What's the weakest link in my setup... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-24-2012, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm posting this in the HTPC area since I personally think my Mini is my weakest link, but I may well be wrong (forgive me if this needs to be moved to a different forum, I'm new, but have lurked for a while :P). Basically, I'm trying to upgrade my setup, but I don't have the money to do a full revamp at the moment, so I want to upgrade the 'worst' parts. Here's what I have at the moment...

TV: Samsung UN55EH6000 (just upgraded via Black Friday sales, was a Sharp LC-42D64U before)
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V667
Speakers: 2 x Klipsch KF-26 in front, KC-25 in center, old Sony 100W 8" sub
(the 3 Klipsch speakers were also Black Friday upgrades; prior to them, I had some terrible old Sony speakers from a HTIB 12 years ago; the sub is the last remnant of that system)
PC: Early 2009 Mac Mini 3,1 - 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo P7350 - 8GB DDR3 RAM
Accesories: Harmony 900, HDHomeRun for live football (Roll Tide), game systems (really only used for games, all my media is consumed within Plex, Netflix, ripped movies, the HDHomeRun, etc.)

I run Plex (both server and client) via the Mac, the storage is on a Synology DS410 with 4 x 3TB Hitachi drives. As for the fact that it's a 3.1 system, well, it used to be 5.1, but in our current apartment, there's just no way to run cables for surrounds elegantly, and the wife is picky about that kind of thing. However, if anyone knows any wireless surrounds that don't have the usual issues with wireless speakers, I'd be willing to consider them.

So at my current state, I'm thinking that the weakest part is the Mini. The processor is just getting ridiculously outdated, it wasn't even the top of the line one at the time, and I would think putting an SSD in as the drive would improve things drastically, too (the drive that came with it I believe is 5400 rpm). I did just replace the TV and front speakers, but that was more of a "hey, I have old equipment, and here's a good opportunity" thing than anything else. I also would love to go to a different remote setup (the 900 works fine, but it has that annoying delay, even after tweaks/updates), and any other accessories or additions that I could get would also be good, I may just not be aware of what's out there. I'm up for pretty much anything that will either 1) give me more awesome stuff my setup can do or 2) keep the capabilities of the setup the same but reduce the amount of equipment needed to do so.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-25-2012, 09:43 PM
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I agree the Mac is the weak spot, but not worth upgrading if you are happy with its performance. It should be fine for Blu Ray playback (if Macs can even play blu rays).
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-25-2012, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, they can, though not with built-in drives from Apple. I know some people remove the internal cd/dvd drives and put a blu-ray in. Personally I just have an external Asus drive (the SBW-06C1S-U if anyone is interested, it works great). Playback directly from disc works great. Personally I've ripped all my blu-rays to my NAS, and some of the 1080p rips are a little stuttery at times, though most of them work fine. I was thining of upgrading it to the latest one with the i7 (the c2d is feeling quite long in the tooth), and probably would have done it in a heartbeat if they had a discrete gfx card still, but since they don't, I'm a bit hesitant. (I'm more of a console gamer myself, at least when I have free time, but the Steam big picture mode makes me want to try PC gaming again, if I could integrate it with my system).

Part of me thinks I should just build an HTPC and start from scratch, putting a decent discrete card in it. Would a 3rd gen i5/i7 with a decent nvidia card (I'm mostly familiar with the M versions, but something at least equivalent to the GTX 660M) HTPC build be possible for under 700 or so? (Assuming no media storage directly in the thing, keeping it all in my NAS -- of course, if I could also have bays for extra storage expansion, that'd be a plus, but at that price range I'm not really sure).
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-26-2012, 08:58 PM
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I think you would be way better off with a new mini ITX machine.

I went from a Core 2 to an i5 recently and it is nice, but not like going from a 386 to a 486.
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