need help on buying new mac mini server

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Akarim47, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Akarim47 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2008
    Planing to buy a new mac mini, I'm new to the mac world as I have been long windows user and lately using Ubuntu along with windows. tried converting to mac before but couldn't justify the price plus I need a windows machine for work,

    I don't want to spend a lot of money here as first time user, however I want to have a good experience. mostly I use the web, email (with outlook now on mac), office applications, video converting, movie ripping and a bit of playing with android stuff.

    I'm thinking to get the

    mac mini server edition with 2.0 Quad-Core i7

    Corsair 8 GB from amazon

    the mini comes with 2 500GB 7200-rpm hard drives, will it enough to put them as raid 0 for better performance or pay the $200 for 120 SSD drive.
    I'm going to use an external HD for back up anyway.

    more questions about the raid 0:
    -can I partition the drive later to install windows or ubuntu and keep the raid 0 or I have to break the raid?
    - does boot camp have the driver for raid?

    I read somewhere that is the magic trackpad is needed to get the full experience of mac os x lion, is it a must to buy?

    I would appreciate your help and feedback.
  2. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Based upon your needs and your desire to stay relatively inexpensive, the server may be a bit overkill. Why not save $400 and try out the base model first, even can replace the HDD yourself and still save a ton of cash? Give it a go (before the HDD upgrade, of course), might be all you need.

    If you insist on the server model, I think you'll be very happy--it screams along nicely. I set my HDD as RAID 0 and I'm seeing read/write speeds around 180 MB/s vs. 90-100 on individual drives. As far as adding an SSD, the new mini's are SATA III capable so you could see read/write speed over 500 MB/s with a top end unit but I believe the drives Apple installs are SATA II so you would like see mid 200s. I'd personally stick with RAID 0 but if you want to be able to use bootcamp to install Windows, I don't believe bootcamp will work with RAID 0 (not positive but believe I read about another forum user with same dilemma). Is using Parallels or VMware Fusion an option?

    Finally, yes, Lion had a bunch of multiple-touch gestures that can best be taken advantage of using the trackpad but really, if you prefer a mouse, just use a mouse. The magic mouse can still take advantage of some of the gestures and again, personally, I think gestures are kind of gimmicky to begin with, but that's just m opinion.
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    IF YOU WANT THE SERVER I suggest buying the 2 x 750gb version direct from the apple online store. cost is 1099 plus tax for usa buyers... if you have the discover card you will get a 5% rebate if you click to the apple store from discover card website. I own a server with 2 750gb hdds it is really fast so fast that you don't need an ssd for the most part. down the road you can always drop an ssd in it. Samsung will come out with some very good ssd's in oct.

    just a suggestion.
  4. Jamooche macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    I am also a PC convert. I went with the Mac Mini Server with the 256 SSD and 750 GB HDD. I haven't done any video editing yet, but editing 35-30MB RAW files in Lightroom has been super fast even with Mail, Safari, and iTunes playing music open. And, this was running off my external HDD through Firewire 800 port.

    I agree with the other poster that the base model might be a good option. I also bought a MacBook Air i5 before the Mini and converted and made 2 HD movies with iMovie. (See my website) Besides waiting bit longer for it to convert, the actually movie making interface was fast enough for me.

    This saves money for a new display, keyboard, trackpad, mouse, card reader, etc.

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