Replace Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ifti, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    I currently have a Mac Mini Server - spec in sig below - which is connected to my main TV, and serves the following functions:

    - Central file sharing store for my MacBooks
    - Plex client - playback of movies directly to connected TV
    - Plex Server - playback of movies to various iPhones and iPads throughout the family
    - YouTube/Netflix streaming

    The system is obvious far overkill for my requirements!

    I'm hoping the new AppleTV will allow the running of apps such as Plex Server etc?

    If so, Im considering selling the Mac Mini Server and using an AppleTV for my Plex requirements.
    An external HDD connected to my Time Capsule for my file sharing.
    Any other services, like YouTube/Netflix can be airplay'd across to the AppleTV.

    Sound like a plan??

    The Mac Mini Server is the previous type - so HDD and RAM etc are upgradable. It had the max CPU at the time so its still currently pretty sought after I would imagine.....
  2. displaced macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2003
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    This is an interesting idea. I've got a similar-ish setup:

    • HP MicroServer NAS storage (6TB of TV, Movies and Music)
    • 2009 Mac Mini (Core2Duo) under the TV
    • Mini has the server mounted as a shared drive
    • Plex Media Server and Plex Home Theater running on the Mini.
    It seems to be a safe bet that the next ATV will run apps. However, it's possible it won't have the functionality needed to run the server portion of Plex. But I'd imagine that an ATV version of the Plex Home Theater client would appear in pretty short order.

    I do run AirServer on the mini to provide AirPlay support for iOS devices, which runs OK for the most part.

    Plus, the Plex Media Server transcodes files into other formats/bitrates for whatever device(s) are viewing media. This is pretty CPU intensive and would likely not be great on the ATV4. My Mac Mini can play media locally and do one other stream to a remote client (iPhone, iPad etc), but doesn't have the grunt for much else.

    Personally, I'd keep your Mini as it is, but look for additional uses. Get a bluetooth keyboard/mouse and enjoy a bit of Minecraft on the big screen!

    I've got an Xbox 360 controller hooked up to the Mini, and use Steam's "In-Home Streaming" to stream games in great quality from my gaming PC upstairs. It doesn't matter that the Mini's got 2009-era graphics -- it's the PC that does the rendering. Works surprisingly well! I've also got 'EmulationStation' running which gives a great full-screen interface for browsing and playing emulated games from years past.

    [edit:] Just to add, my Mini's had a couple of upgrades -- a 128GB SSD and a few gigs more RAM. Other than that, it's running really well for a 6 year old machine. Also, if you're not using one already, Plex works fantastically well with a Harmony universal remote. I only touch the keyboard/mouse/360 controller for gaming.
  3. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    my plex server is just a mac mini 2010 c2d with access to 2 network attached storage devices, an airport, and several external usb drives heh. i think got 8 terabytes of content across the network it accesses

    i wouldn't bet on an apple tv running plex server

    when i use it to stream blu ray like star wars my roku 3 buffers a lot. heh
  4. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    Cheers guys - have read up on the upcoming ATV and yes, look like it won't run the Plex server. :(
    Oh well, again Apple come so close, but yet so far!!
  5. displaced macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2003
    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    I'm not sure that's entirely fair -- running something as relatively complex as the Plex Media server would be well outside of the remit for an ATV class of device. Even my HP MicroServer (AMD-something-or-other) is nowhere near as good at running Plex Media Server as my 2009 Mini - and that HP was £200.

    Assuming Plex get a client running on the ATV4, we're looking at this as an opportunity to free up the Mini for use as a general purpose desktop (that also happens to be running the Plex Server). The specs of your Mini make that even more feasible -- that would make a lovely desktop machine for another room, leaving the ATV4 to stream media from it.

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