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51 posts

Master Geek

Topic # 46486 6-Nov-2009 22:45
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There's been an interesting discussion going on in one of the other threads comparing a custom PC build verses one of the new Mac Minis:

I was all set to buy a Mac Mini, but am happy to be convinced otherwise. I had assumed that it will be running Windows 7, as that seems to be the best PVR software currently.

So, please help. These are the features of the Mini that I was interested in:

Size: lovely and compact. I currently have a beige box (desktop case) and it's ugly as. The mini is appealing as it's in a tiny unit, and looks great.

Power Usage: at 14W on idle, this box seems ideal for a unit that is on much of the day. I hate to think what my present Pentium 4 based machine is using with it's large power supply and multiple cooling fans.

Quiet - These minis seem pretty quiet. Not that excited about a separate video card that needs it's own cooling system.

Video - it appears that the Mini is more than capable of 1080 HD playback with the NVidia video.

RAM - the 2 gigs (@ 1066 MHz) seems more than adequate for a PVR system. I am right?

Tuner - not too sure what to choose here. Was assuming there'd be a preferred DVB-T USB tuner that people are using.

HDD - The Mac Mini has a laptop sized drive in it. I'd have to either replace with a high capacity drive of the same size, or just plug in a cheap external unit.

CPU - the 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo seems more than enough, especially as the video card seems to do much of the work.

That's it really. I am assuming that a PC spec of the above requirements would be cheaper. But by how much I wonder?

I'd really appreciate help in saving a few $$$ and opening my eyes to the non-apple work of PC hardware.



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Infrastructure Geek
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Microsoft NZ

  Reply # 270764 6-Nov-2009 22:56
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you could always try and build your own custom mini-itx based pc. a case thats as nice as the mac mini might cost you a few hundred though, so it may not end up any cheaper if you want something as stylish.

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  Reply # 285788 29-Dec-2009 09:50
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 285938 29-Dec-2009 22:10
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I specced a m-itx system including, case/DG45FC mobo/2.2Ghz cpu/2GB ram/160GB hdd/Wifi N USB/Win7 for $928 including.

Another option would be a Zotac ION mobo/cpu setup for $917.

The main sticking points would be the size of the case and the look of the case.

You could also add a slimline blu-ray player for $189.

Or you can get a Dell Zino HD, Asus EeeBox, and maybe oneday NZ will get the AspireRevo R3610.

Home Server: Mobo GA-990FXA-UD3, AMD FX-8370, 32GB RAM, 40TB HDD, 2 x HP Smart Array P410, 3 x Norco SS-500, 10GbE, ESXi 6u2, NextPVR, Emby Server, Plex Server, 2 x HDHomerun.
Lounge Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi17.3/SPMC16.7 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 250GB SSD.
Kids Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi17.3/SPMC16.7 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 120GB SSD
Test Center: NVIDIA Shield TV Pro 500GB. Plex Media Server, Kodi17.3/SPMC16.7 with Titan, Emby, HDHomerun.
Main PC: Intel i5, 16GB RAM, NVidia GTX950, 128GB Samsung 840 Pro, 3 x 1TB HDD, 2 x 24" Panasonic LCD TV, Blu-ray drive, Windows 10, Kodi17.3, Emby, Titan.

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Master Geek

  Reply # 285944 29-Dec-2009 22:25
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I ended up building a Shuttle based system, which I'm very happy with. A few photos and specs here on my blog:

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 286530 2-Jan-2010 17:26
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Not relevant to the orignal poster now that hes made his purpose, but with the development:

it might be possible for some very small system, and will breath some life into those old Mac Mini's

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