Basic question regarding Lion Server on Mac mini 2011

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by doublep, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. doublep macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2011
    I am considering the purchase of a new Mac mini 2011. I intend to use it as a simple desktop machine and to do some photography work with it (mainly Aperture). So I plan to select a maxed-out mini, server version, with the quad i7 processor.

    I have a very basic question: Is Lion Server a good OS for a single user machine ? Would I need to replace it with the "normal" Lion client instead ?:confused:

    Also, does anyone know the performance/speed of Apple's standard SSD ? Would there be a huge difference if I upgrade to one of OWC's Mercury SSD drives?

    Thanks for your feedback - I'm a newcomer here, but this forum looks great!
  2. holme73 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2011
    As a mac mini server user, I can say that the OS is fine to use as a single user OS. I use the machine as a desktop, running Adobe CS5.5.

    The only real difference is an extra server app/utility that you just don't need to use if you don't want to.

    I set up the server with Raid 0 (for the increased disk speed), as I have external NAS backups - so not worried about an unlikely disk fail. Also maxed out to 8gb ram. CS5.5 is very responsive.
  3. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Apple's SSDs are SATA II (3Gbps). So if you installed an OWC 6G (SATA III) drive that would be a lot faster. How much of a difference it would be would depend on your usage.

    I have the 2011 Mini Server and am using the stock drives in striped RAID-0. I'm finding it's pretty fast. If a drive fails I may upgrade to having a SSD installed, but until then I'm fine with the stock 500GB 7200RPM drives.

    Whilst not as fast as using a SSD, a striped RAID-0 array of 7200RPM hdds is fairly fast.
  4. philipma1957, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    A cheap upgrade suggestion is have apple put in the 750 gb hdds.

    they are far faster then the 500gb stock hdds.

    only 100 dollars more.

    the ram below works

    use code below

    $5 off w/ promo code EMCKAKH96, ends 9/5.

    so for under 1140 a good machine.
    one last thing is you have discover card 5% off apples website.

    don't worry about ssd speed for now for Christmas season or Chanukah or black Friday this will be available.

    buy the setup I suggest and save for this. this will smoke and you have a big advantage the mac mini will be stock hdds so applecare will not be a hassle. the lacie will have a warranty

    Attached Files:

  5. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    I'd normally agree but I don't think the same is true in the server model as would be in the non server models. The HDD in the standard Minis are 5400 rpm drives. The standard 500 GB HDD in the Server are 7200 rpm, same as the 750 GB.
  6. doublep thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2011
  7. philipma1957, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I have both. the 750gbs are far faster. I will run a test later and show results
    found this link


    Final Thoughts and Conclusions
    With a 7200 RPM drive speed, 16 MB cache, and 3 GB/s SATA interface, the Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB hard drive was found to be a very fast hard drive with respectable drive speeds. It won't be able to keep up with Solid-State Drives, but good luck being able to find one that can match this capacity! The largest 2.5" SSD is the Intel 320 Series 600GB drive and it costs $1,119.99 plus $5.99 shipping! That makes the WD Scorpio Black 750GB hard drive look like a steal at $104.98 shipped over at Newegg!

    The WD Scorpio Black 750GB laptop hard drive is no slouch as we saw really impressive performance numbers that actually shocked us a bit. For example we saw 128MB/s read and 125MB/s write speeds in the CrystalDiskMark sequential read/write tests and these are great for any traditional hard drive. Just because notebook hard drives are only 2.5" in size doesn't mean that you can't find good performance with them and the WD Scorpio Black is a great example of a drive series that is constantly at the top of its class.

    Our real world testing turned out being fun to do as we were able to show the performance improvements that can be had on a popular retail notebook like the Sony VAIO Y Series. By doing this we were also able to show off the WD Advance Format software and show you how to properly use the free utility to align the WD Scorpio Black drive after cloning an older drives data to it. It's always good to show the full potential of a drive on the test bench, but we always like doing some real world testing with an OS on the drive! We found up to a 47% performance gain by going from a 5400RPM drive to a 7200RPM drive by doing so, which is what we wanted to show you.

    When it comes to traditional hard drives noise is also an issue, and the WD Scorpio Black is fairly quiet with an average acoustics rating of 28dBA at idle and 28dBA during a seek operation. We were not able to hear the WD Scorpio Black 750GB hard drive when it was installed in the Sony VAIO Y series laptop over the cooling fans inside the notebook.

    The entire Western Digital Scorpio Black notebook hard drive series comes with a 5-year warranty. Having a five year warranty is a very nice touch on a high-performance notebook drive like this. Most notebook drives only offer a three year warranty, so if you are shopping around for a notebook drive be sure to keep an eye on the warranty as well.

    At the end of the day the Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB 2.5" laptop hard drive impressed us when it came to both pricing and performance. You can get some serious storage space and performance with this drive and at $105 shipped you don't have to break the bank either. Just remember to backup that 750GB of data as if your laptop ever gets stolen or the data gets lost you have a backup!

    from tech report

    long tests but the 500 hdds in the server do reading at

    100mb/s max
    81mb/s average
    51mb/s min

    the 750gb hdds do
    117mb/s max
    95mb/s average
    59 mb/s min

    now writing is faster

    500's are

    94 max
    79 avg
    51 min

    750's are
    113 max
    94 avg
    59 min

    these speed differences mean a lot if you use 1 drive as os x and the second drive to clone a backup of the first you would gain 2x you would gain when reading from the first 750 then gain on writing to the second 750 hdd.

    I push this upgrade as a RARE APPLE BARGAIN for an oem apple store upgrade. a 50 percent storage increase and a 15 to 20 percent hdd speed increase for a 10 percent price increase is very rare for an apple online store upgrade.
  8. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    The stock 500's in my 2011 server were WD Scorpio Black. I wouldn't be worried about the real world speed between the 750 and the 500. They both got yanked so the up charge of $100 for me definitely wasn't worth it.

    As far as operating as a client, don't launch the and you will be operating in full client mode.
  9. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Exactly what I did and my mini zips along nicely. I'm not at home now to check but IIRC, I think when tested I'm getting read/write speeds of about 180 Mb/s. I'm sure at some point in the future when SSD prices come down a bit more, I'll pop one in but for the time being and considering the cost savings, striping the HDD is a nice compromise.

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