a few questions before I finally buy my mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by weipim, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. weipim macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hey all, So first I would like to say RIP to Jobs and it's been really a shock to the whole world. Then I don't think there's a better to send my condolecence by buying another apple product. Before I pull my trigger on mac mini, I want to know what the server version can actually do beside having a quadcore?
    I will be upgrading the ram by myself and have a few terabytes laying around as externals, therefore the big difference is really quadcore vs dual core, ht vs non ht, however I found a new use of thsi machine and I want to know if it is viable. I would like to set it up as a home server, not the usual htpc kind, but more like my own server, so I can access my document, files anywhere I want, school, work, travel, etc. I am aware of the dynamic ip address issue with my isp being Comcast. Therefore I was wondering if there is any web solution that will help me out setting my mac as I can access it anytime anywhere ( much like how ipad can access a pc or mac)

    And beside that, i will be playing a little bit game under windows ( league of legends, dota 2, diablo 3, sc2 but no fps or other intensive thing.), do a lot of Aperture editing, Internet, 1080p, etc. there's still 400 dollars difference between them and I don't really see a processor do it justice.

    thanks again

  2. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    The server is really the better value. The base Mac Mini is only 2GB RAM and 550GB 5400RPM HDD. The Mac Mini Server gets you 4GB RAM, two 500GB 7200RPM HDDs, and the server software which will help accomplish some of your goals. Its not all quad-core.
  3. weipim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    hey thanks for helping me, however like i said, either one will get a custom upgrade of ram from me, the 7200rpm hdd does outlay a problem though
  4. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    The quad core is very good at encoding related tasks. It smokes the i5 and i7 dual. So you would see a boost in performance in Aperture handling RAW images vs the base Mac Mini (both have the same integrated Intel GMA HD 3000). If you need a boost in graphics performance you can get 1600MHz RAM. The Intel GMA HD 3000 with 1866MHz in my case has a higher Windows Performance Index score for 2d / business graphics than the AMD discrete. The AMD graphics are better for gaming. But then you would be comparing the mid Mini to the server model and the price gap is even smaller.

    What I did... I use the server model as a Windows 7 x64 machine for ripping, decoding, encoding, etc. Intel QuickSync enable software saves tons of time with the quad-core. Then I use the mid-level for playback and Live TV via 7MC in bootcamp. All Mini's were equally upgraded with Vertex 3 MI SSDs and Kingston Hpyer X 1866MHz PnP RAM. Either Mini configuration boots lightening fast and launches applications in an instant. Very much iOS feel in speed and smoothness. Impressive little boxes.
  5. weipim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    ohhh thanks for elaborating, I guess the server does worth the price even if processor was the only fact. ill think abt it further and hmmmm
  6. monokitty macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    If you plan on playing more modern games like SC2 and Diablo 3, the server is a poor choice; the $799 i5 model has a dedicated AMD 6630M graphics card which is far better than the HD3000 integrated graphics found in the $599 low-end i5 model and the server model. I'd skip the server model - especially since the $799 model will do everything you listed just fine, in addition to actually standing a chance at running modern games.
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Did you test sc2 and diablo 3 with the 799 i5 model and the amd 6630m graphics card against the server with 8gb of high end 1866 ram from kingston?

    Has anyone done these tests?
  8. philipma1957, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I have a favor to ask of macrumors member about mac mini ram testing.

    I moved the below to a new thread. I don't want to hi-jack this thread.

    okay we have read more then one thread about ram tests.

    In fact i tested 3 types of 8gb ram sticks for the server mac mini.

    We have found out that kingston 2 x 4gb ram kits both the 1600 and the 1866 work in the new mac minis with full clocking.

    this kit works it is 2 x 4gb at 1600


    this kit works it is 2 x 4gb at 1866 speed


    they both increase speed for graphics. I want to start a thread about servers and base models.

    TEST results for either ram set from kingston playing real games.

    fps rates for medium settings on two or three modern games.

    also if the lcd is 1920 by 1200 or 1600 by 900. Any suggestions on three or four games and how

    to set this test up are welcome.

    :apple: R.I.P. Steve :apple:
  9. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    For the dynamic IP issue, check to see if your router supports a service called DynDNS. It's a web-based service that receives updates from your router on what your current IP address is. Or, there are computer programs that will update it for you. HERE is a popular Mac one. Your address that you would access would be something like weipim.dyndns.org.
  10. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I have both dual-core and quad-core i7 Mac Mini's. Unfortunately, I do not have Windows games. Most of my gaming is now on an iPhone or iPad. Sad to admit, I do have Duke Nukem Forever (purely for nostalgia) for OSX I could test with.

    I primarily use the Mini's for decoding and encoding 1080p content and playback. The dual-core i7 is over kill for playback, but the ATI/AMD discrete graphics was necessary to address an issue (29/59 frame rate bug) with Live TV via CableCARD tuners. I upgraded to the i7 from i5 because of personal preference to get the best processor available for future proof / re-purpose.

    Contrary to lower Windows 7 index scores for 2D / business graphics, the AMD discrete graphics provides much much smoother animations in Windows and OSX. Windows 7 index scores may weigh more on the higher RAM quantity of the integrated Intel HD 3000 vs over all speed of the AMD discrete graphics.
  11. reputationZed macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2011
    34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W (34.
    My memories of Duke Nukem 3D would be so much fonder had they not been sullied by the piece of crap called Duke Nukem Forever.

    If your going to test FPS in games don't you need to establish a common test point within each game? Terran's battling Zerg where each side has a dozen units is going to give you very different results when the armies grow to a hundred or so units.

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