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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Minimum system Req. For Mac mini 'media center'


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Dew

 
Member Since: Jan 03, 2011
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I would like to connect a Mac mini to my TV for watching web content (netflix, hulu etc), some web browsing and possibly light duty type stuff (email, iPhoto etc). I currently do this with my 13" MacBook pro (late 2009 model- 2.26ghz, 2Gb ram, 160GB hdd) and performance wise it works flawlessly so I know those system specs are great for my purposes.
What I am wondering is how low can I go as far as RAM & processor speed before performance will suffer? If I got one with 1.83ghz (intel duo) & 1MB RAM would streaming video get choppy? Are there graphics card issues I should look for?
I tried reviving an old Sony pc laptop and the video streamed from HULU was very choppy- It has a 1.6ghz centrino processor, 512MB ram and 60 GB hard drive so I think I needsomething 'more' but no clue which thing I need 'more' of. of course the PC may have had other limitations like the centrino processor not being able to handle as much as a 1.6 core2 type?
I know the older Mac minis don't have HDMI but I have the DVI adapter and the mini display one and know audio requires separate cables- not too worried about that since it is the same in my MPB!
Any pointers would be appreciated!
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613

 
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Mac Specs: G4 Cube 450MHz, MacBook Air 11" 2013, iMac 21.5" i3, iPad 1,1 32GB

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Hey, just my two cents on the subject Dew.

My MacBook has the 1.83GHz Core Duo processor you refer to. It will run everything I've thrown at it, although that is with the second GB of RAM. Streaming HD video sets the fan going though, especially Flash, so if you want a more quiet, future-proof machine by your big tv, I'd definitely hold out for a faster model.

Hope that helps!

G4 Cube: 450MHz, 1.5GB, 128GB, 10.4.11
MacBook Air 1.8GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 120GB, 10.8.5
iMac: 21.5" 3.06GHz i3, 4GB RAM, 500GB, 10.8.5
Nexus 7 (2013) 32GB
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Dew

 
Member Since: Jan 03, 2011
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Yes it helps alot! I realized (duh) that I could find minimum system requirements listed on websites for the various stuff that I know I will be running and lo and behold Hulu desktop requires 2Ghz processor. I also looked at my system activity monitor and realized it looked a lot more intensive on the processor (or at least the CPU) than on RAM. Still, I am never sure if I am interpreting things correctly so your opinion is greatly appreciated. I am noticing that my normally cool as a cucumber MBP is hotter than usual when streaming through Hulu desktop so I can see that your advice makes sense! I am thinking of biting the bullet and just getting a new one. It is shocking to me that 3-4 yo mac minis are still commanding $400 on ebay so I figure the potential headache is not worth saving that $300. I canceled cable and at $70 a month I will make up the difference in 4-5 mos.
Thanks for responding!
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