Getting the new Unibody Mac Mini Server for my home setup

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by iGrant, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. iGrant macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Hey Guys,

    I should be receiving my new Unibody Mac Mini Server to replace my current Mac Mini by this Friday but more than likely Monday. I hope to give a detailed review of the Mac Mini Server with pictures.

    I went with the Mac Mini Server purely for the dual 500gb hard drives which I desperately want. Currently I use my Mac Mini as my Media hub. Its connected to my TV via a DVI to hdmi cable. It has a Turbo.264 HD, 640gb usb external hard drive, and a wireless keyboard logtiech mouse and keyboard attached to it as well as a EyeTV 200 and EyeTV 500 that I use for recording TV shows and digitizing VHS tapes and other media to a digital format (Old analog camcorder tapes, etc). I do a lot of video related tasks with this Mac Mini constantly.

    My current Mac Mini was originally given to me because a co-worker who upgraded to a better Core 2 Duo Mac Mini, this Mac Mini was originally a Mac Mini Core Solo 1.5ghz. I have had this machine since late 2007. I upgraded the cpu to a 1.66ghz Core Duo immediately when I got it, and maxed the ram out to the whooping 2gb (yeah . . .). Also last year I upgraded the hard drive to a 320gb drive. This Mac Mini has been on running 24/7/265 literally since about December 2007 and its never crashed on my once. I love this Mac Mini its a tank. The only other upgrade I have performed on the Mac Mini was installing Artic Silver thermal paste which made an amazing difference on the Mac Mini.

    The reason I'm upgrading is all my media and everything right now currently resides on an external 640gb hard drive that every now and then "disappears" from my Mac Mini, it doesn't even show up in Disk Utility or terminal, and I have to restart the external enclosure. YES I know I could just get a new external hard drive enclosure but I don't want to, I like that hard drive, it works well like 90% of the time. However I now have an HD Video camera and HD content I record via my EyeTV 500 and trying to watch that over my usb connection seems to be pushing the limits.

    So I'm going to raid the two 500gb to a 1TB drive and use the 640gb drive as a Time Machine drive, or maybe I'll just get a 1TB Time Machine drive . . . not quiet sure yet, for now it will just be the 640gb drive.

    I will post pictures and my results of the upgrade and let you know what I think. The other major reason for getting the Server is that I noticed it can be used with Apples USB Super Drive which I'm about to get as well. I have been wanting that FOREVER. My current Mac Mini is just a Combo-Drive (but (*$@# if it doesn't work!).

    It will be interesting to see how this new Mac Mini Server will work for my purpose. I'm thinking about installing Mac OS 10.6 on it as I truly don't need Snow Leopard Server and I still have 3 machine lefts on my family pack of 10.6 that I bought.

    I'll keep you post on updates and photos.

    Thanks
    iGrant
     
  2. shujin macrumors member

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    Jul 22, 2006
    #2
    Congrats, I just got the standard mac mini yesterday. Luckily I live by an apple store. The only upgrade I did was the RAM. I was surprised how much of a difference it was compared to my old iMac.
     
  3. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Yeah I'm hoping for a couple of things to happen.

    1st - Notice the speed difference from a Mac Mini Core Duo 1.66ghz to a Mac Mini Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz.
    2nd - Notice a difference between 2gb and 4gb of ram (will upgrade to 8gb eventually)
    3rd - Not have the lag on watching videos from my external 640gb as well when I stream videos to my Macbook Air. I have a TON of Classic Doctor Who tapes which I have digitized the majority of them (I don't worry about damaging them anymore when I watch them) and its just seems there is a lag in the usb, I prefer firewire any day over usb, but usb enclosures are much cheaper now and days.
    4th - I hope to notice the machine run cooler when watching HD content. I just got my Turbo.264 HD so I plan on doing a MASSIVE batch job of converting all my HD content to H.264 which will help reduce temperatures when playing back that media I hope!!!

    I just placed an order with Monoprice for an HDMI cable which I realized I didn't have an a Firewire 800 ~ Firewire 400 cable which I need to connect my EyeTV 200 and EyeTV 500 to the new Mac Mini.

    I sure this Mac Mini will perform beautifully, and I can't wait to get it and set it up!!! Also I can't wait to have a Superdrive to start really doing DVD backups of all my content, which at the moment, I do not do and I really really need to do!!!

    -iGrant
     
  4. Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #4
    Im thinking of buying the server too.

    Few questions.

    How can I install windows 7 on it without the air superdrive? I have an 27 imac and was thinking maybe I could do it by connecting the mac mini server to the imac by firewire800 and then enter target mode or something like that is called. That way the internal hard drive of the mac mini would appear in the imac as an external hard drive and then I could install windows on it with bootcamp. Is this possible?

    Another way I thought of doing it is by "the air", like when you use the superdrive of another mac or pc to install software on the macbook air. Is this possible with the mac mini server too?
     
  5. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I'm not sure to be completely honest with you, I don't need to dual boot with windows for any reason. I know if you want to use dual boot you have to use regular Snow Leopard, Snow Leopard Server does not allow you to dual boot to the best of my knowledge, someone please correct me if I am wrong about this!!!!

    I don't see why you COULDN'T place the Mac Mini Server in target disk mode and install Windows 7 that way. Honestly I just don't know enough about Windows 7, my wife's laptop I upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 (Haven't been able to convert her . . . yet :rolleyes:) and from when I have to use her laptop, I can not stand the UI in Windows 7 . . . . it just bothers me.

    I sure someone else knows the answer to this, and actually you should probably check out the Macbook Air thread to see how they do it! I have a Macbook Air but again I have no need to run Windows on any of my Macs!

    -iGrant
     
  6. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

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    Nov 10, 2009
    #6
    congrats, I picked up mine on Friday last week.

    Played with it a bit on saturday, no time on sunday.

    Anyway, I successfully reloaded it to client 10.6.3 then upgrade to 10.6.4 running RAID0.

    My 32bit geekbench came out around 3600, though I have seen some 64bit geekbench for this around 4000. To Compare my late 2009 iMac i7 with 8gb ram and Intel 160gb SSD scores over 8000 points on that same test.;)

    Been using it as a media center PC hooked up to my TV. So far I like it.:D
     
  7. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #7
    Just wondering, what is your method of streaming? Watch the videos in iTunes on the MBA or mount the mini as a network drive of some sort in Finder? Thanks!
     
  8. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Mount as network drive in Finder, I find it works MUCH faster and the playback use much less CPU. Also I use VLC/Quicktime to play the video instead of iTunes!

    -iGrant
     
  9. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I know the iMac and Mac Pros will kill the Mac Mini in performance in most areas, but I'm going to be comparing this Mac Mini to my old Intel Mac Mini which is a first generation Mac Mini that I upgraded like no other.

    I looking the most forward to having all my video content (Majority Doctor Who) on one drive that is not on an external device.

    I don't see the need for SSD for what I do, I can't justify the cost of it when regular hard drives have been working just fine for what I do. I totally understand how neat SSD are and they are the future, but I'm more worried about pure space than read/write speeds.

    -iGrant
     
  10. Jawnathin macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Don't forget reliability and lower power consumption.
     
  11. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    True True . . . but the new Unibody Mac Mini Server only uses 10 watts of power at idle . . . and just of the hard drives alone won't pull that much more power, its only got an 85 watt power supply!

    I remember my Dual G5 which was my Media Computer used freaking 950 watts of power MAX, but usually hung around 500 ~ 600 watts. HAHA I replaced my Dual G5 behemoth with the Intel Mac Mini Core Solo. I'll tell you, once I upgraded the CPU to a Core Duo, the Intel Mac Mini and the Dual G5 Power Mac both encoded video at basically the same speed.

    I owed a G4 Cube for a long time, just recently sold it, it was my first OS X Mac, loved that Machine but it was WAY ahead of its time, I was so happy when apple came out with the G4 Mac Mini, I actually owned one of those as well and loved it but it sucked when it came to do any kind of video processing.

    -iGrant
     
  12. joeinid macrumors member

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #12
    Question for i7QuadCoreMania ....

    Hi,

    When you did the reinstall to OS X client 10.6.3, does your ethernet and sd slot work?

    There seems to be some issue. I ordered a mini server with 10.6.3 client disc and will experiment when they arrive. Everyone is complaining the client will not install ethernet and sd drivers.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  13. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Out of curiosity where are you seeing these complaints? I haven't noticed them!

    -iGrant
     
  14. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

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    #14
    hehe mine works, used the 10.6.3 discs from the Regular mini.;)
     
  15. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Yeah but I don't have 10.6.3 discs :(. Does anyone know where I can get 10.6.3 Mac Mini discs IF i need to?

    -iGrant
     
  16. joeinid macrumors member

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    #16
    Hi iGrant ...


    It seems anyone who wants to install Snow Leopard 10.6.3 retail disc onto their 2010 mac mini server has problems with the sd and ethernet. If you are using a restore disc from a mac mini 2010 then no problem. It's all over this forum an the apple discussion forums.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2465599&tstart=15
     
  17. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Hey

    how did you order the client disc from apple and out of curiousity how much did they cost if you don't me asking?

    Thanks
    iGrant
     
  18. joeinid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #18


    Hi,

    I just ordered the regular 10.6.3 snow leopard retail for $29 but I do not think it will work. What I (we) apparently need are the 2010 mac mini restore discs that come with the non-server version of the mac mini. There seems to be some bug in the way the retail 10.6.3 SL is installed that it will not install the sd slot and ethernet port. I do not know why and will not be able to test it until my machine comes late next week or the next.

    Joe
     
  19. TxMacAddict macrumors 6502

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #19
    I can confirm my sd slot is working after installing Snow Leopard Server from the retail DVD onto the base 2010 mini. Not sure why people are having problems going the other way though
     
  20. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Because you are not reading what we are asking.

    You saying your SD card slot works after going from 2010 Mac Mini 10.6 that came with the computer to 10.6 Server.

    I and others in this thread have order the Mac Mini Server that comes with dual 500gb drives and comes with 10.6.3 server and we want to wipe the hard drives and just install regular 10.6 on our Mac Mini Servers, and if by doing that do we still get the functionality of the SD card slot and per reading some other threads, the Ethernet port.

    -iGrant
     
  21. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
  22. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #22
    No, you will not be fully functioning with 10.6.3 build 10D573. It will, however, boot. At which point you could in theory then upgrade with 10.6.4. I haven't tested this as I need a new 10.6.4 image for deployment, but I will restore my 10.6.3 image and test this theory out for you.
     
  23. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Oh I know I won't be fully functional, I knew that. I should still be able to boot the computer from a regular 10.6.0 disc, which I think has been confirmed from MacMiniColo, and with the link above that I posted, we should be able to get the full functionality of the new Unibody Mac Minis.

    -iGrant
     
  24. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #24
    Well you didn't know that moments ago.

    I mentioned this in another thread before your recent post. I can give you a confirmation in a few minutes.
     
  25. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Maybe I didn't directly say it and I knew in the back of my mind that not everything was going to work, but I was more worried about find an update from Apple that would enable the functionality which I think the link above will resolve.

    Thanks for the information regardless though, its going to be helpful to others!

    -iGrant
     

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