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Hi All,

could someone advise me on the best mac mini to buy to use mainly as a htpc, do i need the most up to date one or will one of the older ones do as i will only be using it for KODI and maybe some web browsing. It doesn't need a big hard drive as it will be connected to my 2 TB time capsule where i store all my media.

Any help much appreciated

Lee :-)
I use a Mac Mini 5,2. Got a good deal on it from eBay. Works great for my setup and uses AMD GPU's.
I use a mac mini 2011 intel hd3000 upgraded with 8GB ram and a samsung evo 840 256 GB SSD. Works perfect.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/ma...specs.html
I have also a 2011 mac mini. However if i was to recommend one, I would suggest the 2012+. This is because of a graphics problem that has effected some 2011 models. You will find some threads in Apple discussions. I haven't encountered it.
I'm a cheap arse, not a Mac Mini but same form factor - 160GB AppleTV1 (NVIDIA) with a CHD card (1080p) running Crystalbuntu (Linux) Gotham 13.2 very well. It can even do 1080i deinterlacing using CPU / software only.
No issues with perfect 24p synced video.

All Mac Mini's prior to the late 2014 models (that have Intel Haswell microarchitecture CPU's) will have the 24p Intel bug. Its fixed in hardware with Haswell microarchitecture.
It likely not noticeable by most, but dropped video frames occur. If you have seen perfectly synced 24p video output before you will visibly pick it up.

Sandy Bridge CPU's have the 24p bug. (2011 Mini)
Ivy Bridge CPU's still have it but it will be virtually invisible due to firmware work by Intel. (2012 Mini)

143421 (thread)

https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/topic/9...-x-thread/

NVIDIA graphics running on Linux have no such problems:
137481 (thread)

I though it was worth mentioning.

Smile
I have a number of mid 2010 Mac minis using nvidia graphics. Always working perfect.
Out of interest are these feeding into a 24p capable TV or a computer monitor ?
(2014-12-26, 20:28)wgstarks Wrote: [ -> ]I use a Mac Mini 5,2. Got a good deal on it from eBay. Works great for my setup and uses AMD GPU's.

Can someone confirm that the 5,2 with AMD does not suffer from dropped frames?
(2014-12-28, 09:49)steve1977 Wrote: [ -> ]
(2014-12-26, 20:28)wgstarks Wrote: [ -> ]I use a Mac Mini 5,2. Got a good deal on it from eBay. Works great for my setup and uses AMD GPU's.

Can someone confirm that the 5,2 with AMD does not suffer from dropped frames?

I can say that if there is a problem during playback it's never gotten to the level that I would notice it. I'm not any kind of video expert though.
Since OSX 10.6.2, Apple have allowed you to pick 1080/24p as a output refresh rate if your TV reports it is capable when negotiating over HDMI with a Mac. TV's that are 24p or similar mode capable, run some fancy frame trickery on 23.976fps video to smooth out playback. If this is not possible your TV will conduct a 3:2 pulldown of the 23.976fps video and juddering will be noticeable on camera panning for those that are susceptible.

Even if you run your OSX desktop at 60Hz, XBMC or Kodi these days is smart enough to signal the TV to switch refresh rates at the start of video playback. Your TV has to be 24p, 50Hz and 60Hz + more - capable and negotiate properly for this to work. You can even force different OSX refresh rate output by using SwitchResX.

Perfect 23.976fps video sync with a similarly capable TV was not possible on Intel machines until a bug was fixed in Haswell microarchitecture. That fix really is for the ultra fussy video purists. Ivy Bridge pretty much fix the issue anyways.

So summing up. If you have a 24p or similar mode capable TV play 23.976fps video and you set:
Settings > System > Playback > Adjust display refresh rate to match video > On

You will not notice any skipped or dropped frames (they will be rare if at all)

Similarily if your TV is not 24p mode capable and you set:
Playback > Adjust display refresh rate to match video > Off
Sync Playback to display > On
-A/V sync method - Video clock(resample audio)

And you play 23.976fps video on a 50Hz capable only display, Kodi will speed up the video to 25fps, and resample the audio, which will then have a higher pitch.

A 60Hz capable only TV will give you the infamous 3:2 pulldown and the video judder that the susceptible complain about.

BTW I hate how Netflix outputs their 23.976fps video and uses a 3:2 pulldown to display it on my Chromecast.
(yes I'm susceptible to video judder)
Google and Netflix should be shot for allowing a video display device in 2014 to be compromised in such a way, but then I have not seen a device playing Netflix video yet that refresh rate switches to 24p.
50Hz catchup TV output at 60Hz here in Australia looks plain terrible too.

Clear as Mud ? Tongue
I have an 2009 Mac Mini (the last version before the 100% aluminium one). It runs off an SSD with Yosemite and I have an external hard drive on that. Works perfectly on all my 720p/1080p videos. Sometimes it stutters a little bit, but it's not that bad, and it's not that often I see it.

Using MiniDP to HDMI for video, and optical out for the audio.

So I would say, get a 2011+, and you will be more than okay.
(2014-12-28, 17:13)wrxtasy Wrote: [ -> ]Since OSX 10.6.2, Apple have allowed you to pick 1080/24p as a output refresh rate if your TV reports it is capable when negotiating over HDMI with a Mac. TV's that are 24p or similar mode capable, run some fancy frame trickery on 23.976fps video to smooth out playback. If this is not possible your TV will conduct a 3:2 pulldown of the 23.976fps video and juddering will be noticeable on camera panning for those that are susceptible.

Even if you run your OSX desktop at 60Hz, XBMC or Kodi these days is smart enough to signal the TV to switch refresh rates at the start of video playback. Your TV has to be 24p, 50Hz and 60Hz + more - capable and negotiate properly for this to work. You can even force different OSX refresh rate output by using SwitchResX.

Perfect 23.976fps video sync with a similarly capable TV was not possible on Intel machines until a bug was fixed in Haswell microarchitecture. That fix really is for the ultra fussy video purists. Ivy Bridge pretty much fix the issue anyways.

Just out of curiosity, what would you look for? I've never noticed any sort of juddering in fast action scenes with my Sandy Bridge processors. Can't say I've really tested much at 24P though.
So long as your TV is 24p capable and you have - Adjust display refresh rate to match video > On......

As video on Kodi starts hit the (o) key to bring up the video Codec info.
You will likely see drop:0 skip:x number of frames at the start of video playback.
My Sandy Bridge iMac usually has skip:2 at the start of video playback
If you see drop: or the skip: number increasing as the video continues, you know you have an issue. Its likely minor.

With advances in software in OSX and XBMC / Kodi these days coupled with these faster processing 24p video modes of modern TV's most people never notice. Its the 23.976fps > 60Hz resulting in the 3:2 pulldown judder that really drives some people mad !
(2014-12-28, 07:32)wrxtasy Wrote: [ -> ]Out of interest are these feeding into a 24p capable TV or a computer monitor ?

A 24p capable TV, yes.
Problem being the OS. If you want to use it only as a HTPC, the Mavericks/Yosemite/Lions systems are useless and maybe overpowered, because devs of Kodi take OSX Snow Leopard (10.6.8) as the minimum requirement. And believe me Snow Leopard is the most stable, light and fast starting OSX Apple made.

So, to summerize:

EXPENSIVE: The new Mini 5,2 with Yosemite (it may be a bit less heavy and buggy than with xLions/Mavericks) with all the - useless for Kodi - eye candy (who needs transparent windows?)

CHEAP: The old Mini 4,1 with SnowLeopard (I play full Bluray Rip through USB external hards disks without any issues - 1080p/24p through HDMI 50hz). Very stable config with all official relases of XBMC/Kodi. Careful: I had an old macbook on SnowLeopard which was blazing fast. I made the mistake to update it to mountain Lion before gifting it to my mom > it is now CRAWLING, everything is so slow, with colorspinning wheel, the update killed it. So my advice to buy a second-hand Cheap Mini is ONLY if you are accept to keep OSX Snow Leopard as the main OS.

Now question for the specialists here: do you think it is possible to buy a brand new Mini (with Maverick or Yosemite installed by default I presume) and to downgrade it to Snow Leopard with some serious drivers hacking of course - I guess it's the same process as setting up a hackintosh?
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