Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 16 of 42

Thread: Apple Mac mini gives one in the eye to Win MCE

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    2,536
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked
    4 times in 3 posts

    Apple Mac mini gives one in the eye to Win MCE

    Yesterday's launch of Apple's Intel-powered Mac mini brings to market a truly tiny media-centre computer that makes many PCs based on Windows Media Center Edition look exactly what they are - too big, too noisy, too expensive and too badly thought out.

    However, the Mac mini isn't the outright MCE-killer it might have been.

    The most obvious problem is that the mini lacks a TV tuner and with it the personal video recorder functionality that makes MCE PCs so appealing. Apple may well argue that there is a number of third-party Mac-compatible USB TV tuners available but that's not the point - and does mean extra expense. The mini is also compromised to an extent by having to share main system RAM with the graphics processor - a less-than-state-of-the-art Intel GMA950.

    Check out this HEXUS.headline, then share you thoughts on the minis' feature-sets and how these tiddlers look to compare with MCE PCs you've used.

  2. #2
    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Preston, Lancs
    Posts
    6,135
    Thanks
    532
    Thanked
    138 times in 99 posts
    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DR3
      • Storage:
      • 1x250GB Maxtor SATAII, 1x 400GB Hitachi SATAII
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Zotac GTX 1060 3GB
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 500W
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Elite 430
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 20" TFT
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media Cable
    So...basically, everything you need from a media centre PC except the ability to work as a media centre PC. No tuner, no PVR functionality, crap graphics which you can't upgrade. MCE PCs are too big and too noisy? Not the ones I've built, and I have the pick of tuner/PVR cards for them. MCE PCs have at least as good connectivity options as this box, and are supplied with a good front end also controlled by a remote. MCE PCs, although they can be built around integrated graphics (and indeed I've done this - but around Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, which spank the Intel version) can also be built around relatively high-performing and silent add-in solutions. Basically, the only thing this has going for it is that it's smaller than most MCE PCs. Describing this as "one in the eye" for XP MCE is ludicrously overstating its merits and ignoring its glaring shortfalls; basically the sort of headline that you'd HAVE to be an Apple fanboy...sorry...afficionado to write.

  3. #3
    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Region 2
    Posts
    4,071
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked
    12 times in 11 posts
    ^ What he said.

  4. #4
    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Nottingham UK
    Posts
    2,390
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked
    2 times in 2 posts
    I think they are a great idea - and why do you need graphics acceleration to view movies and DVDs anyways.

    For £45 you can get a TV tuner which will make it just as good as any other MCE PC - and for £400 they are a bargin. I have just ordered one, heh.

    G4 PowerMac - Tiger 10.4 - 512MB RAM
    MacBook - 2Ghz - 1GB RAM - 120GB HDD

    Rotel RC970BX | DBX DriveRack |2x Rotel RB850
    B&W DM640i | Velodyne 1512

  5. #5
    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Region 2
    Posts
    4,071
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked
    12 times in 11 posts
    Actually i agree with the GFX card not needing much power, it's not a gaming system. But how well would an add-in/external tuner integrate with Frontrow, or whatever its called? If it was seemless it would be a great device.

  6. #6
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    I guess this can be used for bedrooms where adding an external TV card would provide a decent picture. Dont think this may reside in a living room/home cinema where HD would be required.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by maks
    I guess this can be used for bedrooms where adding an external TV card would provide a decent picture. Dont think this may reside in a living room/home cinema where HD would be required.
    I think the physical design cool - Could be a living room device - It comes with a Core duo as well.....but a bit more expensive

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    432
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked
    24 times in 17 posts
    are they releasing a matching tv tuner?

  9. #9
    MacDaddy! darrensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    1,694
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked
    43 times in 37 posts
    • darrensen's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte z77 UD3H
      • CPU:
      • i7
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3
      • Storage:
      • Loads!
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA 780 GTX
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 850Watt
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Storm Trooper
      • Operating System:
      • Win 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 24"
      • Internet:
      • Plusnet Fibre 80mb
    If anyone has actually got any common sense then they would pick a Media Centre machine over this Mini.

    IMO it's a complete waste of money.

    Performance is awful ( Slow drive speeds )
    Room to upgrade??? Well there isn't any
    Expensive to fix
    Limited functionality
    Limited Hard Drive Space

    This mac would be fine if you just wanted to watch tv thorugh an external TV adaptor. Really you may as well buy a Macbook pro and then get the USB TV adaptor! But when it comes to doing the big boys stuff that Media Centre can do the your stuffed because Front Row doesn't really do an awful lot.

    Apple make some really good kit, but when it comes to Media Centre......just give up, Microsoft are miles ahead. Vista Media Centre is going to be out of this world, this OS has the capibilities of controlling your whole house!

    The fact that you need to buy external devices such as USB TV Tuner, Extra Storage, Extra Cables (HDMI) and then the fact that you cant add any cards like HDMI, 5.1/7.1 sound cards, S-Video ports, Phono cards,Hi-Def inputs......i could keep going.

    Once you add all that up it's again cheaper to buy one of Scan's Media Systems that are more powerful or a Beblu system that looks nice.

    Microsoft have got the backing from big firms like MTV, SKY, Hollywood etc...... you can imagine what will happen when it comes to rental of movies, music and live digital tv.

  10. #10
    DR
    DR is offline
    on ye old ship HEXUS DR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    HEXUS HQ, Elstree
    Posts
    13,375
    Thanks
    1,035
    Thanked
    786 times in 355 posts
    The graphics card will work fine as a Media Centre enviroment infact, it will be pretty good - I have one in a board here and it will decode 1080p stuff without issue

  11. #11
    MacDaddy! darrensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    1,694
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked
    43 times in 37 posts
    • darrensen's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte z77 UD3H
      • CPU:
      • i7
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3
      • Storage:
      • Loads!
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA 780 GTX
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 850Watt
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Storm Trooper
      • Operating System:
      • Win 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 24"
      • Internet:
      • Plusnet Fibre 80mb
    For now the Internal GPU is fine.

    You cant change/upgrade it. Therefore making as futureproof as a DX4 33mhz!

  12. #12
    DR
    DR is offline
    on ye old ship HEXUS DR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    HEXUS HQ, Elstree
    Posts
    13,375
    Thanks
    1,035
    Thanked
    786 times in 355 posts
    Quote Originally Posted by darrensen
    If anyone has actually got any common sense then they would pick a Media Centre machine over this Mini.

    IMO it's a complete waste of money.

    Performance is awful ( Slow drive speeds )
    Room to upgrade??? Well there isn't any
    Expensive to fix
    Limited functionality
    Limited Hard Drive Space

    This mac would be fine if you just wanted to watch tv thorugh an external TV adaptor. Really you may as well buy a Macbook pro and then get the USB TV adaptor! But when it comes to doing the big boys stuff that Media Centre can do the your stuffed because Front Row doesn't really do an awful lot.

    Apple make some really good kit, but when it comes to Media Centre......just give up, Microsoft are miles ahead. Vista Media Centre is going to be out of this world, this OS has the capibilities of controlling your whole house!

    The fact that you need to buy external devices such as USB TV Tuner, Extra Storage, Extra Cables (HDMI) and then the fact that you cant add any cards like HDMI, 5.1/7.1 sound cards, S-Video ports, Phono cards,Hi-Def inputs......i could keep going.

    Once you add all that up it's again cheaper to buy one of Scan's Media Systems that are more powerful or a Beblu system that looks nice.

    Microsoft have got the backing from big firms like MTV, SKY, Hollywood etc...... you can imagine what will happen when it comes to rental of movies, music and live digital tv.
    Okay lets address these then.

    1. Performance awful? Erm, this is not designed to be a high end gaming rig – and will do the simple functions fine which is what market segments its aimed at.
    2. Can you upgrade all notebooks? Can you upgrade all Macs? No
    3. Well – that’s what warranty is for
    4. Limited – in what sense?
    5. Limited disk space – sure that’s something which I wouldn’t love.

    Apple are not touting this as a total Media Centre - far from it – they are offering a small, quiet, box which works.

    MCE is going to be ahead but this isn’t got a Media Centre fight.

  13. #13
    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Preston, Lancs
    Posts
    6,135
    Thanks
    532
    Thanked
    138 times in 99 posts
    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DR3
      • Storage:
      • 1x250GB Maxtor SATAII, 1x 400GB Hitachi SATAII
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Zotac GTX 1060 3GB
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 500W
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Elite 430
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 20" TFT
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media Cable
    1. Perhaps. I'd rather have an MCE rig that's good to handle media AND good to game on.
    2. No, you certainly can't, but you CAN upgrade MCE PCs which puts them ahead; it's better to be able to upgrade a machine than not.
    3. Ah yes....Applecare, a byword in value for money...
    4. In the sense that the article at least pitches it as an MCE killer, and it lacks basic functionality for that role.
    5. Well, we agree on something.

    Maybe Apple aren't touting this as a Media Centre-killer, but the article certainly is, and it is very, very short on the essential prerequisites for that job.

  14. #14
    DR
    DR is offline
    on ye old ship HEXUS DR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    HEXUS HQ, Elstree
    Posts
    13,375
    Thanks
    1,035
    Thanked
    786 times in 355 posts
    1. Media Centre focus is not all about gaming - yes some people will want to.
    2. Yes - So why change it for this? Eseentially this is a notebook in a box
    3. This is a TURN key solution - not neccessarily aimed at us?
    4. Apple aim this at the market to work with other systems not be a be all and end all - remember why would they want a TV tuner in it , speaking of which do any Macs have TV tuners?
    5.

  15. #15
    Senior Trouble Maker muddyfox470's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    moving to Suffolk
    Posts
    3,103
    Thanks
    104
    Thanked
    46 times in 39 posts
    • muddyfox470's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit I-N73HD
      • CPU:
      • E4500
      • Memory:
      • 4Gb PC6400 Corsair ?
      • Storage:
      • 2 x Seagate 7200.12 500Gb and 1 x Hitachi 7k1000.b 750gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Powercolor 4850
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone SG-01e
      • Monitor(s):
      • Fujitsu D22W-1
      • Internet:
      • BT Home
    What is the power required by these compared to the powerpc ones?

    As the old ones only used something like 30W max. Would be interesting to see how power hungry these latest processors are...

    Cheers

    Ian
    Mac fancier > white macbook base spec .................. CS: muddyfirebang

  16. #16
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    17,147
    Thanks
    798
    Thanked
    2,151 times in 1,407 posts
    acording to a quick google the duo still only takes 16w of power.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-03-2006, 02:40 AM
  2. Mac mini to be "reborn" as media center PC?
    By Bob Crabtree in forum HEXUS News
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-12-2005, 07:43 PM
  3. Mac Mini 17" TFT - Apple keyboard and mouse - £399.99
    By derthballs in forum Retail Therapy and Bargains
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 27-08-2005, 03:36 PM
  4. Replies: 27
    Last Post: 25-01-2005, 07:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •