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View Full Version : I'm considering a Mac-Mini Server but not for it's server capabilities...




Brownsolo
Feb 7, 2012, 04:30 AM
Because of budget, and because I already have a just fine monitor, mouse, keyboard, and remote VGA camera (for Facetime/Skype), I'm considering buying a Mac Mini Server as opposed to another model. I've made my living on Macs for more than 20 yrs as a prepress tech and graphic designer.

I haven't purchased a new Mac for home since 2006 which is a 20" iMac w/Intel Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo). The Mac-Mini Server I want only comes w/2 7200 rpm 500 gb drives, 2 ghz i7 Quad Core chip, 8 gigs RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 3000 for video.

The reason I want that config is that I own the Adobe Design suite of apps: Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign, Photoshop all of which use lots of RAM and redraw time.

Is that a good a choice over spending an additional $600 or more for say a 21.5" iMac w/i5 Quad Core, 5400 RPM hard drive?

How will it all fair if I also change the OS from Lion Server to Snow Leopard?

And how good or bad is the Mini's video card? I like games such as Portals 2 and Counterstrike - will there be any issues?

Thanks for any feedback. A testament to Apple is the fact that I haven't had to get a computer for so long. My friends w/PCs have gone through at least 3 computers in that same time period.



Skoopman
Feb 7, 2012, 04:41 AM
If you want to game, the MM Server is not for you. Depending on what resolution you play, the Intel HD3000 performs terribly, heck even the 6630M is not that purpose. For the Adobe Software, the Server will be ok.

elliotn
Feb 7, 2012, 07:13 AM
There are issues with Adobe software and the integrated Intel graphics. Either go for the mini with AMD graphics, or the iMac.

jamesryanbell
Feb 7, 2012, 09:27 AM
For intense video and photo editing, the Intel 3000 HD is not for you. Go with an i7 Dual-Core with the 6630m.

I use mine for audio (where I need lots of processor power and RAM, but not really anything in the way of video).

talmy
Feb 7, 2012, 09:34 AM
Get the iMac (much better cost/performance) and use your existing monitor as a second display. The second display will prove a good place to put all those palates in Adobe CS. You can use your old keyboard and mouse if you prefer them and sell the ones that come with the iMac.

Dorje Sylas
Feb 7, 2012, 09:51 AM
Being an owner of a MacMini Server (running 10.6) you really don't want to it for graphical things. It's job is to be a Server, host shared files and services, not render higher end games like Portals 2 or even Counter Strike.

I would agree with talmy, another iMac is where you want go, and I also fully vouch for having two displays to the point where if you do this you won't want to go back to just 1. If you like your old USB mouse and keyboard (and for Counter Strike I wouldn't use bluetooth IMO) you can always order the wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad for no cost and have those for times you need to be a bit more distant from the computer.

penguy
Feb 7, 2012, 10:04 AM
Because of budget, and because I already have a just fine monitor, mouse, keyboard, and remote VGA camera (for Facetime/Skype), I'm considering buying a Mac Mini Server as opposed to another model. I've made my living on Macs for more than 20 yrs as a prepress tech and graphic designer.

I haven't purchased a new Mac for home since 2006 which is a 20" iMac w/Intel Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo). The Mac-Mini Server I want only comes w/2 7200 rpm 500 gb drives, 2 ghz i7 Quad Core chip, 8 gigs RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 3000 for video.

The reason I want that config is that I own the Adobe Design suite of apps: Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign, Photoshop all of which use lots of RAM and redraw time.

Is that a good a choice over spending an additional $600 or more for say a 21.5" iMac w/i5 Quad Core, 5400 RPM hard drive?

How will it all fair if I also change the OS from Lion Server to Snow Leopard?

And how good or bad is the Mini's video card? I like games such as Portals 2 and Counterstrike - will there be any issues?

Thanks for any feedback. A testament to Apple is the fact that I haven't had to get a computer for so long. My friends w/PCs have gone through at least 3 computers in that same time period.

I know benchmarks don't tell all, but the mini does outperform the base iMacs by 10-20% depending on the processor...so if you are processor intensive, the mini will be faster...say ripping movies for instance. I am under the impression that software that uses hyper threading will take advantage of the i7 and consequently outperform an i5...photoshop and lightroom are said to be able to do that.

but gaming is another matter

philipma1957
Feb 7, 2012, 11:06 AM
the mac mini server is the best mac per dollar for handbrake. If you run lots and lots of handbrake it is the best piece of gear that apple sells.



it sells for 849 at apple refurbished link

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC936LL/A

it is out of stock today but it will turn up again. When you run handbrake it will push all 8 cores to 90 percent and do a very fast job of it. If you do not run an eight core program look into the imac but the 27 inch refurb.

this machine has 2 t-bolt connectors and good graphics the quad core doe not hyperthread so it is slower at hand brake

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC814LL/A

t-bolt connections are becoming important


http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/accessories

stae121 allows you to be able to attach any ssd to your iMac and have the ssd run via the t-bolt cable

vengasuk
Feb 8, 2012, 01:31 PM
By checking intels next gen Ivy Bridge CPUs, it looks like the Mini Server will be getting the 2.5 Ghz CPU which will start to give performance of the top of the line Macbook Pro. Intel's HD4000 will be inside which is a massive improvement over the HD3000. something to think about.