I have a Mac Mini (Mid 2011) with 2,3 GHz Intel Core i5 8 GB RAM with SSD, that I use to watch videos. The machine is great in all respects, except if I play 1080p encoded with H265 or VP9, the fan goes to full speed (and CPU tops around 100%). 1080p at H264 plays fine without fan noise.

What is the minimum upgrade that will let me play any current 1080p file without audible fan noise? I realise the problem is caused by a slow CPU / lack of GPU support, which means replacing the entire unit, which I am willing to do. So which (second hand) Mac Mini is strong enough for this?

closed as too broad by fsb, Allan, IconDaemon, Ɱark Ƭ, Steve Chambers Jun 19 '18 at 21:01

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  • From my understanding, Apple has had hardware accelerated H.264 decoding since 2008 or so, but has only added hardware H.265 decoding in the last couple years to newer devices. I don't believe Apple has had intentions to support VP9, as demonstrated with Safari and lack of YouTube 4K support. – drivec Jun 19 '18 at 14:18
  • Aha! So there's politics at work. Well, to hell with VP9, then. This article says something about HEVC support in Macs after 2015, but a more precise answer would be appreciated. fstoppers.com/gear/… – forthrin Jun 19 '18 at 17:43

You won't do that with a Mac Mini. The latest Mac Mini uses a Haswell cpu (core gen4) which provides acceleration for H.264/AVC 8-bit, VC-1, MPEG2 and JPEG.


H.265 = HEVC = MPEG-H Part 2 = standard

x265 = encoder (and not the only one which exist).

  • So even the latest Mac Mini doesn't have support for H265? Well, then no point in upgrading then, if you're right. Thanks in that case. However, HEVC = H265, not H264. Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding – forthrin Jun 19 '18 at 17:46
  • Ah, yes. This is a mere typo. Thx. – LoliconSuspect Jun 19 '18 at 18:10
  • If a future Mac Mini gets H265 support, someone might post an answer indicating this. – forthrin Jun 19 '18 at 19:29
  • It's more about Mac Mini getting an newer gpu. – LoliconSuspect Jun 19 '18 at 21:14

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