDTV.

I know that for 720p30 video and web browsing and music and all other sorts of uses that even a used Mini from several years ago will do fine. I'm curious, however, just how cheap/old I could go and still expect to see HD videos running without any frames dropping or other annoying issues?

I'm very familiar with full size Mac desktop GPU options but next to nothing about the limitations of the Intel video used on various generations of the Mini, would greatly appreciate any feedback someone wants to provide (the best of course being first hand "I have X and it can do Y" results).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:48 AM
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From my experience and have two different Mac Mini models in my home for this use you need anything that has at the minimum an Intel Core 2 Duo and 256MB dedicated video RAM. Anything less you might be able to push 1080p however it would be sluggish from my understanding. New unibody models are nice since they have hdmi, you can get an hdmi adapter for the older ones but they won't run audio through them and the adapters that have usb powered audio via hdmi work but not so well but could have just been me. I had everything running through a Yamaha receiver and it wouldn't always work when switching inputs..

I have an Early 2009 model with these minimum specs and a Mid 2011 version
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:03 PM
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Pretty sure the Kanex iAdapt 51 will work with an older mini. I had the previous Kanex adapter w/ 2009 mini and it had no problem putting DD or DTS through to my Onkyo receiver.

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Old 05-16-2013, 10:08 AM
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I have a Late 2009 Mac Mini, 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 8GB RAM (4GB is enough), connected to a 1920x1080@60p video-projector with DisplayPort->HDMI conversion.
As you correctly identified, any HD decoding (Blu Ray or EyeTV displaying HD program) is borderline, with CPU usage around 2x85%.
But it works.
I would not recommend anything less powerful for HD, but you will have an even greater margin with a more recent Mac Mini.
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