Mac Mini or MacBook for server?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by boombass, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. boombass macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2008
    I want to set up a server at home. For now it's only job will be to run Arq full time to back up my NAS; I might do more with it in the future.

    I have two older Macs available for this purpose, a 2008 aluminum MacBook, and a 2008 or 2009 Mac Mini.

    I've been looking around and both have limitations. The MacBook might overheat if I use software to keep it running closed (although this seems like a small risk, since it will be running just one app most of the time). And the Mini would need a keyboard and maybe a monitor to make it work - not yet clear on that.

    I would be using Screen Sharing built in to El Cap to interface with it.

    Which would be the better choice?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I think the Mini is better only because you can run it headless and also not have to worry about replacing the battery like you will on the MacBook. That said, you can run the MacBook with apps just fine with the lid closed without it hurting anything. I have been using MacBooks in clamshell mode with an external monitor like that as my sole machine for over three years with no issues. It is designed to operate with the lid closed.

    Give this article a read.

    When you close the lid, the MacBook will go to sleep, but there are apps you can get that will keep it awake.
  3. Waragainstsleep macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2003
    On the other hand, the battery in the MacBook works as a nice UPS.
  4. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    I would go with the 2009 MM. It will run the current OS if you choose to, it has DDR3 RAM (up to 8GB), you can run it headless. To help with heat you can stick on rubber feet on the bottom. Very easy to upgrade ram or HD.

Share This Page

3 April 5, 2016