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blackfang

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2014
35
1
Romania
Hi,
I am looking to get a mac mini and run sierra with the mac os server addon for VPN server, Fileserver, time machine server, DNS server and additionally make it a torrent and plex server. I am not going to use more than 2 services at the same time for example time machine backup and plex. That would be the most intensive task. I would swap the slow hdd with a SSD and add 2 x seagate slim 2.5" 2TB hdds via usb 3.0.
I found one second hand with a samsung ssd 256gb 850 pro for about $475 in RO.
What do you guys think, would it work? :apple:
 
Last edited:

MysticCow

macrumors 68000
May 27, 2013
1,561
1,740
I use Plex, but donj't know if that low end mini would have the horsepower to do all the transcoding/streaming/etc. My 2011 mini runs Plex nicely, but the horsepower on it is a lot more than the low end current mini.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,398
123
Colorado
Yes. It will work very well. Not sure what you mean by running only 2 services at a time. But you can run all the services you listed at the same time and the machine will still perform very well.

My 2012 mini runs all the services (I run iTunes for internal streaming) you list and more, serves multiple computers and apple tv's in the house, and even provides media streaming over the internet (Servetome) for me and other family members. It's just the base model with 4gb of ram and the thing doesn't come close to being fully utilized as far as processor and throughput performance.

My recommendation would be to connect the server to the network via Ethernet to ensure best throughput if serving multiple clients.
 

craig1024

macrumors regular
Feb 15, 2016
127
48
I use Plex, but donj't know if that low end mini would have the horsepower to do all the transcoding/streaming/etc. My 2011 mini runs Plex nicely, but the horsepower on it is a lot more than the low end current mini.
Actually the 2011 dual core i5 would perform pretty closely to the 1.4 ghz i5
 

blackfang

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2014
35
1
Romania
Yes. It will work very well. Not sure what you mean by running only 2 services at a time. But you can run all the services you listed at the same time and the machine will still perform very well.

My 2012 mini runs all the services (I run iTunes for internal streaming) you list and more, serves multiple computers and apple tv's in the house, and even provides media streaming over the internet (Servetome) for me and other family members. It's just the base model with 4gb of ram and the thing doesn't come close to being fully utilized as far as processor and throughput performance.

My recommendation would be to connect the server to the network via Ethernet to ensure best throughput if serving multiple clients.
When i meant two services at once i meant like i would have utilization of 2 services at once ex:1 client plex viewing movie and one client mac running its time machine schedule.
Good to know. I'm thinking about buying one. It would be interesting.
Are you running Mac os sierra on you mac mini?
 

iMouse

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2002
254
17
Boardman, Ohio
Hi,
I am looking to get a mac mini and run sierra with the mac os server addon for VPN server, Fileserver, time machine server, DNS server and additionally make it a torrent and plex server. I am not going to use more than 2 services at the same time for example time machine backup and plex. That would be the most intensive task. I would swap the slow hdd with a SSD and add 2 x seagate slim 2.5" 2TB hdds via usb 3.0.
I found one second hand with a samsung ssd 256gb 850 pro for about $475 in RO.
What do you guys think, would it work? :apple:

I'm currently running a 2009 Mac mini 2.26 GHz with 4 GB of RAM and a 256GB OWC SSD connected to my 1080p HDTV. What you're looking to do is child's play for that newer Mac mini. I've had almost the exact same setup running for 7 years. If anything, there might be a very slight UI drag in Plex due to the age of the integrated GeForce 9400m GPU. Otherwise, the unit sits at about 15% utilization most of the time and only goes up significantly when transcoding video.

The only service you mentioned that I'm not handling with the mini was DNS, which is being processed by my pfSense installation. I'm also running some additional services such as Teamspeak 3 Server, Apple Calendar, SABnzbd, Sickbeard, CouchPotato, HandyPrint, and Apple Caching Server.

My storage is connected via FireWire 800 and only sees saturation when I have to load or unload large volumes of data. USB3 is by far faster and should have no problems keeping up.

The VPN access is awesome...especially if you have a static IP that you can tie to a domain A-record.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,398
123
Colorado
When i meant two services at once i meant like i would have utilization of 2 services at once ex:1 client plex viewing movie and one client mac running its time machine schedule.
Good to know. I'm thinking about buying one. It would be interesting.
Are you running Mac os sierra on you mac mini?

I would recommend it. It is much easier and more flexible/powerful than the appliance Nas I used to run as a home server. And with screen sharing enabled I login from my iPad to manage it, I run it headless, no keyboard or mouse either.

Yes. MacOS Sierra and the latest version of Server app. I also use the Software caching service for apple updates and Opendirectory for managing network logins to access services.

IMG_0079.JPG
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,398
123
Colorado
Nice! Beautiful setup you have there!

Thanks. The externals are all thunderbolt drives. One is a mirrored RAID that the server runs from with all the data. The other is striped for Time Machine backups of the server and the home computers.

It's tough to see in the shadow but to the right of the large drives is a Seagate 2.5 inch thunderbolt adapter. That's my external SSD boot drive. Easier than cracking the case to swap drives. And it makes maintenance very easy, just connect the SSD to my iMac if I need to do troubleshooting or OS upgrades. The internal spinner keeps a bootable clone of the external SSD for failover if needed.
 

blackfang

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2014
35
1
Romania
haha proper safe IT management . Nice one! I can see you've put a lot of thought into your setup. I have put a thought as well for my setup and I actually ordered here in RO a mac mini 2014 i5 2.8Ghz the one that has for fusion drive 128gb pcie ssd + 1 tb hdd for $592. Its on its way, i'm curious if i will get scammed or not. The price is really good lmao. I chose that so that it would be future proof for za server :D. I will let you guys know once it arrives.
 

facemeat

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2016
99
76
Are these Mac Minis dual core or quad core? Recently bought a synology since my desktop was running low on storage, looking at getting a second hand Mac Mini for a Plex Server as well.
 

blackfang

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2014
35
1
Romania
Are these Mac Minis dual core or quad core? Recently bought a synology since my desktop was running low on storage, looking at getting a second hand Mac Mini for a Plex Server as well.
They are dual core. You can only get quad between 2011 and 2012 gen.
[doublepost=1486213978][/doublepost]I got my mac mini. It was mint, no scratches and its really fast! I separated the Fusion Drive and reinstalled it fresh with Mac OS Sierra. I have a question though, when i search for the serial number it says serial number is not valid. And i noticed it doesn't says that its a 2014 model. Would this mac mini been stolen before or something like that?
Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 15.09.01.png
 
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bingeciren

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2011
1,069
1,009
They are dual core. You can only get quad between 2011 and 2012 gen.
[doublepost=1486213978][/doublepost]I got my mac mini. It was mint, no scratches and its really fast! I separated the Fusion Drive and reinstalled it fresh with Mac OS Sierra. I have a question though, when i search for the serial number it says serial number is not valid. And i noticed it doesn't says that its a 2014 model. Would this mac mini been stolen before or something like that?
View attachment 686957
May not necessarily be stolen. If the logic board was replaced, and the repair shop did not properly updated the S/N, you could end up having a machine reporting no S/N.

Some years ago my MacBook Pro's logic board was replaced under warranty and I ended up having a Mac with no S/N because the repair shop did not have the special equipment to "write" the updated S/N to the logic board. From what I understand the replacement logic boards come "blank" and they write the S/N during repair/replacement. In my case I kept all the repair documentation for proof just in case.

Nevertheless, I agree, it is a suspicious situation. I wish there was a way to go back and check the history of that machine.
 

blackfang

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2014
35
1
Romania
May not necessarily be stolen. If the logic board was replaced, and the repair shop did not properly updated the S/N, you could end up having a machine reporting no S/N.

Some years ago my MacBook Pro's logic board was replaced under warranty and I ended up having a Mac with no S/N because the repair shop did not have the special equipment to "write" the updated S/N to the logic board. From what I understand the replacement logic boards come "blank" and they write the S/N during repair/replacement. In my case I kept all the repair documentation for proof just in case.

Nevertheless, I agree, it is a suspicious situation. I wish there was a way to go back and check the history of that machine.
I checked the serial number on the aluminium chassis and it has 2 letters different than what it shows on about my mac. I've told the seller that, i'm not planning to return or fuss about it i just want to know why is that difference. Are there ways to change my serial number to the original one on the chassis? Would it brick my mac mini if i did that?
 

bingeciren

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2011
1,069
1,009
I checked the serial number on the aluminium chassis and it has 2 letters different than what it shows on about my mac. I've told the seller that, i'm not planning to return or fuss about it i just want to know why is that difference. Are there ways to change my serial number to the original one on the chassis? Would it brick my mac mini if i did that?
Only a fully authorized Apple repair shop or Apple can change the number on the logic board. If the logic board was replaced by one of these shops, giving a new number to the board is part of the replacement procedure. However, like I said, some shops are not equipped with the necessary tools to do that.

Not having a number will not cause any immediate problem, but for future repair requests or software update it may give you a problem. My Apple store won't even give me an estimate for repair unless I give them the serial number for example.

The bottom line is; this is not a normal situation and there should be an explanation for why there is no number on the board. If the board was replaced, there should be a record of it somewhere.
 
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