Mac Mini as a media server questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by NatronB, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. NatronB macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    #1
    I’m on the cusp of purchasing a new Mac Mini (mid-range model) and putting my old Mini (Core Solo, upgraded to 2.0 Ghz Core2Duo, upgraded HD and maxed RAM) out to pasture to do full time duty as a media server. The old Mini has been through a lot, the optical drive is busted, the fan runs full speed constantly (severed thermometer, but it runs cool), and I’m apprehensive of putting the case back on. I don’t have any experience with this type of thing so I’m looking to see if I’m severely misguided.

    1) I’d like to put the old Mini in a nearby closet, connected to a wireless router (Medialink, Wireless N router, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0044YU60M/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details, also connected to the new Mini) with both computers talking to an ATV2 two floors down. Am I correct in assuming that the wireless router talks to the ATV2 (wirelessly) and that the Minis don’t need to be available wirelessly?

    2) I’ve got a 1.5 TB external HD. Should I plug this into the new Mini (via USB2) and use it as a TimeCapsule, or plug it into the old Mini (for whatever reason)?

    3) I also have an Airport Express that I presumably could utilize through AirPlay to play remote speakers in the kitchen. I haven’t been able to get it to play nice with the MediaLink, is this possible?

    4) And this one might be a real dumb idea: if I get the Old Mini working as a media server, could I somehow 'break' the fan so it runs quieter? Right now on a medium load at 10 degrees C above ambient.

    Thanks for any help,

    -N
     
  2. visual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #2
    Yep that'll be fine, ATV will always "talk" to the mini via the router

    Up to you, but I'd plug it into the old "server" mini and use it as a time machine destination for both minis (as the server will be on 24/7).

    I can't help I'm afraid.

    Breaking the fan would be a bad idea. However with some zalman PC fans you get an inline fan control (basically a resistor) which you could add to the fan. Alternatively on PCs you can get programs (i.e. speedfan) that can ignore the temp reported in the bios and alow you control the fan manually - I'm sure some mac compatable utilities exist. If you can find one it'll just be a case of finding a happy medium between noise and cooling.

    Saying that, if I was you I'd leave it running at full speed - beter too cool than too hot. Actually, If I was you I'd take it into the genius bar and get a quote for a repair - I was plesently suprised by their quote for my MacBook.
     
  3. NatronB thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
  4. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #4
    I did a similar thing to my temperature sensor, what I did to get it under control is to utilize both SMC fan control (which I adjusted via terminal to max out at 3750rpm (there is post about how to do that on the forum here somewhere) and the UltraFan app (look for it posted in the Mac apps section of the forum). I set the target temp in UltraFan to 45 (or whatever you choose). By default the app runs the fans at full speed, but with the adjusted SMC fan control program, it maxes out at 3750 rpm, making it not too loud. This results in the temps staying reasonable without the fans constantly running at full speed.
     
  5. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #5
    That should work. You should put the Express in connect mode, rather than bridge mode , because you're trying to connect it to a non-Apple router.
     
  6. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #6
    Looks like most of your questions have already been answered. Thought I'd address this.

    It depends on what you plan to use that hard drive for. If you have it full of movies and music then it would make sense to have it connected to the mini server in the closet. If it's exclusively a Time Machine backup drive, it would make more sense to keep it connected directly to the new mini at your desk.

    If you'd prefer to keep your desk free of clutter you can connect it to your closet mini and connect to it over the network for time machine backups.

    Right now I have an external 1GB drive connected to my old Mac mini. The old mini is running as a media server. I store movies and music on the external drive to be played on my Xbox 360, and I also connect that drive from my MacBook Pro for Time Machine backups.
     
  7. NatronB thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    #7
    How does one do this? Through the Airport utility? Thanks, -N
     
  8. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #8
    Do what?
     
  9. NatronB thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    #9
    Sorry, I was responding to the earlier post regarding 'putting the Airport Express into connect mode.'

    I can't even get the Medialink router to appear in the Airport Utility window, so I'm not sure if this will work.

    Thanks to everyone for your help.

    -N
     
  10. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #10
    Oh-connect to the airport express in the utility, then there will be an option to connect to an existing wireless network. The media link wifi connection should be in that list.
     
  11. NatronB thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    #11
    I'm afraid it's not, am I doing something wrong? Thanks,

    -N
     

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