Mac mini Server with Snow Leopard Client

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Yebubbleman, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    I'm considering replacing my Early 2006 20" iMac (2.0 GHz, 256MB VRAM, 500GB hard drive, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM) with a Mac mini Server, which I'd wipe the drives on and reinstall Snow Leopard client with both drives in a RAID 0 (needless to say, I'd hit the ground running with a Time Machine drive). Apple's online store's "Refurbished Mac" section frequently has both the Late 2009 model and the current (Mid 2010) model, the former (at $749 being $100 cheaper than the latter (at $849). So, my questions are:

    1. Save for speed and other improvements on the newer one, is there any reason I should go for one generation of mini Server over the other?

    2. I'm assuming that the earlier Server model simply requires a retail disc of 10.6.3 client in order to have it running Snow Leopard client just fine (i.e. with no driver problems), but that in order to do that with the Mid 2010 model, I'll have to find a copy of the restore discs for the non-server Mac mini. Is this correct?

    3. In the event that I get the earlier model, will having a RAID 0 on the drive give me better, worse, or roughly the same performance as that of a 7200 RPM drive?

    I combed the forums looking for info on this and found nothing conclusive. That said, if I missed something, please feel free to point me in the right direction. Thanks for your time.
     
  2. PiroPhosphoric macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    #2
    You can use the mac mini server with snow leopard server and every other software. I think it's a better solution than looking and installing a SL client.

    I have my 2010 macmini server with two separates discs, no RAID at all, and I haven't found a single problem (except the HDMI/audio issue).

    DVI+SPDIF is equal to HDMI for almost everything. But I prefer the unibody one over the old one, but that's a matter of taste and not functionality.
     
  3. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    I guess I neglected to mention that the point of this machine was to have 1TB on a single volume, and I'd prefer to set up Snow Leopard client as I'd basically be running the migration assistant to transfer iPhoto, iTunes, and the rest of my home folder over. That's where the RAID 0 comes in. Ideally, I buy the newer one, but (a) it costs more and (b) necessitates that I buy a USB hub (making the damn thing cost even more), though if I can, I'm definitely going to shoot for it as the 320M beats both my X1600 (in my iMac) and the 9400M.

    Actually that brings up another good question, does the 9400M beat the ATI Radeon X1600 in my iMac?
     
  4. lythium macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    IL
    #4
    1. the HDMI out is super duper awesome but the only real design change.

    2. you should be fine installing SL off a retail disc in either case.

    3. Raid0 is super fast. It treats the 2 discs as 1, effectively doubling the input/output rate of a single drive.
     
  5. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    May 20, 2010
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    I'm definitely okay with the GeForce 320M in the new one, but that's also due to me hoping that this Mac mini will be an upgrade from my iMac in every single way, even if it's only a slight upgrade.

    As for RAID 0ing the two drives, the older mini has 5400 RPM drives whereas the newer one has 7200. Assuming I go with the older mini will I still be getting faster performance than if I was using a single 7200 RPM drive?
     
  6. lythium macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    IL
    #6
    Depends, what are you going to be doing with the mini? Drive RPM is really only factor in seek and write times. When xfering data between the drive and a network, as in media stations, raid0 will definitely out-perform your imac with either speed drive.

    That being said, youll only notice a performance increase if you have multiple hosts trying to read from it.
     
  7. yrh0413 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    #7
    Well perhaps I can chip-in as I just got my mini server 2010 and loaded SL client on the very first day. I have been running my mini server for almost a week... sweet little machine with no problems so far. In fact I have ordered 2x 4GB rams from Amazon a few days back.

    The main reason why I choose the mini server over the stock mini is because I want 7200rpm drives, and also it is cheaper to upgrade SL client to Lion in future. Currently I have my mini server's HDD configured as RAID0. As for the SL client installation, I did it through external USB drive by restoring the whole mac mini 2010 client disk onto an external disk drive, then boot the mini server off the external drive and install SL client onto the RAID0 array.
     
  8. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    Occasional Final Cut work, some StarCraft II, some Steam (Source [TF2]) gaming, a little photoshoping here and, if I can get my hands on a new enough version, Adobe After Effects stuff (the most recent that I have is from the PPC OS X era). Again, probably not a whole lot. This is going to replace my iMac as my primary until I'm able to get a 15" MacBook Pro which'll become my new primary machine, at which time the mini will be the Mac that stores the bulk of the stuff I can live without for months at a time (if necessary) and the Mac I sit at when I'm at my desk after a long day at work.

    Good to know though. :)
     
  9. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #9
    So, you used the regular Mac mini's restore DVD? Any idea how I can get one without having to hunt down the serial number of one?
     
  10. yrh0413 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    #10
    You may obtain the Mac Mini 2010 restore disc by searching Google on "Mac Mini 2010 client restore disc"... you will get what you want in the top 5 search results. :) 2 Disc, one for the OS and another for the apps like iLife.

    And you do not need to key-in any serial number for the SL client... only SL Server needs the product key.
     
  11. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #11
    Just ordered the refurbished Mid-2010 Mac mini Server! I'll post results when I get 'er.
     
  12. logandzwon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #12
    If you want SL client on the 2010 mini server you can go to wherever you buy your Mac stuff and get the $29 retail package. That disk will install on your 2010 server. I do not think the older packages will, so if you have the older family pack, sorry. You will need to run software update to update to current before everything will work properly though. As for iLife, remember mini server does not come with a license for it. The disk in any retail edition will install just fine.

    Any RAID0 will out out perform anything else you mentioned. Striping writes half the data to each disk, at the same time, it is nearly a 2x the performance. Reading is similar.
     
  13. dia3olik macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #13
    Is the gigabit network working or you use it with airport?
    the snow leopard install discs from the mac mini client 2010 don't contains the drivers for the gigabit chip found on the mac mini server...it's different from the client!
     
  14. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    The discs from the Mid 2010 non-server Mac mini apparently work fine and have all of the drivers as the regular Mac mini and the Mac mini Server use the same main logic boards. I think you're thinking of the retail Snow Leopard disc as I hear it lacks the drivers for those components on both machines.
     
  15. yrh0413 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    #15
    so i guess you had finally got SL client installed on your 2010 mini server? ;)
     
  16. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #16
    I'm about to be in the same situation.

    I just purchased a Mac Mini server but want to run the client software on there. Been searching every resource I know to find a restore disc but found zilch.

    Anyone else having any luck?
     
  17. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    I got the discs, but no, I haven't done it yet; I'm waiting for the drive I'm going to use with Time Machine and the external (5.25" Desktop Form Factor) optical drive to arrive before I undertake the operation.

    As best as I could find out you have three options:

    (1) Install a retail copy of Snow Leopard and hope that patching to 10.6.6 resolves most driver problems that you'll have. I've heard that this doesn't always work well.

    (2) Torrent a copy of the restore discs for the non-server Mac mini of current. Install. Enjoy.

    (3) Go to a Fry's or some other place where they'll have a non-server model Mac mini of current and jot down the serial number, and then call Apple to order replacement restore DVDs and when they ask you for a serial number, tell them that you are doing it for a friend and then give them the serial number. Then install. Enjoy. This is how I acquired my discs. Though the ones that Apple sent me were burnt. Joke's on me, I guess. I suppose Apple Fulfillment is just too cheap to give me anything that's factory pressed.
     
  18. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    I went to Fry's, jotted down the serial number from the (non-Server) Mac mini there, called up Apple, ordered the replacement OS and applications disc for that mini, then I wiped my Mac mini Server, RAID 0ed the two drives, and installed the OS from the ordered disc. Migrated my data back, and everything is runninng smoothly. iLife '11 wouldn't install from the Applications DVD but I already have that install DVD. Plus the hardware test and documentation install package both work, so it's not like I miss out on anything. Everything works; system profiler recognize the Ethernet, Wireless, and SDXC card slot, which were the things that most people were having problems with when doing things from a normal retail install DVD of Snow Leopard (client). I couldn't be happier with it.
     
  19. Waragainstsleep macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    If you have an SL retail disc, you should be able to install onto a Mini Server in target disk mode via firewire. Just run the software update before you boot the Mini from its internal drive.

    Also if you insist on booting from a software RAID, make sure you have a good backup. I never trust doing this.
     
  20. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    The OEM non-Server Mac mini disk proved to be easier than all that, and I have a Time Machine drive always connected to the mini, so I'm not too worried about RAID 0 hiccups. I'm just resigned to the notion that it's more likely to fail than if I was just using a single 1TB drive. Meh. That's why I have AppleCare. :)
     

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