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Ditch the Synology, and Go With A HTPC, Or Get A Mac Mini And Call It A Day..?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, I have a Synology 413j, running dual 3TBs at the moment.. I also have a monster gaming rig that I will most likely be mining on (read: on all the time). I am wondering.. Should I build a HTPC? Or should I just buy a Mac Mini and use the Synology for streaming off of? Or, should I use my gaming rig to stream off Synology to a set top box client?

Basically, all I want to be able to do is use Plex on (2) Smart TVs (Samsungs, which have Plex client apps), and (1) 'Dumb' TV (My DLP, with full surround setup, where quality DOES matter).... MKV is the highest quality? Well, I want that.

So, what is the best route to take? Here are what I see (feel free to add your own) as options at this point:

1) Would a Mac Mini (an i5 I can pick up locally for $400) be suffice?

2) Would just getting a WDTV Live, and using my PC to run plex, and Synology to stream from, work?

3) DIY HTPC? - I actually have a 4930k chip, and unlocked 290 just sitting around.. Perhaps overkill, maybe sell them off and build?



I honestly can't make up my mind, and am finding this whole thing a bit overwhelming, considering all the gabillion different routes that are possible. Look, money is relatively no object, but performance per dollar is important. So, would Mac Mini be the most logical solution?

Here's another question... How does this work in terms of graphics..? If I want Blu Ray quality, is the Mac Mini going to be able to provide that from some wonky onboard video? Or will I have to go DIY HTPC to ensure that..?

I appreciate any help that can be offered.. As, honestly I'm about to just try out the Mac mini, and sell it off if I don't like it.. $400 seems like a decent deal.
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanEboy View Post


3) DIY HTPC? - I actually have a 4930k chip, and unlocked 290 just sitting around.. Perhaps overkill, maybe sell them off and build?

......omg..."sitting" around.....i wish I had parts like those laying around lolololol

But in all seriousness, i recommend you build a DIY HTPC. It's a fun project!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EpIcSnIpErZ23 View Post

......omg..."sitting" around.....i wish I had parts like those laying around lolololol

But in all seriousness, i recommend you build a DIY HTPC. It's a fun project!

Yeah, I'm leaning towards that.. But, over on AVSforum, all the guys swear by Mac Minis.. and, there isn't much out there that compares in terms of form factor/performance, and even cost...

As for those parts sitting around.. Yeah, that's what happens when you go on an all out binge buying spree, and relieve yourself of about $7k, (maybe even pushing $8k at this point), doing a quadfire 290x, watercooled build.
post #4 of 11
If you just want to play video, by all means a mac mini will do, but with those parts laying around you have the makings of a HTPC/gamer rig. I wouldn't dump the synology at all, just use it with the HTPC. My htpc only has a 60 GB ssd for local storage of OS and programs. I have steam installed, but only have 1 big game installed at a time. Not to mention by keeping all your media in a centrally shared location, then you can turn off HTPC whenever with out loosing streaming capabilities.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by herkalurk View Post

If you just want to play video, by all means a mac mini will do, but with those parts laying around you have the makings of a HTPC/gamer rig. I wouldn't dump the synology at all, just use it with the HTPC. My htpc only has a 60 GB ssd for local storage of OS and programs. I have steam installed, but only have 1 big game installed at a time. Not to mention by keeping all your media in a centrally shared location, then you can turn off HTPC whenever with out loosing streaming capabilities.

Yeah, I already have a PS4 and Xbox One.. So, I don't think I really need another gaming system.. I might just sell those parts off.

But here is my question. Would the 290 provide a better quality viewing experience than the Mac Mini would?
post #6 of 11
I don't imagine it would if you are just watching movies and things. Now if you're talking 4k, the 290 would make a difference biggrin.gif
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EpIcSnIpErZ23 View Post

I don't imagine it would if you are just watching movies and things. Now if you're talking 4k, the 290 would make a difference biggrin.gif

Yeah, I'm definitely not planning on gaming.. And, quite frankly I don't want to drop another $1500 on a system just to watch movies on. So, maybe the mini is the route to take, I'm going to buy it, and if I don't like it.. Sell it off, and keep it moving.

Yeah, my TV is still 1080p...
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanEboy View Post

Yeah, I'm definitely not planning on gaming.. And, quite frankly I don't want to drop another $1500 on a system just to watch movies on. So, maybe the mini is the route to take, I'm going to buy it, and if I don't like it.. Sell it off, and keep it moving.

Yeah, my TV is still 1080p...

Yeah, then the mac mini probably would be the way to go.
post #9 of 11
Use the Synology for storage, or the gaming rig if it's on all the time. You could also use something like this for an HTPC instead of a mac mini. What do you want to run plex off of? You could use the mining rig or use that spare i7 you have just laying around. Do you want to use plex as the client on the HTPC, if it uses the server for transcoding it wouldn't need to be as powerful then.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cones View Post

Use the Synology for storage, or the gaming rig if it's on all the time. You could also use something like this for an HTPC instead of a mac mini. What do you want to run plex off of? You could use the mining rig or use that spare i7 you have just laying around. Do you want to use plex as the client on the HTPC, if it uses the server for transcoding it wouldn't need to be as powerful then.


Hey, appreciate the response... Well, yeah I might just use the gaming rig as the plex server.. But, I'll still need a client for my TV, as it's old school... I looked at those NUCs, but the Mac Mini that is available to me is a better bang for the buck, as it has an i5... I want to run plex off whatever I can, that makes most sense. So, the mac mini, if I go that route.. But, also a client.
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