MacMini - Boot speed

stevos

Distinguished Member
I kind of like the shape and size of the macmini and am thinking about using as a media centre pc to be also used with my squeezebox.

However i have a couple of questions.

1. How quick does it boot from cold?
2. How quiet is it during normal operation?
3. Can you make applications (slimserver) auto load on boot (as per windows).
4. How hard is it to map an external harddrive?

I will be looking to buy one of the new intel dual core ones.

Thanks
Steve.
 

jont

Well-known Member
Quite a few here use them as media centres...

mine takes around 25 seconds to boot
it is silent
yes - you can set programs to autorun at startup
will work with usb, firewire or nas drives - or drives attached to wireless devices

hope that helps - sure others be along soon with their thoughts/comments ...

jon
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
25 secs is more than quick enough, although the need for an external harddrive is a pain (need at least 250gb).

I assume it has a case fan/cpu fan and so can't be completey silent. Assuming it is in the corner of a room and no music is playing would it drawn out say my skyhd box?
 

jont

Well-known Member
there is a fan inside but is sooo quiet needs to be heard to be believed ... mine is about 6 feet away from me and is on pretty much 24/7 and it's really difficult to hear - your sky box will certainly drown it out - mine does !!

You can install a larger HD if you want (will void warranty) ... LaCie and iomega do some nice 'same size/zero footprint' drives that sit underneath the mini up to 500GB for about £150
 

bu5ter

Active Member
IM also considering a mini for a media center i have a pc based media center upstairs so wondered what the interface is like being unbiased of course:)

Also things like codec support on a mac?
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Voiding the warranty on my first Mac would probably be a bad idea, especially when its hard to buy replacement parts.

Do you have any links to these external drives?

Thanks
Steve.
 

dodger747

Well-known Member
I assume it has a case fan/cpu fan and so can't be completey silent. Assuming it is in the corner of a room and no music is playing would it drawn out say my skyhd box?

I've got a new core 2 duo mini and it is really quiet. I've got mine attached to a 500gb Western Digital My Book and the read noise of the external HD is much louder than that of the mini's fans. [not that the HD is loud].

As for codec support, there is a mac version of VLC which can pretty much play anything thrown at it, plus should you feel the need, the new Intel chips can be dual booted with Windows as well...:thumbsup:
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Sorry another question.

If i am going to use it as pretty much an audio streamer/media centre with a external harddrive and have a dvd+/-RW on my own laptop is there any point buying the more expensive version of the macmini?
 

jont

Well-known Member

stevos

Distinguished Member
I like the look of that harddisk and the mac mini.

Any idea how quiet it is?
 

jont

Well-known Member
I've a couple of lacie drives and they are pretty low noise ...
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all your help, it is certainly food for thought. I like the idea of having a media centre pc but as quality of audio is important i will probably stick with my squeezebox. The obvious question is does the cost justify the benefit, but i guess i can only answer that.

I just wish they cost the same low price as they do in the states.
 

dodger747

Well-known Member
I like the idea of having a media centre pc but as quality of audio is important i will probably stick with my squeezebox.

Well the mini has an optical out port for movies and if you couple it with a USB DAC, than the sound is perfect for music...:)
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Does it apply any digital amplication/ resampling to the digital out feed as per windows?
 

jont

Well-known Member
Thanks for all your help, it is certainly food for thought. I like the idea of having a media centre pc but as quality of audio is important i will probably stick with my squeezebox. The obvious question is does the cost justify the benefit, but i guess i can only answer that.

I just wish they cost the same low price as they do in the states.

In fact the smaller mac mini is only £25 more expensive and the larger is the same price as the US - don't forget that US prices are exclusive of state sales taxes (VAT) whereas in the UK the VAT inclusive price has to be stated for consumer goods ...

The mini has an optical output and when passing Apple lossless audio files to my Arcam/B&W kit it sounds fantastic ...

Jon
 

cwick

Active Member
Does it apply any digital amplication/ resampling to the digital out feed as per windows?

The OS doesn't, no. iTunes (if you're using that) will unless you turn-off the iTunes equalizer and, in Preferences, uncheck all the playback options.

As an aside, I don't see the need to boot it from cold.

I use energy saver to put mine into sleep, and the Apple Remote to wake it up again. It wakes instantly, so no hanging around.

You can also use the Apple Remote to put it to sleep. Just hold down play/pause for a few seconds, release, and the mini goes to sleep.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Sleep uses energy that costs money. Best to be avoided if possible.
 

jont

Well-known Member
True - although the mini is the most energy efficient mac in the range ...

Jon
 

dodger747

Well-known Member
I always put mine to sleep. I guess I'm too lazy and don't care enough about the planet to wait for it to boot from cold...:rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
I am not concerned about the environment (unless the question is asked by a hot woman, at which point it my number 1 concern) but my electicity bill concerns me.

I year or so ago i did the maths for the standby charge of my hifi/av setup (one of the reasons i simplified it) and i worked out that standby charges cost me approx £5-8 (depending on the electricity price at the time) a month.

Now £5 is more or less 2 beers and then i get interested.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
The OS doesn't, no. iTunes (if you're using that) will unless you turn-off the iTunes equalizer and, in Preferences, uncheck all the playback options.

As an aside, I don't see the need to boot it from cold.

I use energy saver to put mine into sleep, and the Apple Remote to wake it up again. It wakes instantly, so no hanging around.

You can also use the Apple Remote to put it to sleep. Just hold down play/pause for a few seconds, release, and the mini goes to sleep.

I had a look at the pc version of itunes (could be different i guess) and this doesn't allow you to turn off the digital amplication unless you are using the airport express thing.
 

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