Mac Pro vs Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by blacka4, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. blacka4 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 28, 2009
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    Pittsburgh
    #1
    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
     
  2. dazey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #2
    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.
     
  3. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Pittsburgh
    #3
    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
     
  4. Eric M macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    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
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    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.
     
  6. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #6
    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
     
  7. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Pittsburgh
    #7
    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.
     
  8. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    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
     
  9. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    yeah I've seen those...I have several 3.5 IDE Drives I could use..ummmm decisions decisions.
     
  10. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Plymouth, MN
    #10
    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.
     
  11. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Pittsburgh
    #11
    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
     
  12. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #12
    Are you sure?

    -> Western Digital 1TB 2.5" drive
     
  13. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Plymouth, MN
    #13
    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?
     
  14. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    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
     
  15. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2007
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    Plymouth, MN
    #15
    While we are dreaming, how about a brand new MacBook pro? I could use a new one...

    Seriously though, good luck with your server...
     
  16. Serif macrumors regular

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    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    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.
     
  17. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    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
     
  18. RevHellfire macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    #18
    well... this might be a problem...

    "*750 GB and 1 TB models are 12.5 mm high and may not be compatible with all notebook systems. Consult system specifications for maximum allowable drive height before attempting to install."

    I don't think these will work due to the constrains of physical limitations.
     
  19. 929406 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #19
    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
     
  20. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    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.
     
  21. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

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    Jul 30, 2007
    #21
    I'd highly recommend the miniStack. I've been using a 1.5TB v3 for almost 6 months with total satisfaction.
     
  22. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Location:
    Norway
    #22
    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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  23. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    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
     
  24. Serif macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    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. ;)
     
  25. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #25
    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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