OS X server hardware dilemma


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
I'm in the process of setting up an office for myself and seem to be stuck on the hardware decision for a server. The requirements aren't really anything special, but it doesn't seem like Apple have anything really geared for it.

The server is needed in order to host a BIM Server. The requirements can be found here:


Just scroll down to "BIM Server, BIMcloud Server" for full details if you're interested.

A basic rundown is:
Minimum quad-core system
Minimum 16GB RAM
Fast Storage (SSD)
No video card needed

Any guidance would be appreciated.


macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2007
Midwest America.
Sometimes it's more art than science.

If it's just you, the 'server' likely doesn't have to be very large, but if it's supporting 20 users, you want something 'big' and muscular.

I've had multi-user software supporting one user run on small insignificant machines, and, depending on how well it's written had multi-user systems supporting one user require a HUGE server with all the trimmings.

Without knowing the expected user load, and the normal load the software places on a system, it's hard to provide guidance. I remember the old joke about Windows 98 going something like 'It will run on a 386 system with 512M of RAM, but nothing will run on it'... (It's been a long time since Windows 98, but you get the idea I hope)

See if you can find a user group, or someone actually using the software already. Get an idea from them. So many companies just quote the 'requirements', and often they are understated...

Good luck.


macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
Elkton, Maryland
@617arg You can order a new Mac Mini today with 16 GB of RAM, a 3.0 GHz Core i7, and up to 1 TB of PCIe flash storage. Another option would be to get a 2010 or 2012 Mac Pro second hand or refurbished as it offers ease of expandibility.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
Thanks for the responses. I was first thinking a Mac Mini would be great, but there is no quad-core version. I looked at the Mac Pro next, but the graphics cards would be useless for this purpose. Looking into the iMac now, but the display would be pointless 99% of the time. It's crazy that Apple doesn't make a machine that works as a server any more.....


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
For flexibility, perhaps one of the older towers Mac Pros would be in line with your needs. From RAM to number of (and type) of drives. If you go for perhaps a quad or 6 core, you'll get excellent utility out of it. When a "minimum" is often given, it doesn't mean it is at its best performance and (at least for me) that would exclude the Mini from the running. Btw, I use Minis daily and have also had the old Mac Towers.


macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
You don't have to have a Mac for this. Just buy a Dell or HP server. The only realistic Apple solution would be a 2012 mini with a quad-core i7 (used or if you are lucky a refurbished one) and probably your own SSD and added RAM.
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