Mac Mini Server upgrades (SSD and RAM)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by shoeshine, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. shoeshine macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm looking at doing some upgrades to a late 2009 Core 2 Duo 2.53Ghz Mac Mini Server which is getting a little sluggish on me. I'm running Snow Leopard Server on it, and it is used in a network of about 8 computers which access a filemaker pro database on it and a shared file server which is hosted on an external drobo unit.

    The machine has the stock 4GB of ram that came with it and the twin 500GB HDD in a RAID 0. I'm planning on upping the RAM to 8GB as that's as high as I can go in this machine, but was also thinking of replacing the stock HDDs with SSDs.

    My question is will having an SSD noticeably improve the machines day to day performance of just managing shared file access on an external drive and running Filemaker Server? Or is it just a waste of resources? The capacity of the internal drives isn't a huge issue, so was thinking of buying one 64GB crucial M4 and then instead of RAID 0 using another backup solution to the secondary HDD. OR maybe even springing for a pair of small SSD to keep the RAID 0 redundancy....

    thoughts?
     
  2. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #2
    SSD's will definitely make a difference - maybe even more than the RAM if you were fine running on 4GB's.
     
  3. shoeshine thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #3
    Just to be clear, I'm using less than 15GB of space on my internal drive at the moment and have no need for expansion as the file storage is all on a drobo. I figure the boost will step help overall performance despite not having the files the server is hosting directly on the internal drive?

    But my main question on the SSD front is about the redundancy back currently setup via RAID. I don't need a huge amount of space on the internal drive, internally all the drive does is host the filemaker databses and the system apps. I was planning on buying a small SSD, like a 64GB, but was thinking of only buying one drive. Using it as the startup drive, and instead of RAID 0 for safety and backup, clone the primary drive to the secondary stock 500GB drive with carbon copy cloner or time machine or some other function.

    Is this a bad idea? would it be better to just spring for two SSDs?
     
  4. philipma1957, Mar 25, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #4
    the crucial m4 64gb is slower then the crucial m4 128gb.

    I would buy a 128gb m4 not a 64gb.

    If you buy the 128gb you won't need to buy more ram. As the page outs and swaps (due to to little ram) will go to the ssd the ssd is way faster then the hdd when handling swaps.

    Use the other hdd as a backup. make 3 partitions on it.

    1 clones in ccc 128gb on sun ,

    1 clones in super duper 128gb on wed,

    the last can be a time machine. 256gb

    Less then a perfect backup but it is better then no backup. it is better then a mirror raid.




    Crucial m4 specs

    http://www.crucial.com/store/ssd.aspx

    note my ram use below. When I run out my swaps go to an ssd. i don't go to an hdd so time loss is small to none.

    Also I don't run out much 4 gb in and 100mb out
     

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  5. cwaddell2002 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #5
    I have a slightly older Mac Mini running FMS, it serves about 20 clients via IWP and 4 or 5 via filemaker... I replaced the system hard drive (which houses the system software as well as the filemaker server software) with an SSD, as well as an SSD for the databases. I noticed a significant performance improvement when the database was getting hit with multiple requests... but then again, in theory my databases were being hosted in RAM and just flushed to disk every few minutes....
     

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