I recently got two new stock Mac Mini Servers as HTPCs, and I wanted to share my experiences for people who are on the fence. I was also on the fence but am also impulsive / impatient. Hardware Setup Hardware setup is simpler than it has ever been thanks not needing an optical cable and a display adapter any more. Using a single HDMI cable is awesome (and useful for HDCP, etc.) for an HTPC. After plugging in an HDMI cable, the power cable (which is much smaller now), and an Ethernet cable, I was set. Software Setup OS setup was *different* than my older Mac Mini's, mainly because of the preinstalled server edition of Mac OS. Certain settings (like enabling file sharing) have been moved to the Server Preferences application. The server OS also installs many things I don't need (e.g. DNS server), but I'm content to leave them there since 1 TB is plenty of local storage (I use a NAS for my main media storage). I found that screen sharing connected very slowly (it took about a minute) until I enabled file sharing and removed 127.0.0.1 from the DNS hosts list. Out of curiosity, I tried installing Mac OS Client 10.6.3 on the machine. The setup went smoothly, except that I couldn't get Mac OS to show the Ethernet adapter in the preferences pane even after upgrading to 10.6.4. I didn't try for too long and just ended up reverting to the Server OS. As noted elsewhere, iLife isn't preinstalled, which is fine for HTPC use. I'd rather have 1 TB of local storage and 4 GB preinstalled memory anyway. One big change (thanks to thefaceless for pointing this out!) for HTPC users is the new overscan slider in the Displays pref pane. It's a god send for people like me who sometimes watch iTunes TV shows in HD, which are "protected" by HDCP. Though the slider doesn't let you adjust the horizontal and vertical overscan independently, I was able to get it to fill my Samsung 52" and 46" LCD TVs nearly perfectly. Plex lets you perfect your overscan settings, which works for me, since I watch most of my content in Plex. After calibrating using the built-in display calibration tool, the image on my TV looked nice and saturated. I couldn't get it to wake from sleep with my Harmony universal remote until I installed the Candelair remote driver and enabled "legacy compatibility mode." With the driver, my remote worked flawlessly. Performance Out of the box, I don't notice significant improvements in terms of video playback. VLC had a slightly easier time playing some 1080p clips than it did on my previous Minis. Plex still dropped frames on a high bitrate 1080p MKV of Avatar. However, the beta hardware-accelerated Plex binary cleared this up nicely, resulting in 60-70% free CPU and very smooth playback. Full screen Hulu Desktop (using the slightly faster Flash Player 10.1) works nicely too. The new Mac Mini is just as quiet as the previous generation. I can't hear it unless I put my ear very close to it. It remains quiet under high CPU load, like transcoding. Conclusion I'm very happy I went with the Mac Mini Server. The 1 TB of hard drive space is great for providing working space for transcodes while I'm not playing movies. Its sleekness, good hardware accelerated performance, and HDMI support makes it a great looking, well-integrated fit to my home theater setup.