New mac mini as a Plex server?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by slagathor001, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. slagathor001 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #1
    The HEVC capabilities due to the T2 chip seem awesome.

    Would the new mac mini + good internet = direct play for people outside my network if they also have good internet?



    Thanksss!
     
  2. twennywonn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #2

    I was using an i7 2012 Mac Mini as my plex server and it did pretty well but it cannot output 4k to a display. I just ordered the base model Mini but upgraded the storage to 256GB so I am hoping it runs a bit better than the i7 2012. I skipped the 2014 models because they were for the most part slower than my 2012.
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #3
    I have a 2011 Mac Mini running as Plex server on 4GB RAM, and it is doing its job perfectly.
     
  4. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #4
    You don’t need the new mini for that. You can do that with a much older mini. I’m doing that just fine with a 2014 mini. My 2014 mini is direct playing 4K material without issue.
     
  5. slagathor001 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2011
    #5
    Awesome. Great to know! But are we talking outside of your network? Currently I just use my laptop (2015 15" MBP) as the server, and it mostly works fine for everyone outside of my network, save for bigger files
     
  6. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    #6
    Yep no trouble. Direct play is dependent on network speed more than anything else.
     
  7. techno96 macrumors member

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #7
    I have 2 mini's now. One a as Time Machine/File/Plex Server, and the other as my main machine.

    The server is an older 2012 model with some upgrades and runs perfectly fine for me as a Plex server, I see 0 reason to upgrade it. The other one tho, that will be getting an upgrade.
     
  8. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #8
    As already noted, even an older mac mini can do that. But I'm a little confused by the "people outside my network" part. By that do you mean a group, or large group, of people accessing your Plex server remotely?


    Mike
     
  9. archer75 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #9
    I briefly had a 2014 mini to use as a plex server and it struggled with a single stream. I use a 5820 in my desktop now which is a 6 core CPU and it works great for multiple streams + gaming simultaneously. The Intel 8700 in the mini is also a 6 core and a little bit faster so that one would be fantastic for a plex server.
    I have run 5 1080p streams transcoding simultaneously and it works for 4k streams as well though I haven't had the opportunity to do more than one at a time.
     
  10. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2015
    #10
    I'd build a cheap Linux box. You don't need to pay the Apple tax if all you want it to do is run a Plex server and maybe serve files.
     
  11. Mannaerts macrumors member

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Belgium, Antwerp
    #11
    Sorry to hijack this thread, but i have the same thing except i wanted to know which model is good enough for 4K Plex streaming? I don't think the i3 is gonna cut it, is it?
     
  12. archer75 macrumors 68020

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    Oregon
    #12
    I'd got for the top 6 core i7. 4k is much more demanding. This applies to transcoding only though. If your device natively supports the files you are trying to play then there will be no transcoding and a lowly i3 would be just fine.
     
  13. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    #13
    I'm doing that with a 2011 MacBook Pro.
     
  14. archer75 macrumors 68020

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    Oregon
    #14
    It depends on what devices they are using to stream. A mac mini or good internet have nothing to do with whether or not it will direct play.
    HEVC encoding is great. But it only helps if the program you are using is setup to use the T2 chip encoder.
     
  15. slagathor001 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2011
    #15
    Archer coming through with some fresh knowledge. Thanks man, cleared it all up for me.
     
  16. jameschho macrumors newbie

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    Nov 3, 2003
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    Pasadena, CA
    #16
    Guys, don't waste your money on a Mac to run a Plex Server. I do that as a VM on a Sandy Bride i7 PC running ESXi, it does 4x 1080p transcodes while still running a few smaller VMs. I'm about to add a NVidia P2000 for GPU transcode.

    In fact, you can buy pretty much any cheap used PC w/ a PCIE 3.0 slot, slap in the $400 GPU and be doing multiple 4K transcodes without breaking a sweat. This whole setup will cost you less than even the base price of a Mac Mini. You would have plenty of cash left over for a NVidia Shield as the Plex client or more gigantic hard drives for media storage.

    Even if you don't care about 4K or transcode performance, go buy a NUC. Don't pay the apple tax to just run a Plex server, you would get way better bang for the buck using PC hardware.
     
  17. twennywonn macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #17
    I run a mac mini because it looks nice in my living room and does a great job torrenting and runs plex like a champ. I can also easily use it as the plex player and the web browser on my 4k tv. It also serves as a mac caching server for my Apple TVs, iPads, iPhones and Macs and was set up by clicking 1 button. Frankly, all that stuff with ESXi and VMs sound like a pain. This setup isn't cheap but like most Apple products it just works.
     
  18. csrini1 macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2012
    #18
    my first mac, can someone point to detailed setup to use this as plex server please?
     
  19. jameschho macrumors newbie

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    Nov 3, 2003
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    Pasadena, CA
    #19

    Yes, the virtualization is added complexity, no need if you only want a Plex server just run windows or linux. Having said that, if the mini provides additional value that only a mac can then that sounds great!

    Perhaps I should revise my comment to don't buy a mini to only run a plex server. I still maintain that there is better value elsewhere for a dedicated plex server.
     
  20. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #20
  21. Che Castro macrumors 603

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    May 21, 2009
    #21
    If you want to stream 4k from the Mac mini to the tv you don’t need the new 2018 Mac mini , but if you want to play a 4k video on the Mac mini you do need the new one

    But streaming from Mac mini to Apple TV you don’t need it
    I’m using a 2012 Mac mini and I stream 4k 50gb mkv video to the Apple TV and plex direct plays the video using the infuse app
     
  22. archer75 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #22
    As long as what you're streaming is supported by the client. I stream to a lot of clients and most require transcoding. Not my own personal boxes, but others.
     
  23. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

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    #23
  24. csrini1 macrumors regular

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  25. Jedwardoo macrumors member

    Jedwardoo

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    Aug 29, 2017
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    Here
    #25
    How is your new 2018 Mac Mini with i3 & 256GB?

    It's most likely on 720p/1080p files streaming on each device. Does the streaming need to have an i5 or even an i7 for the 2018 Mac Mini if there's 2-5 streams at the same time or is the i3 base model sufficient?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2019 ---
    But streaming from Mac mini to Apple TV you don’t need it
    I’m using a 2012 Mac mini and I stream 4k 50gb mkv video to the Apple TV and plex direct plays the video using the infuse app[/QUOTE]

    Would 7200 rpm HDD via USB-A 3.1/USB-C be enough to stream 1080p/4k videos on 2-5 streams at the same time enough or does it buffer and require like an SSD?
     

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28 October 30, 2018