Mac Pro vs Mac Mini

blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
I'm going to be setting up a home server here in the near future and curious if I should go with the mini server or pick up a used intel mac pro. With the Pro you can have 3TB of internal storage as to the mini with just 1TB internal storage. I'm trying to avoid having a mess of firewire cables and power cords running around my Closet at home which would be why I thought about the Pro because you can put the Standard 3.5 drives internal and not have to worry about external storage.


From a Financial standpoint I'm leaning towards the mini server because it already comes with OSX server and if I purchased the pro for 1600 and the software for 500 I'm already 2100 in the hole and I could save myself 1100 bux.

thanks for the input
 

dazey

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2005
291
23
You could always pick up a G4 tower on ebay, 4 drive bays and more than enough power for a home server. You would want to get a PCI SATA card to avoid buying old drives. Limitation is that you can't run snow leopard server. A Mac Pro as a home server seems wasteful unless it doubles up as a workstation.
 
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blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
yeah I completely understand that a Pro would be a waste. Right now I have a MBP and a Mini for a multimedia server. My parents have a newer MBP I guess I should have said all I am looking for is something that i can do remote time machine backups and possibably act as a Router, and Run a VPN for offside log ins and timemachine backups and allow shared access to resourses when i'm traveling or my parents are traveling. I know the Mini only has one ethernet port.

If I got the Pro I would finally be able to purchase Final Cut and do the start the video editing I have been wanting to get into. Also I may have some video cams connected to record motion in my house for security purposes

Can I accomplish running a VPN server with the leopard/SL client? I know I can do file sharing. Also I read that you can do remote time machine backups via the client also but I have not been able to get this to work successfully.

thanks so much. I am not new to networking or mac. just getting all these services started is what I am new to
 
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Eric M

macrumors member
Nov 18, 2009
53
0
UK
The new MacMini (the one with OS X SL Server) would be perfect for what you want it to do. I rushed a bit and just bought the software ( what a shame, for £200 more I could have a brand new Mini DOH!) but it's worth every penny.
Scheduled backups to external drives work like a dream, VPN server couldn't be easier to setup and there is still plenty of power to play with. (new version supports push notifications and all...)

my recommendation - get a new Mini (Server) and some decent FW external HDD

edit: VPN server on a SL (client) - it's doable, but with the above package it's working straight out of the box
 
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Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
With the Pro you can have 3TB of internal storage as to the mini with just 1TB internal storage.
You can get a maximum of 8TB in the Pro (using four 3.5" 2TB drives) or up to 20TB with 12 additional 1TB 2.5" drives.

The Mini is limited to 2TB (two 1TB 2.5" drives).

That's the current maximum with internal drives.
Of course the 20TB in the MacPro would require some additional hardware.
 
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chaos86

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2003
1,007
7
127.0.0.1
I'm running a 1.33ghz powerbook as a file server and torrent downloader. I have an external 2 TB drive connected via usb. It's never been unable to do what I needed, and I took the display from it to fix another powerbook, so I killed 2 birds with one stone.

$117 Powerbook g4 from ebay
$80 1tb hard drive
$80 1tb hard drive
$31 dual (raid) SATA enclosure
------
$308 total
 
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blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
I think I am going to end up going with the mini. It seems to be the best fit for what I am wanting to do. plus it doesn't take up much space. lol

I currently have a mini that i am using as a multimedia center. Instead of getting another Mini do you think I could just get OSX Server and install it on that? and still be able to run Plex/iTunes for music and movies???

I'm also going to go use both my external USB drives I have for Time Machine backups along with the internal HDD. I believe I am going to have a lot of storage that i may never use.
 
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AppleMatt

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2003
1,780
20
UK
I think I am going to end up going with the mini. It seems to be the best fit for what I am wanting to do. plus it doesn't take up much space. lol
You might want to look on eBay for Mac mini form factor external drives. Last year I sold one to someone on this forum who had a Mac mini and he was very pleased.

They're the same shape and finish as a Mac mini and come with a very short USB cable. So you can stack the mini on-top of the drive. Or you can stack four of them, or however many you need in the future.

AppleMatt
edit: This one has a horrible logo on the front but you get the idea.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=330378102754#ht_500wt_1115
 
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blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
No, the Mini is limited to 1 Terabyte (2x500 GB) of storage. 2.5" drives max out at half a gig right now so thats the upper limit.
I actually just saw 2.5 drives that where 640GB on Ifixit.com

again, thanks guys. I just need to get the money together. haha
 
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pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,041
65
Plymouth, MN
Sorry, I was unfamiliar with those drives... Apple doesn't offer them though as part of the Mini server - not to mention that the cost alone to get you up to 2 TB would cost roughly 500 bucks... Quite alot.

I do admit that I was wrong about drive limits. Obviously my info was out of date... Now I want one. Anyone want to spring 250 bucks for me as a gift?
 
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blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
Sorry, I was unfamiliar with those drives... Apple doesn't offer them though as part of the Mini server - not to mention that the cost alone to get you up to 2 TB would cost roughly 500 bucks... Quite alot.

I do admit that I was wrong about drive limits. Obviously my info was out of date... Now I want one. Anyone want to spring 250 bucks for me as a gift?
hhaha anyone want to loan me 1400 for the mini server

Plus I am thinking about upgrading my macbook HDD and my current mini HHD
 
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pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,041
65
Plymouth, MN
hhaha anyone want to loan me 1400 for the mini server

Plus I am thinking about upgrading my macbook HDD and my current mini HHD
While we are dreaming, how about a brand new MacBook pro? I could use a new one...

Seriously though, good luck with your server...
 
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Serif

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
139
17
UK
Sounds like you've made up your mind. I jumped and bought a mini server the day after they came out. It's a very nice piece of kit; silent, cool and using very little power when idle (which is most of the time). The SLS software is probably overkill for what I'm using it for, but it's a nice toy to play with and certainly has no trouble providing the file and printer sharing, and central backup service.
 
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blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
Sounds like you've made up your mind. I jumped and bought a mini server the day after they came out. It's a very nice piece of kit; silent, cool and using very little power when idle (which is most of the time). The SLS software is probably overkill for what I'm using it for, but it's a nice toy to play with and certainly has no trouble providing the file and printer sharing, and central backup service.
yes I am going to go with the mini server...just need to purchase it. lol money is tight with the holidays right now. haha
 
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929406

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2009
102
0
Hey Guys, currently I am using my MBP Unibody 2.4 as a dual monitor set up when at home hooked up to 24 Apple Cinema Display. Have been thinking about a proper dual monitor set up for a while.

My Question is would the 2.53 offer any noticeable performance gains over my 2.4 MBP and how does one ensure all work is saved on both computers?

thanks in advance
 
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blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
Hey Guys, currently I am using my MBP Unibody 2.4 as a dual monitor set up when at home hooked up to 24 Apple Cinema Display. Have been thinking about a proper dual monitor set up for a while.

My Question is would the 2.53 offer any noticeable performance gains over my 2.4 MBP and how does one ensure all work is saved on both computers?

thanks in advance
Dude, wtf not exactly the thread to post this in. But i'll answer it anyways

I don't think you will not notice any gains by using a 2.53 mini. One way to make sure all files are the same on both machines is to use network storage.
 
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cluthz

macrumors 68040
Jun 15, 2004
3,118
3
Norway
A MacPro seems overkill.

I use a P4 Dell optiplex sx260 which is very small, almost like the mini.
Nice thing about small computers is that you can hang them up, making things a lot less messy!

A MacPro costs too much money to have as an home server anyway!
 

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blacka4

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
388
8
Pittsburgh
A MacPro seems overkill.

I use a P4 Dell optiplex sx260 which is very small, almost like the mini.
Nice thing about small computers is that you can hang them up, making things a lot less messy!

A MacPro costs too much money to have as an home server anyway!
oh i'm with you on that but, I would probably double up the pro as a work station also. Going to see what kind of sales are going on friday and start getting pieses for my new network
 
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Serif

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
139
17
UK
oh i'm with you on that but, I would probably double up the pro as a work station also. Going to see what kind of sales are going on friday and start getting pieses for my new network
I agree about a Mac Pro being overkill for the job described. Personally though, I don't like the idea of having a server that is also used as a workstation; I like to be able to futz about with my desktop computer without worrying about stopping shared services. Well, that's how I convinced myself to buy a separate Mini Server anyway. ;)
 
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ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,617
438
Redondo Beach, California
oh i'm with you on that but, I would probably double up the pro as a work station also. Going to see what kind of sales are going on friday and start getting pieses for my new network
What does electric power cost in your area? A server needs to run 24x7. Over the life of a MacPro it will burn enough power to buy for a Mini

Also for a home server to do the jobs you describe you do not need mac OS X Server. VPS, sharing files,remote logins and so on are best does with something like BSD nix rnning on an older G4 mini or an older notebook computer.

If you want a workstatin buy the new quad core imac. recent benchmarks show it is fater then a mac pro. For the home server you can just use a low power machine like the g4 mini or notbook with a Firewire connected Drobo or other RAID5 system. Your total cost of ownership will be less.
 
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