[LINUX] Anyone tried XBMC for Linux on the new Mac Mini with NVIDIA 9400 graphics?

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phrehdd Offline
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Question  [LINUX] Anyone tried XBMC for Linux on the new Mac Mini with NVIDIA 9400 graphics?
Post: #1
While the new Mac Mini appears to boast more RAM, a fair upgrade in video and other items, the processor remains less than one would hope for.

Given this outcome of a "new" Mac Mini, it seems almost a good idea that Linux might be a better option for an OS on the Mac Mini to run XBMC and exploit GPU.

Has anyone tried Linux/XMBC on the new Mac Mini 2.0 or 2.26?

Please post your findings and any improvements on playback of 1080p (dropped frames etc.)


Candidly, I admit to holding back on the long awaited Mac Mini and still concerned about playback of m2ts high bitrate files.

Thanks in advance to those braver than some of us ...

cheers

- Phrehdd
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jayhawk785 Offline
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Post: #2
I like linux... but I like osx better, it would pain me to put linux on my new mac, but i could do it with parallels/bootcamp when it arrives tomorrow to test.

phrehdd Wrote:While the new Mac Mini appears to boast more RAM, a fair upgrade in video and other items, the processor remains less than one would hope for.

Given this outcome of a "new" Mac Mini, it seems almost a good idea that Linux might be a better option for an OS on the Mac Mini to run XBMC and exploit GPU.

Has anyone tried Linux/XBMC on the new Mac Mini 2.0 or 2.26?

Please post your findings and any improvements on playback of 1080p (dropped frames etc.)


Candidly, I admit to holding back on the long awaited Mac Mini and still concerned about playback of m2ts high bitrate files.

Thanks in advance to those braver than some of us ...

cheers

- Phrehdd
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phrehdd Offline
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Post: #3
jayhawk785 Wrote:I like linux... but I like osx better, it would pain me to put linux on my new mac, but i could do it with parallels/bootcamp when it arrives tomorrow to test.

I have tried XMBC in a virtual with Parallels. It is doggedly slow and not due to XMBC. This might save you the effort.

Because the Linux version may have a strong foothold in exploiting the GPU, it might be a better fit. Ubuntu is a neat distro and for fans of OSX (I am) it is not hard to navigate. Parallels uses its own vid handlers and that would most likely negate any opportunity for Linux/XMBC to do its potential 'magic' with video.

- Phrehdd
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davilla Offline
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Post: #4
Nether parallels nor vmware will be good solutions for users seeking performance running XBMC. The hardware virtualization of parallels/vmware does work well (I use vmware all the time) but heavy GPU usage is a killer. The GPU does not really fall into the hardware virtualization very well and there's much software virtualization going on regarding the GPU.

In other works, Boot Linux native if you want total access to the hardware.


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Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
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envoy510 Offline
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Post: #5
phrehdd Wrote:Has anyone tried Linux/XBMC on the new Mac Mini 2.0 or 2.26?

Please post your findings and any improvements on playback of 1080p (dropped frames etc.)

- Phrehdd

I have the 2.0GHz version. I have no problem with 1080p playback. I think the reason the processor speed doesn't go above 2.26 is the issue of heat. I love the fact that the mini is completely silent.

See this post.
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phrehdd Offline
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Post: #6
It seems so far, no one really has been able to post info on the new Mac Mini with measurements of playback. I guess this will remain either "it works for me" or "it doesn't handle high bitrate media."

With all the fine work that goes into XMBC software, it would be nice to see some measure of validation of hardware. - Even just the test of the "killa bird file" would have been a good start and info on the dropped frames along with CPU utilization. An HTPC in the footprint of the Mac Mini seemed ideal. - Oh well.

- Phrehdd
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feikenberg Offline
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Post: #7
phrehdd Wrote:It seems so far, no one really has been able to post info on the new Mac Mini with measurements of playback. I guess this will remain either "it works for me" or "it doesn't handle high bitrate media."

With all the fine work that goes into XBMC software, it would be nice to see some measure of validation of hardware. - Even just the test of the "killa bird file" would have been a good start and info on the dropped frames along with CPU utilization. An HTPC in the footprint of the Mac Mini seemed ideal. - Oh well.

- Phrehdd

There is an extensive and interesting thread about all your questions in the PLEX Forum Wink
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phrehdd Offline
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Post: #8
feikenberg Wrote:There is an extensive and interesting thread about all your questions in the PLEX Forum Wink

I have been regularly going to the Plex forums and the real key here is basing results on XBMC whether it is the OSX release or Linux release.

Most of the folks who have been generous in providing their experience are to be appreciated however, these really aren't even close enough to some generic measure.

Something akin to naming one's hardware specs used, the file sample like "killa" and the play back information would be a benefit. Even better is a comparison of different hardare combos.

Example abbreviated here -

Measures:
File : example "killa"
playback: 60 seconds
max bitrate:
cpu usage highest point:
dropped frames:
etc.

Mac Mini 1.83, 2 gigs RAM etc
Mac Mini 2009 2.0, 4 gigs RAM etc
Mac Mini 2009 2.0, 2 gigs RAM etc
Mac Mini 2009 2.26, 4 gigs RAM etc

You get the idea. This is more of benefit. Naturally would love to see both XBMC for OSX and Linux results compared as well. Most likely, would require a few people to provide their results. I think the end results should be put in a sticky so it saves time for most to read and make decisions on the potential of a few hundred dollars spent and not being disappointed.

As the Mac Mini is a hot topic for Mac folks and some people looking for a small footprint HTPC, it might be worthy of the XMBC folks to make this request for results and decide which info/results are worth noting.

Cheers

- Phrehdd

ps - For me alone, I am particularly interested in Linux version on the Mac Mini and the true results of exploiting the GPU and the info obtained on playback. It is a question whether the 256 limit on 9400m is a true limit or as "reported" 512 is exploited and does it work well for m2ts files such as killa.
(This post was last modified: 2009-03-22 04:05 by phrehdd.)
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envoy510 Offline
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Post: #9
phrehdd Wrote:It seems so far, no one really has been able to post info on the new Mac Mini with measurements of playback. I guess this will remain either "it works for me" or "it doesn't handle high bitrate media."

With all the fine work that goes into XBMC software, it would be nice to see some measure of validation of hardware. - Even just the test of the "killa bird file" would have been a good start and info on the dropped frames along with CPU utilization. An HTPC in the footprint of the Mac Mini seemed ideal. - Oh well.

- Phrehdd

Be happy to run a test if someone can point me to it. Also, to collect the info you suggest, I'll need a little direction. What tool would provide those stats?
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envoy510 Offline
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Post: #10
I found this:

http://tracker.hatters.org.uk/torrents/k...kv.torrent

is this the killa that you refer to?

EDIT: my Windows box with an nVidia 8500 GT can barely play it. Wow. Will try it later on the mini...

EDIT2: pretty smooth on the mini. It's not jerky or anything, but the playback isn't linear. There's occasional slowdowns. I'd be happy to collect some actual stats if you tell me what program I should use (or how to find the info from xbmc).
(This post was last modified: 2009-03-22 20:03 by envoy510.)
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #11
Press O while playing (or is it I or T - I can never remember) - the one that shows you the playback stats at the top (number of dropped frames, and fps).

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.


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PiNCH Offline
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Lightbulb  The new Mac Mini?
Post: #12
I'm thinking of just biting the bullet and buying an HTPC already assembled - the new Mac Mini.

So, what's the general consensus around this thing? As far as specs goes, I'd guess it'd just barely run 1080p... but it will!

Being almost noiseless, small and not ugly, I'd think this has the potential to be the perfect media centre!

Specs:
Intel Core 2 Duo processor (2,0 GHz)
120 GB SATA harddisk (will probably be replaced by a 32GB SSD)
1 GB DDR3 RAM (4 gigs will be added)
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, 128MB shared
TOSLINK + DVI

Fire this up with Ubuntu and we're good to go! ... or? Smile

EDIT: Yeah, I did a search, but this thread (apparently) didn't come up, so this post was originally a thread in itself, sorry. But maybe this'll bring some life back to this thread Wink
(This post was last modified: 2009-04-21 15:43 by PiNCH.)
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Thomss Offline
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Post: #13
I'm going to buy the 2.0 this week and will be putting 2GB of ram in it, I have a few 1TB drives in Icy boxes to sit beside it which will connect via USB.

I've been looking at a all kinds of HTPC's but they all seem to lack something.

I'll post some info once it arrives.


Wink
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seedzero Offline
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Post: #14
Anyone tried installing linux on a new mini yet? I've heard there's issues doing a restart and you have to shutdown and do a cold boot. Can anyone confirm?
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Gamester17 Offline
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Post: #15
Someone successfully booted XBMC Live on the new Mac Mini, see http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=50257

...but XBMC Live has a few issues on it out of the box:
cusquinho Wrote:Although it booted, here is what didn`t work (and I'll try to figure out each one):

* No WiFi connection (I assume this is ok, Ubuntu guys should have proper instructions to get WiFi card working);
* No remote control support;
* Resolution is limited up to 720p.
* No sound (I`ll try alsa)

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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