Mac Mini Server... Good for Media Center?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by iBunny, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. iBunny macrumors 65816

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #1
    I am thinking about getting the Mac Mini Server for 2 reasons. 1, it comes with 2 500GB Hard Drives, perfect for storing all my purchased iTunes Content, and it comes already pre configured with the Fastest Processor and 4GB of Ram.

    My question is, because it is running OSX Server, will it run slower than the regular Mac Mini that is running regular OSX?
     
  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #2
    Don't think OSX Server comes with any multi-media facilities, you'd probably have to install them.. it's not designed to be a media-server as you expected, it's actually a network data file server, thus MacOS X Server.
     
  3. tuna macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Aren't there also complaints about whether these Mac Mini's can run 1080p video? Maybe they can only do it when its h.264 and it can use its hardware decoding? I know that it was impossible to get smooth 1080p blu-ray playback on the last Mac Mini.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Any Intel Mini should play it just fine, especially these NVidia Minis. Flash based 1080p video playback may not be smooth but that's because of Flash. Apple trailers in 1080p work just fine
     
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #5
    It has iTunes and I installed Plex on mine without any issues.
     
  6. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #6

    I didn't say you can't install them. I said, OSX Server doesn't come with them, there's a difference...
     
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #7
    You would be wrong. I didn't install iTunes; it came pre-installed. That's why I said it has it and that I installed Plex. I was simply clarifying this, as you said you "didn't think" it came with any of it.
     
  8. iBunny thread starter macrumors 65816

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  9. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #9
    Yes, it comes pre-installed.. However, you have to purchase the remote separately. I use the one from my AppleTV.

    Note, you will need to enable the infrared receiver from the Security preferences as well.

    I have mine run Plex at startup, and you can go to FrontRow directly from Plex.
     
  10. iBunny thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    OK so my ultimate quesion is this. I want to hook this up to my TV, put my Entire iTunes Library on it and use it as a media center.

    Any reason not to get the Server Mini over the regular one?

    Mini Server - $999 US
    Regular Mini 2.66/4GB/ Only one 500GBHDD - 1049$ US

    ??? The Server is Cheaper and comes with two 500GB 7200RPM Hard drives.... while the Regular Mini can only have one 500GB 5400RPM Hard Drive.

    Clearly the Server option is better and saves $...
     
  11. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #11
    The only missing item is an optical drive. For me, it was not an issue as I already own a USB DVD drive. It's one more thing on the list to consider. I personally like it not having an optical drive for another reason: the kids won't shove something into it.
     
  12. iBunny thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Excelent. Then the New Mac Mini Server it is!

    Hopefully I can find a way to Install OSX Client on there.... I have a Snow Leopard DVD but its from August 2009.... im sure it "wont recognize" the new Hardware in my Mac Mini Server....
     
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #13
    Likely not. You might talk to Apple first and see if you can purchase the SL DVD for the new Mini. Honestly, I don't think you'll find any issue with running OS X Server on it. I certainly haven't found any limitations.
     
  14. sdv5 macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #14
    Sell server DVD and buy client DVD

    Can the SL Server DVD that comes with new Mac Mini Server be sold legally on eBay? Is it a fully functional version that would allow another user to install it legally on his Mac machine? If so, then I would sell the server DVD, order a full version of SL client OS from Apple, and install that on dual hard disk Mac Mini using external USB DVD drive. Does anyone perceive a problem with this approach? I don't need the server, and would use the new Mac Mini strictly as HTPC. If this approach is doable, then I could get my Mac Mini HPTC for less than $999.
     
  15. brianfast macrumors regular

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    #15
    There is a thread where it was agreed upon that the older minis could not play Blu Ray rips.
     
  16. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #16
    Doesn't make sense, it depends on how you rip them of course.

    1080p x.264 AC3 MKVs (ripped from blurays) that you see around the web usually work fine on my 2.0ghz 2009 nvidia Mini..... (edit: sorry, maybe with "older" you meant GMA950 Minis)

    More over, Apple has just released an API for 3rd party programs to take advantage of h.264 hardware acceleration if you have: 9400M, 320M and GT 330M.

    There's already a beta of Plex that use it, soon we will see it in a final release. (but you can already use the beta). People testing it say that CPU load is drammatically reduced and there are no slowdowns on the heavy videos.

    So MacMini 9400M/320M + new Api + Plex + Remote Buddy + Wii Remote = damn good mediacenter IMHO.

    Now with HDMI (video+audio) to run just one cable to the A/V Receiver. Not that running a Toslink cable is a problem for me. It's not like I'm moving my mini all the time.
     
  17. dhartung02 macrumors 6502

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    Little Rock, AR
    #17
    Id like to know this as well. I plan on getting the Mac Mini Server version due to the additional space and rotational speed. If i could sell the server software and use my retail disk Snow Leopard that would be a bonus and help offset some of the additional costs. Anyone have any thoughts/experience on this?
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Ever heard of encoding them to better format? I wouldn't get Mini for Blu-Ray stuff anyway. The hassle of not having good support for Blu-Rays in OS X sucks and Mini doesn't have a BR drive either. If I wanted to play and rip BRs, I would build a PC for that job
     
  19. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #19
    I don't see why you couldn't, so long as you do not keep a copy and use it. Additionally, you'd need to purchase another SL license, if you have already used the one you have.
     
  20. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    #20
    I was under the assumption that the install media that comes with a Mac was licensed for only that machine and were considered like restore type discs, even though they have the full version. Also, all of the discs that came with my Macs have never looked like the retail versions.
     
  21. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #21
    Correct me if I am wrong. It doesn't come with DVD Player app. Where can you get one? I', not talking about third party app like VLC.
     
  22. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

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    #22
    How about buy the Server Mini, but install Snow Leopard Standard and sell the Server license?
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    The install disks are system specific thus it's no use to sell it. Does server have serial or does it work without?
     
  24. brdnboy macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2008
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    Boulder, CO
    #24
    my word of advice if you end up going with the server mini is to either read up on RAID before configuring the drives, or if you are familiar just consider your options. It sounds like you like the server because it has extra capacity but in reality you should probably mirror the two internal drives for data security. if you choose not to mirror the drives, make sure you have a good external backup system in place, as you now have 2x the chance of a drive failure internally.
     
  25. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #25
    I have a retail copy of server. I got it for free with a 30 days license when I attended SL Server Tour. It does require a serial. I never installed it. I wonder if I can use the Mini Server license with the retail disc and sell it?
     

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