New Mac Mini or pre-owned Mac Mini Server

Mac Mini 16 or Mac Mini Server 10

  • Mini 16

    Votes: 8 61.5%
  • Mini Server 10

    Votes: 5 38.5%

  • Total voters
    13

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,256
2,257
0
Perth, Western Australia
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-reliability-q3-2015/

Bear in mind these drives also live in a controlled environment.

Quote:
  • The Western Digital 1TB drives in use are nearly 6 years old on average. There are several drives with nearly 7 years of service. It wasn’t until 2015 that the failure rate rose above the annual average for all drives. This makes sense given the “bathtub” curve of drive failure where drives over 4 years start to fail at a higher rate. Still the WD 1TB drives have performed well for a long time.

The 4 years acceleration of failure thing has been well known in the industry for many years, hence the reluctance of OEMs to offer more than 3 yr warranty. 3 years is cost effective for them to offer. 4 or more is not.

And I'm not sure why you're being so obtuse regarding memory. 8 GB is massively better than 4 in terms of general OS responsiveness even without any apps running due to the amount of cache the OS can use, which affects hard drive access and thus how much the machine stalls on IO, and the step from 4 to 8 is cheap, relative to the total cost of the machine.

Take it or leave it, don't really care if you don't believe it (do your own testing), I've done testing with 2, 4, 8 and 16 GB of ram on lion onwards for myself.
 
Last edited:

jpietrzak8

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2010
1,053
6,082
0
Dayton, Ohio
And I'm not sure why you're being so obtuse regarding memory. 8 GB is massively better than 4 in terms of general OS responsiveness even without any apps running due to the amount of cache the OS can use, which affects hard drive access and thus how much the machine stalls on IO, and the step from 4 to 8 is cheap, relative to the total cost of the machine.
The answer is simple: RAM provides a benefit when it is used. RAM does not provide a benefit when it is not used.

Yes, all modern operating systems use all RAM not allocated for the OS or used by running apps to cache HD/SSD I/O. Certainly, this is of benefit when you need to access that data. But if you are running the OS all by itself, no apps, you shouldn't see any difference at all between 4 and 8 GB, even for the most recent iterations of OS X, because OS X itself doesn't need that extra RAM.

Yes, RAM is relatively cheap these days, and I think a lot of folks don't recognize that the best improvement they could make to a slow machine is to give it enough RAM to stop swapping. But for folks who are not swapping, extra RAM just won't provide a benefit...
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,118
9,213
0
Hard drive failure goes up exponentially after 4 years for a start. As does the failure rate of a variety of other components. This is why AppleCare and other warranties are offered to 3 years only. It's not worth Apple offering longer due to the failure rate across large numbers of machines. Google and others (e.g. Backblaze) have published studies on this.

Yes machines CAN last longer than 5-6 years if you're lucky, but expecting to get a decent time out of an already 6 year old machine is kidding yourself. I have working machines older than 6 years myself. Does that mean I'd spend money to buy a 6 year old box? Hell no. They're on borrowed time. And for a saving of 150 dollars vs the new model listed by the OP? No way. No a chance. I'd buy a 6 year old Mac mini for 50 dollars. No more. The risk of failure due to age is just too high. Sure. Maybe you'll be lucky. But maybe you won't. I don't rely on luck when spending money if I can help it..
Those studies while good to identify reliable disks, also are for data centre chores, an average users disk will never do the reads/writes those disk do.

My original MBA, 2009 17 MBP, 2009 iMac , 2011 MBA.... Heck every Mac I've bought, even my 2005 PowerBook have beaten the odds :p

Hardware failure is not age, it's how the machines have been used, for instance had I done intensive gaming on all of them, they would be dead now.
 

OWC Dyllon

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2015
4
4
0
Woodstock, IL
They used to be my favorite also, until I needed a pram battery, $3.95 for the battery and $32+ for shipping, this battery is about the size of the first joint of your little pinky finger.
And yes I did contact OWC sales but they would not budge and could offer no valid reason for the exorbitant fee.

View attachment 628680
@jbarley We are very sorry that no explanation was given to why the shipping options are so limited and the prices. Due to the PRAM battery being Lithium, some shipping services will not carry the package. We have also seen that when shipping Lithium batteries outside of the United States shipping will cost much more. We strive to provide the best shipping options, prices and discounts that we can and we are sorry for the very limited options.

Please take a look at these Canadian resellers near you that may have this battery: http://www.newertech.com/sales.

We are very sorry for any frustration that has been caused.
 

jbarley

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2006
3,764
1,612
0
Vancouver Island
@jbarley We are very sorry that no explanation was given to why the shipping options are so limited and the prices. Due to the PRAM battery being Lithium, some shipping services will not carry the package. We have also seen that when shipping Lithium batteries outside of the United States shipping will cost much more. We strive to provide the best shipping options, prices and discounts that we can and we are sorry for the very limited options.

Please take a look at these Canadian resellers near you that may have this battery: http://www.newertech.com/sales.

We are very sorry for any frustration that has been caused.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.
I did find a source for my needs on Amazon.ca.
https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=saft+battery&rh=i:aps,k:saft+battery
 

adam9c1

macrumors 68000
May 2, 2012
1,747
277
0
Chicagoland
If you get the 2014 model Mac Mini, get a thunderbolt enclosure and install SSD drive in that and run that as your boot drive.

The price for 2010 model is too much.
 

lsutigerfan1976

macrumors 68030
Sep 14, 2012
2,527
1,414
0
I actually but a Mac mini 2014 to be used as a Plex server. I thought I could get away with the cheapest model. Boy was I wrong. I had a lot of delays doing the most routine things like checking email, browsing safari etc. And bringing up Plex in the first place. Lot of staring at the little pinwheel spinning.

I finally said screw it, I brought it back. Got the next model up with the better processor and 8gb ram instead of 4gb. Boy what a difference. Hardly any pinwheel action. Everything is snappy. In my case it was worth paying the extra couple of hundred so I don't have to wait and wait for the most routine tasks. And it runs my Plex like a champ.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AudiMalc

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,181
1,870
0
New Jersey Pine Barrens
boydsmaps.com
I had a lot of delays doing the most routine things like checking email, browsing safari etc. And bringing up Plex in the first place.
Well then it isn't really a dedicated server, is it? I use a base 2014 mini as an iTunes server and it works very well, it just runs iTunes with home sharing 24/7. I completely agree about how slow and frustrating this model is for the things you describe, but I don't use it for that. It's just a server. It takes a long time to boot and start iTunes, but it doesn't have to do that very often and once it is up and running, it's fine.

But I certainly would not want this model for a general purpose home computer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jpietrzak8

lsutigerfan1976

macrumors 68030
Sep 14, 2012
2,527
1,414
0
Well then it isn't really a dedicated server, is it? I use a base 2014 mini as an iTunes server and it works very well, it just runs iTunes with home sharing 24/7. I completely agree about how slow and frustrating this model is for the things you describe, but I don't use it for that. It's just a server. It takes a long time to boot and start iTunes, but it doesn't have to do that very often and once it is up and running, it's fine.

But I certainly would not want this model for a general purpose home computer.
Yeah I should have clarified I use it for simple tasks also from time to time. But I am happy with the mid range model I got now. It gets me by, for the little I need it to do.