Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Just gets better and better
on 17 February 2011
We're on to our fourth Mac Mini. We bought ours as a 2.4GHz machine with 4GB of RAM and 500GB HDD storage, principally as a home media hub (connected to our stereo and TV in the same manner as the previous three we had).
Compared to the older machines:
1) It is lower and wider.
2) It is quieter and runs cooler (not that the old ones got hot...maybe a little warm).
3) It can easily play 1080p H.264 videos and 720p MPEG4 videos (with sufficient bit rates), which the previous generations (even with a 2.0GHz Core2Duo and 2GB/3GB of RAM) could not do.
4) It has one less USB port than the previous one we had, which is a minor pain.
5) It has HDMI out, which means we can throw away the DVI<>HDMI adapter. In fact, the previous generation had a very poor mini-DVI output, and I was glad to see the back of that.
6) The RAM can be upgraded.
7) The DVD drive is a tad noisier.
We use ours mainly for watching and recording live TV (we have an Elgato DVB-T tuner installed), watching iPlayer HD, playing Guitar Hero (does this very well) and as our home music/video source.
I don't think there is a viable alternative anywhere. It is so good and unobtrusive as a media centre that I forget I am using a computer.