Mac Mini basic question/FAQ

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by brn2rnjk1, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. brn2rnjk1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2008
    I was going to do a NAS system, but I am beginning to believe the Mac Mini seems better suited to use for iTunes (including Sonos system), home photos, home movies storage. But my questions are
    1. What is the server and do I need it?
    2. How do you increase and link HD so that I can increase storage. Sorry, I am confused by the website on how to expand it easily.

  2. dasx macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2012
    1. The Server is like the Mid Mini with an extra HDD and OSX Server. I wouldn't go for it.
    2. You can add external drives or put an extra internal drive.
  3. brn2rnjk1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2008
    Is it like RAID. Do you configure them so that it is one big HD or multiple separate HDs? How are they housed? I am guessing you can buy non-apple HDs.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It can be configured as RAID, but it can be left normal, having two different HDDs showing up as two different HDDs in Mac OS X.

    HDDs are housed inside the Mac mini, how exactly can be seen here or here
  5. brn2rnjk1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2008
    But it is a replacement of the drive not adding? Can you buy 2 separate 3tb drives and connect them through the mini?
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The dual drive kit allows to add another HDD to the non server model. Also know, that the mini uses 2.5" S-ATA HDDs, thus no 3.5" HDDs will fit, which limits you to 1 TB per HDD or so. There are 2.5" S-ATA HDDs with 2 TB capacity, but they will probably be too high.


    Maybe have a look at Advanced Search or MRoogle to find similar threads about replacing or adding HDDs to a Mac mini while you wait for more answers:
  7. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    It doesn't have to be one or the other. I have NAS, and I have a Mac Mini for iTunes (which supplies content to my Apple TVs). I just moved my iTunes library to the NAS, none of that content is stored directly on my Mac Mini (old Core 2 Duo model w/ 80GB HDD).

    If you want to use your Mac Mini as your network drive in addition to your iTunes hub, you can add external drives (USB3 or Thunderbolt with the latest Minis).
  8. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    I agree. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

    I currently use a 2009 mini to house the brains of the operations like media server, downloads, etc.

    I also have a NAS connected to the system for media storage. Having an expandable NAS is awesome cause you can grow its capacity without taking down the brain. I recommend Synology for the NAS as I've been more than happy with mine.
  9. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The server software, if you need it, will run on any model. It is really questionable that the extra $200 is worth it for the "server" mini. If the internal drive(s) are not enough capacity, you can easily add external drives. Really, the basic model is probably the best bet, or even a used or refurbished model. When I got my mini server (nearly 3 years ago) it was a good deal because the server software alone was $500, making the drive, processor and memory upgrade over the basic model "free", but that is no longer the case!

    I've got 9TB disk capacity on my Mini server over 4 external drives plus the internals. It works just fine but is actually less powerful than the base mini today.
  10. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    Regular old OSX can do a load of network sharing out of the box so don't let the Server app factor into your decision unless you need it. General observation i've found in the past; if you need to ask whether or not you need OSX Server chances are you most likely don't won't need it.
  11. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    I bought the regular i7, to use in a server configuration. I wanted to put in an SSD as a boot drive with a HDD as a backup and 'other' drive and its cheaper to start from the regular mini and upgrade it yourself. The server app is good if you need to deal with lots of users (I run a webdav server for delivering files to clients), for VPN services (you can do this in regular mac OS but its a pain to configure) and for more complicated file serving. I wouldn't know where to start configuring all the server features in the regular OS but I understand it can be done. The mini is replacing a MDD running leopard server.

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