Best mac mini media center setup

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My recent internal deliberations on what to replace my ailing computer setup has led to quite a few false starts on what I put into my virtual shopping cart. As much as I wanted to love the new MacBook Air, the power and flexibility didn't hit enough cylinders to trigger my 'Must Buy' button.

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This led me to go with the Mac I've been hoping would be updated for over 6 years. I don't foresee the need for 10 Gbit networking in my future, so I opted for the default Gigabit ethernet card. The other three options did give me something to think about because not all choices are an easy financial decision. I needed to find something in the middle.

There are two key points to note here.

From Apple's processor selection notes:. The standard 3. The 3.

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My Mac Mini will not only be my desktop computer, but will also be the media server for our house. So I opted for the best processor I could get right now. This was probably the easiest choice to make. Going with a smaller hard drive could have been an option due to the four USB-C ports and how cheap external storage is right now.

While the speeds of the built-in PCI drives are impressive, most of my file storage will be on external drives anyway - movie library, photo collection, etc. This is the option I could have been smarter about.

Historically speaking

The memory options when I ordered the Mac Mini are shown below. As you can see the cost for memory isn't additive, but multiplicative. Based on the pricing I went with the 16GB option because at the time I ordered the Mini, I wasn't sure if the memory upgradable.

Why you want a macOS home server, and how to get one going

After I placed the ordered I got some additional information from an Apple Insider review. Is the RAM user-expandable? The Mac mini fits the bill for this key feature — and offers so much more. You have the SD card slot, expansion through ports for external drives, wireless options for streaming from another source, and more. The 2. This allowed me to hook up the Mac mini and send the video right to the screens.

Why you want a macOS home server, and how to get one going

This kind of self-contained functionality and utility was something I once had with the original Apple TV that I now have regained with the Mac mini. What can I say. Office and other various browsers and applications have begun to just move on. That will give me the most options. That solution eliminates the partition issues I was having with the mid Mini and lets me use the machine how I want, when I want.

Looking even further down the line, I will have to give up the ghost at some point for media — at least with purchased content. That means sucking it up and moving on, living with less-desirable solutions like the streaming-only 4K Apple TV or creating my own experience though locally stored content and a media center application that can replicate an experience similar to what was there with iTunes 10 or even XBMC that were feature rich.

It has more than enough oomph to drive 4k video and is still relatively compact. Low End Mac is funded primarily through donations.

Using Your Mac In Your Home Theater

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