Mac Mini Server as a stand alone desktop?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nyc4lifedt, May 3, 2010.

  1. nyc4lifedt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    #1
    I'm in a market to buy a new Mac Mini. I'm looking at my options and I met a seller that is willing to sell an used Mac Mini Server for the price of a regular Mac Mini.

    I have no idea what it is and don't even know why I'm considering it, but for $500 I'm curious.

    What is the biggest difference between a Mac Mini and a Mac Mini Server? My online search comes up with reviews of Mac Mini Server "as" a server. I'm not looking to do that. Just thinking of using it as a desktop that I would use it with Mac Mini.

    No optical drive, lack of expansion, I get all that.

    Can I use it as a stand alone desktop? It I were to buy it for it's full retail it would be a waste of money, but I can get it cheap.
     
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #2
    Do you already have an external DVD drive? Otherwise, you'll need one about "5 minutes" after you take delivery of that server.
     
  3. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #3
    It has 2 x 500GB HDDs inside and runs Mac OS X Server.

    You might take a look here and here.

    You can get that MM and buy SL for 29USD somewhere else, if you don't like Mac OS X Server.


    Why?
     
  4. nyc4lifedt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    #4
    I don't really care about an optical drive. I've owned my MacBook Pro for about a year and a half, and I almost never use it.

    So it can run as a standalone desktop or what?
     
  5. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    New York, Baby!
    #5
    Pssh, Optical Drive.... They're overrated.

    Mac mini with 2 hard drives, now we're talking! I say go for it!
     
  6. nyc4lifedt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    #6
    okay, sounds like it CAN run as a standalone desktop.
     
  7. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    I would put Snow Leopard Client on it if I were you. Assuming it comes with SL Server.

    Much of the price of the Mac Mini Server Ed. is the OS X Server license. If the seller is not giving that to you, their price is fair. If they are giving it to you, I would have to wonder why they spent $1000 and turn around and sell it for $500.

    It may not be a Mac Mini Server at all, but instead a modified Mini with a second hard drive.

    Smells a little fishy to me.
     
  8. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #8
    Ditto, be careful.
     
  9. nyc4lifedt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    #9
    Good point. He's a real deal, I might have to ask him for it.

    I guess he's not giving me the license. So Mac Mini Server is a Mac Mini minus the optical drive and the Snow Leopard Server? I can even install just regular Snow Leopard on it?
     
  10. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #10
    As said and linked before, the Mac Mini Server is a Mac Mini without the optical drive but WITH a license of Mac OS X Server. And as that computer is just a Mac Mini with two HDDs and no SuperDrive, you can install Mac OS X (client, not server) if you want to.
     
  11. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    Well, yeah.

    Mac Mini
    - optical drive
    + 500GB hard drive in place of the optical
    + Snow Leopard Server
    = Mac Mini Server

    You can install Snow Leopard Client on it. Since there is no optical you will need another Mac (or another boot volume, USB or FireWire) to install OS X on it.

    Here is what it looks like:
    http://www.apple.com/macmini/server/

    If you see an optical slot, it isn't a real Mac Mini Server. I still think the price is a little suspect, but if he is the "real deal" it should be fine. I wouldn't sell it that low though. Even without the OS X Sever license it can command much of its retail price.
     
  12. upaymeifixit macrumors 6502a

    upaymeifixit

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    #12
    It's faster too isn't it? Like 2.53Ghz instead of 2.26Ghz, and it has 4GB of RAM right? That's just the base model!
     
  13. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #13
  14. upaymeifixit macrumors 6502a

    upaymeifixit

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    #14
    I actually found the information from there, but I don't know if the server he is buying is that up-to-date. If it is, that seems like a really good deal.
     
  15. odtv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #15
    So to the original question: Does a Mac Mini w/ OSX Server work well as a desktop computer?

    Does anyone here own one at home and use it to run desktop apps as well as server services?

    No kidding!
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    The Mac mini server is the same as an Mac mini except for 2 things:
    1) It the optical drive has been replaced with a hard drive.
    2) It runs OS X Server.

    So yes you can run it as a desktop. There is no reason to switch the OS to regular Snow Leopard because the two are essentially the same (except the Server version can do extra stuff). The server also has the same outputs and everything. It even has the IR remote sensor so you can use an Apple Remote for Front Row and everything.

    And if you really need an optical drive you can pick up the Apple one or you want to save money, get any USB optical drive online.
     
  17. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #17
    Yes. I use Mac mini Server hardware (2009) as a regular desktop running Snow Leopard. With the two internal drives configured as a RAID-0 volume, it's quite fast.

    A.
     
  18. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

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    Sep 22, 2010
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    34.6700N 118.1590W
    #18
    If the Mini Server is just used as a desktop, do you have to RAID the hard drives, or can they still be designated as separate drives (say A and Bas an example). And, can it be setup to just use A or B as the boot drive?
     
  19. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #19
    No, you can use the drives any way you like. I wanted the server hardware specifically to be able to stripe the drives, but it's not a requirement. You could have one version of OS X on one drive, and a different version (or different OS) on the other. There's nothing about the 'server' hardware that restricts you.

    A.
     
  20. billib macrumors member

    billib

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    Don't Have To RAID Them Drives

    You don't have to RAID the HD's.
    If you do nothing to set them up
    as RAID Drives then they will
    remain two separate Drives.
    In your System Preferences you
    can choose which Drive to Boot from.
    If you change your mind , you can
    hold down the Option KEY upon Boot
    and choose which Drive to Boot from
    at that time.
     
  21. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

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    Sep 22, 2010
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    34.6700N 118.1590W
    #21
    Very good!! That is exactly the answer I was looking for. Thank you.
     
  22. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #22
    given that SL server is $500 a la carte and mac mini server is $1000. I could see someone buying A mini server and using the discs to turn their Mac pro, or even a MBP into a server, then selling the Mini for whatever they can get >$500. Heck a refurb mini server is about $700-800 last time I checked.
     
  23. s4mb4 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #23

    as long as when you take delivery of the mac mini server, you do not go through the registration process.

    i bought a mac mini server because i wanted the second hard drive...
    when i first plugged it in, during the initial boot, i wiped the hard drive and installed a clean version of OS X client. boxed up the server discs and most importantly, the key code and registration card for resale.
     
  24. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #24
    The 2009 mini with Snow Leopard Server occasionally still appears on the refurb site for $750. Even without SLS, one for $500 beats out any of the other minis (except for the lack of optical drive).

    My understanding of the SLS disk and license is that the license can be used for other systems but the disks won't install on anything but a mini, which somewhat limits the marketability. Perhaps the seller will include the license, which would make it easier to sell in the future.

    P.S. I've got one, but use it as a server.
     

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