Which Mac Mini For My Media Server Needs?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by OmegaRed1723, May 27, 2010.

  1. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #1
    I'm looking to centralize the media storage in our home and would love some feedback on which Mac Mini would best suit my needs, which are pretty modest. The goal is a machine that will:
    • House all our media (iTunes, movies/tv) for streaming to two MBPs & one TV
    • Be the central location for Time Machine backups on all 3 computers
    • Run Air Video Server live conversion for streaming media to iPad
    • Run Plex for viewing media on attached HDTV
    • Ability to simultaneously stream media to TV in one room while live encoding HD source material for playback on iPad
    Regardless of which Mini I end up with, my plan is to remove the Superdrive and install two 500GB Momentus XT hybrid hard drives (Raid 0?) with Time Machine backups for all the computers on external FW800 drives that I have. That said, will an early '09 Mini with the 2.0 C2D have enough horsepower, or do I need a current gen model?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    The CPU difference isn't that big in new models... Any C2D Mini should be fine.

    I would build a cheapish PC for that purpose as you get more power and a lot more HD space, but that's just my opinion. You can get one for about the same price as Mini
     
  3. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #3
    I don't think a PC will accomplish the things the OP is looking for; Time Machine, Plex, etc. It appears he's working in an all Mac environment so their choice of a Mini should fit in well. But I do think you're right that any Intel would work fine.

    OP, get the best one you can afford. I'd personally go for a 9400 one, for hardware acceleration, but that's just me.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #4
    I'm not sure but I think you can backup to shared PC's HD as well with TM and there are plenty of alternatives for Plex. I was just throwing out my recommendation because with Mini your disk space is limited while most ATX PCs can easily take 6 HDs. Nothing bad with Mini of course, just showing OP some other options :cool:
     
  5. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #5
    There is no alternative for Plex.;):p
     
  6. OmegaRed1723 thread starter macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
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    The Waste
    #6
    I realize that for the same money I could build a quad-core PC, but I'm in an all-Mac environment and would prefer to stay that way. Good to know that any old C2D will work, but I'll start looking on Craigslist for cheap one with a 9400 GPU to get to work on. Though I might, just might, do some research on running Time Machine on a Windoze box.
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I did that when Leopard came out since I had a Windows PC I was using as a server. It turns out it wasn't reliable -- it's prone to corruption and then you lose everything in it. I then went to externals, but with my recent purchase of the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server to replace my 8 year old Dell I've aggregated all the TM backups to that one system.

    I don't recommend the MM with SNL as a media server, unless there are other server features to make the pain worthwhile.
     

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