Mac Mini Server as HTPC?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MacUser09, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. MacUser09 macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2009
    Mac Mini Server, 4 core i7, 2.6Ghz, 2 x 256GB SSD 16GB RAM.

    Seen one that looks reasonable price. Would this be any good as a HTPC with 2 SSD's?
  2. michelg1970, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014

    michelg1970 macrumors regular


    Jul 26, 2011
    Gouda - The Netherlands
    Been there - done that. In 2011 I bought the MM Server (2 x 500 GB HD) + i7 2.0 and Server software. $ 999 excl. taxes....

    It was a great machine however for my purposes (iTunes, Plex) it was well over the top. OK, I used it also as a server and started working with mobile networking accounts that synced to the MM but that wasn't the original plan.

    For an HTPC: buy a cheaper MM and invest in extra external hard drives for storage, sharing etc. That's my thought. Right now I sold my MM and use my iMac as a server. Apple TV and Roku for media in the living room (from the iMac). Works perfect.

    If I had to do it all over again: cheaper MM with extra (TB) hard drives.

    Just an idea.

    Edit: then again, if you could buy it at a good price including the 2 SSD's....
  3. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2012
  4. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    I agree that it's overkill. If you also want an OS X server in the house for other purposes, then it can serve multiple roles, with HTPC being one of them. My entry-level Mini is more than capable of being an HTPC, and its library files are stored on an NAS. It's so undertaxed that I'm trying to figure out what else to do with it.
  5. Tom.Molyn macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2014
    I also agree this setup may be more suited towards being a media server and supporting 10+ simultaneous clients.

    if your just wanting to stream to your home computers/tablets/apple TV than you could pass with a Core 2 duo and 4GB ram, standard HDD with 1+TB storage.
  6. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Unless money is no option, go big or go home! :D Otherwise, any late model mini will easily handle any media content you can throw at it. I have a 2009 C2D mini with 4GB ram that doesn't break a sweat running as an HTPC, networked iTunes server, OS X server, etc. so if you want new, the entry level mini will suffice for years to come.

    IMO SSD storage really isn't a necessity. Standard hard drives, even the 5400's, are plenty fast enough for playback and serving media files. And a HTPC or media hub generally use external storage for media libraries, still making HD storage the most practical solution over SSD. So having modern IO like USB3 and TB would be a priority spec to future proof any external storage needs. Another reason to consider a 2012 model (new or used) over earlier models.
  7. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008

    I have this in white, albeit with a much slower Celeron 847 (1.1GHz) processor. Runs Windows 7 (because I had a spare license) with 4GB RAM and a hand-me-down 120GB hard drive. Works perfect for Netflix, Hulu, and the like, plus movies shared from my Mini (I don't use any particular software, I just share the files - though Plex or XBMC or iTunes sharing would all work just fine). I got it when Newegg had it on special for $89 with a free matching DVDRW (which I don't use lol).

    Before that, my TV PC was an old Dell GX620 with a Pentium D. It served its purpose awesomely - the only reason I replaced it was because I got tired of the power I knew it was eating and its fan racing a million miles per hour every time I played Netflix lol.

    I plan to move my current Mac Mini to TV duty when I retire it, but I don't have plans for that for at least another year or so.

    My point is this - a TV PC doesn't have to be complicated. Surprisingly low-end hardware will work just fine, as long as you don't have too specialized requirements. :)
  8. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
  9. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I have two Mac minis as HTPCs, a dual core i5 and the quad core i7 one. Both have 8GB of RAM and a 250GB Samsung 840 SSD.

    Honestly I cannot tell in any instance a difference in performance between the two.

    I don't think the quad core is necessary at all.
  10. redgular macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2013
    My Mac Mini as a server turned out great.
    I purchased the base model Mac Mini. (2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 4GB)
    I replaced the internal hard drive with a 128GB SSD.
    (SSD makes this Mac Mini much more usable)

    I have several external USB 3 Hard Drives connected to it.
    1x - 3TB Drive strictly for Time Machine.
    1x - 1TB Drive for iTunes Library (Movies,TV Shows)
    1x - 2TB Drive for General Storage. (Photos, Apps, Docs, Projects, etc..)

    Ive been running it non-stop for a year without any problems.
  11. beachmusic macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2013
    St. George Island
    What hard drive enclosures are you using for your externals?

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