PowerPC Mac Mini for home server?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by el-John-o, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #1
    Hey all,

    I was browsing eBay and stumbled upon a couple PowerPC Mac Mini's for under a hundred bucks. I have a time capsule, but I've been wanting something a little more powerful in addition to that, to take the data hosted on that (and an external drive) and make it available to things like my set-top streaming box, etc. I would also like to do iTunes streaming, I realize iTunes isn't an option, but is there a third party option that supports things like home sharing?

    Was just something I was thinking about. $100 is a good price for a home server. Storage is no issue since that'll all be external via gigabit ethernet or FireWire 400, and since nearly all clients will be connected via Wi-Fi, the speed isn't much of a concern, you won't be that much faster (if at all) over Wireless N anyway, even if it was a thunderbolt drive!

    Another 50 or 100 bucks will get you into a Core Duo Mac Mini though, so that may be a better route. But I have an aging Windows machine (old laptop, REALLY old laptop) as my home server now, and I'd like to upgrade it, AND would like to upgrade it on the OSX platform.
     
  2. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #2
    Sound superfluous to me. Whatever is hosting your music files could probably host a DAAP/iTunes server.

    A PPC mini probably won't play 1080p video, so that depends on your content more than anything else.
     
  3. el-John-o thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #3
    It doesn't need to play anything, just sit on a shelf and host stuff.

    Right now I've got my Time Capsule, which is not a DAAC/iTunes capable machine, unfortunately. Other than that, I have this old Laptop running Ubuntu linux, it could probably run Win XP if I could nab a copy, which I guess could work, but I've had issues with it restarting, freezing, etc. I like having a 'full powered' home server, i.e. one that runs a desktop-class OS. So I've been thinking about a Mac Mini as a home server anyway, and when I found out I could get a PPC Mac Mini for $75 I thought that sounded like a good deal! Though for a little more I could nab an older Intel mini.

    Unfortunately I don't have anything else that can host this stuff. I have a homebuilt desktop PC but it's a power hog, with an overlclocked 125W quad core CPU and such. Rather not leave that running all the time. Then I have an older desktop that is noisy and equally unreliable, it's in a closet now. Though it's actually newer and faster than the laptop I'm using. The rest are notebook computers that I or my wife still use so leaving them on all the time as a server isn't an option. I have a little shelf in the back of my home office that has my time capsule, modem, Laser printer, etc. I liked the idea of the Mac Mini because I could just stick it there as well.

    Just tossing an idea around is all, but wanted to know if the PPC option was doable.
     
  4. Wildy, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: May 29, 2013

    Wildy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #4
    iTunes on PPC is able to do home sharing, you should be able to get at your library from any computer around the house.

    For basic home server duties, there's not really much an Intel Mac could do that a PPC Mac couldn't (with regards to standard functions, file sharing, music etc.), so if you are strapped for cash then it's not the end of the world if you get the PPC Mini. You might want to take storage space into consideration: there is only one hard disk slot (two if you remove the optical drive), and the drives are all IDE - if you need lots of fast, cheap storage then you might want to skip this one.

    If $50 isn't a big deal, then definitely go for the Intel-based one. Getting other software to work on it isn't such a hassle, it supports SATA drives, and it'll be a bit faster too.


    If you have time, also consider taking your old laptop apart and replacing the thermal paste and cleaning dust out of the fans. This, along with perhaps a new hard drive (if your current one is faulty) should have it running much more reliably and quieter. Old laptops make great servers - recycle what you have! I'm not sure how old your laptop is, but you might consider purchasing Snow Leopard and either installing it to your hard drive, or running a virtual machine with it on. Both topics are frowned upon here so I shall not discuss them further, but instead point you to http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/HCL_10.6.0/Portables and http://www.macbreaker.com/2012/02/snow-leopard-virtualbox.html.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    The G4 Mac Minis don't have gigabit Ethernet, only 100mbit. You may want to go with an early Intell one instead. They use much less power when idling, run cooler, can have 2-3 times the amount of ram, and use SATA drives.
     
  6. ybz90 macrumors 6502a

    ybz90

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  7. Wildy macrumors 6502

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    #7
    The one he was looking at was $75. UK prices are much higher, so I'll let you be the judge of whether it's an improvement over $100 or not.
     
  8. ybz90 macrumors 6502a

    ybz90

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #8
    I'd still get the Core Duo for $50 more. Someone more familiar can probably chime in, but can that model also drop in a Core 2 Duo? If so, another $10-15 nets you a substantially more powerful machine than the G4.
     
  9. el-John-o, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

    el-John-o thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Missouri
    #9

    Hehe, well, um, it's a 233MHz Pentium III with 192MB of RAM (maxed out). Old.. is old hahaha. BUT, it runs Windows XP and the latest version of iTunes just fine! To USE, heck no, it's slower than a dead cat. But as a server, it runs just fine. 100mbit ethernet, the works! (Built in anyway, I have an add-on gigabit card)

    It wouldn't have the horsepower to run SL in a VM, but regardless, everything I do could be done with Windows as well, iTunes is 1:1 Mac vs Windows, and everything else there's a tool or utility for SOMEWHERE to mimic OS X abilities. Even linux can handle afp and iTunes media streaming!

    I know I said I had ubuntu on it, but, I have XP, dunno what I was thinking. I think I tried Ubuntu but found even an older version running legacy window systems performed too poorly, and Windows XP was a no-brainer and worked well.

    That might be what I do. They aren't that expensive. I'm still hemming and hawwing. I mean I don't NEED it by any means, I could probably do without the server, but all of my iDevices sync to that with iTunes and then use Wi-Fi sync, which is super nice. It's also a faster file server than my Time Capsule, though the time capsule COULD replace 99.99% of what it does.

    Believe it or not, my 233MHz laptop with a PCMCIA gigabit ethernet card and a PCMCIA eSata card transfers data to an external hard drive faster than my Time Capsule does to an external USB 2.0 card. The internal drive is something like a 2.0GB IDE drive. I dunno, iTunes is actually installed on an external drive, XP alone pretty much maxes it out.

    I dunno, another option is to just ditch the server and just use time capsule, and then sync with my MacBook instead, which is not the end of the world. Time Capsule is an adequate server for my external drives via USB, although a FW400 connection would be a bit faster. Internal storage isn't much of a concern, just needs to house the OS and some software.

    The 1080p comment got me thinking though, I could have my cake and eat it too.. lately I've been more and more disappointed in the amount of Hulu content that I can only watch on a computer, so I end up using an HDMI adapter with my MBP. Would one of those original CoreDuo Mac Mini's handle 1080p streaming? Probably not, I'm guess, but if it could, I could kill two birds with one stone. I could ditch my media streaming box (or just put it in another room) leave the mac mini on 24/7 in the living room as a media server, AND use it as a streaming box for the TV... I dunno.. maybe not, just thinking.

    Maybe I just thought a $75 Mac Mini sounded like a good idea and you can never have enough Macs :p But anyway...
     
  10. Wildy macrumors 6502

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    #10
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    I hath been summoned by thy name!!!

    Yes, an early Intell Mac Mini can do lower bit rate 1080p stuff without much trouble. But the Core Solo and the CoreDuo (non-Core2Duo) will struggle with basically anything above standard content. The Core Solo @ 1.5Ghz barely can do SD Netflix without some rare studdering. However, the CPU in the 2006-2007 Mini's is upgradeable. So if you do get one and you feel it is underpowered, you can upgrade it to a 2.33Ghz Core2Duo.
     

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