Just got my Mini - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Azeroth1, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Azeroth1 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010

    Just picked up a 2012 Mac Mini which I intend to use solely as a media center. My primary machine is a 15" MBP retina.

    The specs are (2.6/16gb/256 flash). First, I'm planning on splurging for a 1tb Samsung Evo and adding that as a second drive. That will store most of my media. I intend to back the machine up separately to a synology NAS. The reason I'm thinking an SSD here is because it will be in my main living room and I want it as quiet as possible.

    Was just looking for some generals advice in setting this up in terms of things like should I download OSX server? If I plan to use iTunes to okay movies whould I need plex? I plan to connect it to my tv via HDMI - how would an Apple TV fit into the mix.

    As I said, just looking for some advice on setting this up as a media center.
  2. Fishrrman, Jul 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015

    Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    "The reason I'm thinking an SSD here is because it will be in my main living room and I want it as quiet as possible."

    My opinion only, but that seems to be an unecessary expenditure.

    I'd suggest a 1tb 2.5" platter-based drive in a decent USB3 enclosure.
    You might pick these up separately and "assemble it yourself".

    Should be "quiet enough" ...
  3. Azeroth1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010

    Thanks that might make much more sense. Any recommendations on which drive to go with?
  4. kingdLo macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Western Digital are great quality drives.

    Definitely get an external USB3 enclosure and stick it in there.

    If you're connecting the Mini to the TV directly with HDMI--no need for an  tv
  5. Auszero macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2009
    I don't think you need OS X server. I use it on my media center Mini because it acts as a time machine, which is something you can configure using server.

    You don't need Plex if everything is going through iTunes. Plex is best for streaming your library to other devices on your home network or outside it. For example I have about 300 movies in my library and using Plex I can access them from anywhere in the world on my phone. Additionally other TV's in my home have Amazon Firesticks and using the Plex app can access the media.

    An Apple TV would give you a simpler user interface to access Netflix and other streaming services however all of those could be accessed via safari on the Mini. I have an Apple TV but don't really ever use it.

    My Mini consists of a 2014 2.6 i5 with 128GB SSD attached to 3.5TB via USB 3.0 and TB. Im running XBMC as my local media center interface with Plex on the back end doing all the streaming to other devices. All of my media is local. I also use the Mini as my main iTunes Library with iTunes Match setup to stream to my other devices.

    You're on the right track. Is your entire iTunes library purchased through iTunes? If it is I would stay in the iTunes ecosystem. If your movies are ripped or downloaded I would look into both Plex and XBMC.
  6. McScooby macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2005
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    Like yourself, I recently picked up a 2012 mini server with a 2TB drive with the sole purpose to take it apart add max RAM & SSD's, but to be honest, what I've found is YMMV. In my case, I found the hard drive noise & RAM (Only 4GB) to be acceptable, scrapped the idea of adding SSD's & RAM (for now) & the plan to get bluetooth keyboards etc also scrapped as I use my mini to screen share to the MBP which has just been a delight. Now, of course, I could add plex & all that jazz, but for the moment everything is hunky dory, my MBP is always on, so screen sharing is brill as no lag etc when streaming as mini is wired, even if I couldn't be bothered switching on my MBP, the iPhone acts as a iTunes remote, & as for going down the road with a NAS, I've also scrapped that. I've currently got a 5TB seagate external plugged in, all is good there & am now looking for an external enclosure to use as a JBOD, as all my back ups are off site, I've not yet touched my AppleTV, but the only use so far I can see is that it'd provide a nicer front end to everything, but until the much rumoured app store appears, it's been resigned a lesser tv in the house (pointed to the mini library).

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