Can a Mini Server 2011 be used for LION?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dorfdad, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Dorfdad, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011

    Dorfdad macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #1
    Im debating on an Mini 2.7 i7 dual core or a Mini Server 2.0 Quad Core for my main PC. Heavy video and graphics, photos, and occasional games Diablo 3, and Mac store stuff.

    I was thinking the server would be a better MAIN PC as its quad core and comes with a better video more ram and 2 HD!

    Can I just format it and install the newest OS without any problems? Or do I have to tweak a bunch of things to get it to work? Not interested in the "Server" portion of the OS.

    Thanks in advance
    Dorfdad
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    Well, the dual core i7 has better graphics, but you can install the standard version of Lion on it. AFAIK, you can't put SL on any of the 2011 Minis or Airs.
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #3
    yeh unfortunately i think you are right. unless there is a restore disk specifically for that model of iMac, it wont run snow leopard properly.

    visit apple and ask? :)
     
  4. Dorfdad thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Im sorry I posted wrong I want to use Lion on it! Not snow leopard. So would the Mini Server be a FASTER longer life mini or the dual core i7??
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #5
    OH! hahaha. silly :)

    for longevity, i would recommend the quad core. without a doubt!
     
  6. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #6
    No need to do a fresh install of Lion. Unlike previous versions of OS X Server, Lion Server is actually just an app (or set of apps, not sure but doesn't really matter) working in addition to Lion and is easily deactivated. Just shut off any of the Server functionality you don't want and it operates exactly as Lion.
     
  7. mike3141 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2007
    #7
    Supposedly all you have to do to convert Lion Server to Lion is to delete the "Server" app.
     
  8. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    London, UK.
    #8
    I think you're confused about the specifications of the 2.7 dual core and compared to the 2.0 quad core i7 server.

    The former has a dedicated GPU with 256MB of GDDR5 VRAM as well as 4GB of main RAM. It comes with a 500GB 5400 RPM HD. The server has an integrated Intel HD3000 GPU with variable RAM. It shares memory with the main RAM which is also 4GB and slower then the VRAM in the dual core i7. I believe it is allocated 384MB. This integrated GPU in the server is not really viable for games or graphic apps that are GPU intensive.

    In short the dual core has a far better GPU but a slower CPU. The quad core server has a faster CPU but a less powerful GPU.

    Regards Diablo III even though Blizzard makes it's games scalable to different levels of hardware it's possible it won't run on the integrated GPU of the quad core and if it does it will probably run in low settings and mY not look or play that good.
     
  9. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #9
    I recently installed and ran Starcraft II on my mini server, and surprisingly it ran a lot better than I had expected. I was pretty impressed at the speed of the HD3000 GPU.

    But- in the end even the discrete graphics on the dual core i7 is pretty weak for 3D gaming. The biggest problem with the discrete GPU is the lack of video RAM. Especially if you hook it up to a large monitor with a high resolution like 1920x1080 will really tax even the discrete GPU. Arguably even the Intel HD3000 may have some advantage in some situations due to the fact that it will go up to 512MB of VRAM if you install at least 8GB memory in your system.

    Therefore, you might want to consider going for the quad core even though it has inferior graphics, and just accept that you will need to run games with low settings any way you look at it. But at least the quad core might help in other tasks such as video encoding.
     
  10. pepperdanky macrumors newbie

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    Jun 7, 2011
    #10
    i wasnt expecting much out of the hd 3000, but my mini server runs league of legends on high settings at a constant 60 fps (in win 7)
     
  11. hamshi, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

    hamshi macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #11
    i would recommend the midrange macmini (ATI card version) as it will be much better for games then the server with the intel 3000 onboard card.

    it's kind of frustrating that the i7 for the midrange is dual core not quad core but being 2.7 and coupled with a dedicated GFX card should still be pretty impressive with diablo 3 when it comes out, or any other games
     
  12. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    #12
    I very much doubt it. Apart from the fact the Intel integrated GPU uses memory which is obtained from the main RAM and therefore slower then using the AMD Radeon's onboard VRAM, the main RAM is slower DDR3 whereas the AMD Radeon has faster GDDR5. In short the AMD Radeon is still going to be more powerful then the Intel HD3000.
     
  13. Dorfdad thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #13
    Still on the fence about this. While not specificilly for gaming I have consoles Guild wars 2 and Star wars / diablo 3 are the PC games I can see playing in the next 2 years.. If I can play these DECENTLY on the intel I would go with the Server I feel.

    Also I already have a 120gb SSD and a 3 TB SATA Drive can I replace the servers version with this myself?
     
  14. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    #14
    I very much doubt those games will even play decently on the server model. Even the dual core with the discrete AMD Radeon GPU is to an extent underpowered for those games although they will probably run well on that at low to medium settings.
     
  15. fishboyfive macrumors newbie

    fishboyfive

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    #15
    I can say that The Beta For Diablo 3 runs at 50+ FPS on Med- Med high settings on the Core i 5 -AMD HD 6630m 2011 mac mini

    The game looks Fantastic and plays very very good
     
  16. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    The Mini takes 2.5" drives 9.5mm in height. Your 3TB drive is a 3.5" one and too big to go inside the Mini.
     
  17. Ieziebie macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2007
    #17
    At what resolution is that?
     
  18. stringent macrumors 6502

    stringent

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    #18
    Would a server (2010 hardware at least) have any trouble playing a movie (HD) from iTunes on my 40" TV?
     
  19. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #19
    This question of course depends on the bitrate and resolution of the movie, but the 2010 mini should be fine playing any movie you could throw at it :)
     
  20. wallstreetcrash macrumors regular

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    #20
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Should play Everything easy.
     
  21. stringent macrumors 6502

    stringent

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  22. fishboyfive macrumors newbie

    fishboyfive

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    #22

    1600x900
     
  23. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #23
    No, it would not have any trouble at all.
     
  24. Dorfdad thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #24
    forget gaming as neither system is geared for that I am finding out, but in terms of shear power and performance for the next 2-3 years is the 2.7 Dual Core better than 2.0 i7 Quad core for home users?

    Video editing and creation YouTube stuff, Adobe Photoshop up to 10 layers, video and itunes ripping and sharing, PLEX server and Internet are the dialy staples.

    I also use OnLive for gaming so a video card isn't really important and what games I use on local PC I would be happy if medium settings would allow it. Also powering two 28" 1900x1200 screens.
     
  25. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #25
    I'm using a 2011 mini for moderate to heavy office-style applications (MS Office, Keynote, Omnigraffle Pro, Pixelmator, Parallels, lots of PDF/Preview annotations, plus Safari & Firefox). I'm also using two 20" Cinema Displays (1680x1050 times two) on it.

    I've found that the dedicated AMD graphics provide much smoother user interface effects (moving in and out of mission control, swiping across desktops, etc) than the integrated Intel graphics can do.

    I've added an SSD for the boot/OS/apps drive for speed and 8GB of RAM to keep my multitasking going.

    For this type of use, I see no need for the quad-core server model. Granted I'm not doing any video transcoding on it, but I'm finding the 2.5GHz i5 to be more than sufficient so the 2.7GHz i7 should be great. Besides, both the i5 and the i7 in these machines have hyperthreading, so under certain circumstances you'll have 4 virtual cores anyway. And with the Turbo boost for single threads, I think the i7 with the AMD graphics is best for general purpose desktop use.
     

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