OK To Use Mac Mini Server As Regular Workstation?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by nomad01, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    This might be a dumb question but here goes...

    I need to replace my old Mac mini with something that has more power and lots more HD space and the mac mini server fits the bill.

    However it only ships with Snow Leopard server. My mini is currently connected to my TV and acts as a file server, media centre but I also have stuff like Photoshop and MS Office on there.

    My tech phobe other half has a user account on there and syncs the iphone with iTunes, iphoto.

    Can I use server in this kind of scenario? Will I miss any features that are available on regular Snow Leopard?

    Would REALLY appreciate help before I start spending.

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    You can, or you could install the standard snow leopard on it to make it a bit simpler.
  3. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    Snow Leopard Server is pretty much exactly the same as Snow Leopard Client, except it has a ton of extra server related apps and services.

    Heck if you want you can even install Snow Leopard Client on a Mac Mini Server. Either way will be fine though.
  4. nomad01 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Thanks very much for the fast replies!

    I'll go ahead and buy then.

  5. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    It's also worth noting it doesn't come with iLife, though I doubt this would be a deal breaker.
  6. timbloom macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2002
    This is quite a bit of extra cost for a second hard drive (possibly more ram on the server config too), due to the server OS. I would find it hard to justify the price increase if I wasn't making use of the server.
  7. nomad01 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Although if you look at the regular mini and upgrade the CPU and memory to match the server then bump the hd to 500gb it costs 898. Same as the server. I know Apple upgrades aren't the cheapest but that price is for just one hard drive and it's not even the 7200 that comes with the server.

    I need the two HDs and don't want an external drive hanging out of the back so for me, it's the best option.
  8. iPhoneCollector macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2010
    the server also doesn't have an optical drive. but it sure look much cooler that the regular.
  9. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The server version has different configuration (which are more difficult to contend with) for file, printer, and screen sharing, may confound you with network versus local user accounts, and there are some differences in what TimeMachine backs up. If you intend to use any of the sharing I strongly suggest installing the regular Snow Leopard as configuring the server can be a "bag of hurt". My story (which was eventually fully successful) setting up my mini with Snow Leopard Server is here.
  10. bigbearf macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2009
    MMS as HTPC

    I have MMS 09 version. I added iLife and use it as HTPC via HDMI. I would just install the server version and say Later to all options which essentially gives you a client version.
    I added iLife via Family Pack and everything works well. I just redirected time machine to my ReadyNAS and use the second drive for data redundancy only.
    It was not worth my time to reinstall the client version because from what I understand you need the client install disks and not just the Snow Leopard disk.
    Hope this helps.
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    In the U.S., the cost of the Mac Mini Server is actually a great deal.

    Mac Mini: $699. +$150 to upgrade CPU to 2.66 GHz, +100 to upgrade RAM to 4 GB, +100 to upgrade hard drive to 500 GB. Total $1049. So at $999 for the server version, you get all of that, PLUS you exchange the optical drive for another 500 GB hard drive, and get the $500 OS X Server thrown in (OS X Server is a $499 'upgrade' on the Mac Pro.)

    If you *NEED* the optical drive, then you have to pay $50 more for the same hardware set, with an optical drive instead of a second 500 GB hard drive.

    If you DON'T need the optical drive, then the server version is a steal. Even if you don't need the server OS. (Yeah, you'll pay $50 to get iLife, but if you don't need the optical drive, then you're paying the same exact cost, and effectively getting the second $500 drive for free.)

    I'm waiting for the next rev, then I'm getting the server version as my new 'workstation'. (I'm *REALLY* hoping they make a quad-core chip at least an option, hopefully standard on the server version.)
  12. tekkierich macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    There are folks who professionally upgrade the regular mini's on e-bay. You can get a 2.4 with 8GB and a 750GB 7200RPM drive for $1099, and that might fit the bill for you..

    Just a thought.

    Full disclosure, I am one of those people, however to not annoy the boards too much, I will refrain from linking directly to my auction.
  13. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    That advertising was about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face.

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