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need upgrade advice with C2Duo 2.0 Mac Mini as HTPC

 
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bigcletus
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:12 pm    Post subject: need upgrade advice with C2Duo 2.0 Mac Mini as HTPC Reply with quote

I received this a little while ago and have since replaced my old Xbox running xbmc with the mac mini. It is a nice little pc but seems to be lacking in the video abilities. Here is what I am using:

Panasonic 50" plasma
Pioneer 7.1 Receiver
Mac Mini Core 2 Duo 2.0 ghz 1GB ram GMA950 Snow Leopard 10.6
Mac --> dvi to hdmi --> Receiver --> TV

Problem 1: the screen never has fit properly (1080P). I have tried all different setting combinations including SwitchRes X which is what I am using currently and it seems to work ok with a custom resolution.

Problem 2: I just recently got netflix and the playback is very choppy. I have read about others installing this broadcom/crystalhd card that replaces the wifi card. Would this improve the video playback? In all the cases I have read about it, it seems only mentioned when using xbmc with it. And in most cases, it seemed to have added a batch of other problems along with it.

Would I benefit from the broadcom card or would upgrading from 1GB to 2GB ram help any? Thanks for any info.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

go to 3gb or 4 gb ram and put in a better hdd.


http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/53IM2DDR3GBK/


http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/5300DDR2S4GP/


http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Western%20Digital/WD5000BEKT/


http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Western%20Digital/WD3200BEKT/

install video

http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/mac_mini_06-08_mem_hd_opt/



either ram would help a lot


either hdd would be a good boost
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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bigcletus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will the mac mini be able to use 4GB? I thought I read that 3GB is the max? Thanks for the links.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can put two 2GB DIMMs in to get the interleaving boost, but you will only be able to use 3.3x GB.

The Broadcom card will not help you unless you use XBMC, as that is the only software that currently supports it. Sadly there are no drivers to be able to use it with any software that you want. Or as far as I know there are no such drivers. So, if XBMC supports Netflix with a plugin, then it might work out for you.

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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Fred76
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the Broadcom all the time for watching 720p/1080p movies in xbmc and have no problems with it anymore. The most recent driver/fw package (3.6) is mature and the brand new XBMC Dharma release 10 is outstanding, I actually prefer it to Plex I have running on my i7 Imac upstairs. Most problems you read about on the Internet date back to the early development days.
There is no other route to smooth 1080p playback on your 50' plasma with your current mini anyway.
I would highly recommend it, also go with Phil's suggestions.
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Mac mini 2,1 2.33Ghz C2D with 1TB 12mm internal HDD / 2GB RAM / Broadcom Crystal HD Mini PCIe
Apple TV with 500 GB HDD / Broadcom Crystal HD Mini PCIe
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to follow up I found a good deal on the western digital scorpio black hdd


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136280&cm_re=scorpio_black-_-22-136-280-_-Product


60 bucks and 1 to ship is 61 but wait use code

EMCKJKC24 10 bucks off so 51 for a really nice hdd
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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bigcletus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the great into Smile I saw this RAM on newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-231-154&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Keywords=%28keywords%29&Page=2#scrollFullInfo Would this work?

I am not really expecting to get smooth 1080p with the mini. Just whatever netflix streams at which I doubt is 1080p. I would be happy with 720p or 1080i.

I do use xbmc primarily and the latest build is really nice. Thanks again.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah that ram is good. along with the hdd. you should be able to stream netflix fine. it is 720p
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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