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Last year, we ran some blog articles about video performance using various remote desktop programs for remotely managing a Mac mini in the MacStadium datacenter. In those articles, we mentioned VNC (which comes with OS X by default), Splashtop, TeamViewer, Log-me-in, and others. This continues to be a very popular subject here at MacStadium colocation.

Beyond the typical scenario of using a Mac mini as a “headless” server for hosting web applications, enterprise applications, gaming servers, and more, we are now starting to see users rent Mac mini’s for other more personal reasons…

A new generation of MacStadium subscribers are now renting a personal Mac mini in the MacStadium so that they can run ALL of their desktop applications and play games on the road with their iPad (or other android, windows, etc) tablets – anywhere in the world – by using a high performance remote control session to their Mac mini which is housed inside our datacenter.

The fact of the matter is that many high performance enterprise applications and gaming platforms simply do not work on tablets, or do not have tablet versions published. Games like Second Life , World of Warcraft, Black Ops, and other MMO online games require a PC/Mac client, and a computer with a 3D GPU. Tablets simply do not have the power to handle this in normal circumstances.

The Mac mini’s have an Intel 4000 GPU, and when you also rent the GPU Enabler for $2 a month from us, you can play most any 3D type of game on the mini with very high performance. By utilizing a remote control program like Splashtop to remotely control your Mac mini, you can forward that GPU enabled high performance video to your iPad or other device anywhere in the world with High Definition quality, at up to 30 frames per second.

To better address this ongoing discussion, we put together an in-depth review of many common applications and user experiences (in HD):