Why Mac mini Server for Logic?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Ubele, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I'm getting close to upgrading my 2008 MBP. Since I keep it hooked to a monitor most of the time and use my iPad for most tasks that require portability, I don't really need a laptop computer, and the Mac mini looks like the best bang for the buck. My primary uses are editing photos with Aperture and Photoshop Elements, and making music with Logic, all at the hobbyist level. From what I've read, the quad-core i7 seems like a worthwhile upgrade over the i5. In browsing several old threads in different forums, I saw that several people recommended getting the Mac mini Server. I'm guessing that's because of the two built-in drives rather than the OS X Server software, but what is the advantage? Is it for using one drive as a scratch drive, or for using both drives in a RAID 0 configuration? Is it anything that can't be done with an external drive? I also know that you can add a second drive to the non-Server model.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You'd be paying for the server OS that you don't need. I think it is better to use an external drive, that way you get to pick one best suited to your needs, maybe a RAID of some kind. The internal drive is a notebook sized drive. YOu can get better performance from a larger drive for less money.

    Don't forget about some backups
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I upgraded from a 2008 MBP to a late 2011 MBA (1.7ghz i5/4GB/256SSD) a little over a year ago and the speed difference is remarkable - CPU is about twice as fast and the SSD is maybe 5 or 6 times faster. So anything in Apple's current lineup will run circles around your old MBP.

    I run Logic 9 on my MBA and it works great, very low latency. I also just do "hobbyist" level work, typically 3 or 4 tracks of live recording. The MBA also runs my old copies of Final Cut Pro, FileMaker Pro, Vectorworks and other software really well. The Core 2 Duo processors in those old MBP's are real dogs compared to the new i5 and i7 CPU's.

    I am not suggesting that you get an MBA, since you said you don't need a laptop. But my point is that any of the current Macs should meet your needs. If you want the server for other reasons, that's fine, but I don't think it's necessary to run Logic.

    You might consider getting an SSD in whatever you buy however. It makes everything seem faster, especially when you start a program or open a big file.
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Get the 2.6 i7 with Fusion Drive -- no Server.

    I use Logic on that setup, and it's absolutely perfect.
  5. Ubele thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. That's good to know about the MBA - although I don't need a laptop, the option of portability is nice, so if it's fast enough for hobby-level Logic, I'll put it back on my list, along with the mini. I'm trying to hold out for Haswell, for the photo and graphics stuff I do. I'll definitely get either an SSD or a Fusion drive, depending on which model I get.
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    The 2012 iMac was rumoured to be due in February. Then it was May or June after Intel released some chips.
    Then it was definitely going to be September. Or maybe October. Oh, and it was actually November. For some models. And you wouldn't get delivery till January 2013.

    There will always be a better Mac available in the future. But waiting for it? Be prepared to wait a good six months.

    Haswell may see a small CPU power gain, but probably more in electrical efficiency, giving longer battery life. For most photo and graphics stuff, a 2012 Mini will be fine. If you need a machine now, then don't wait for the train that isn't scheduled to arrive.

    I use my 2012 Mini for Creative Suite 6, Logic, Filemaker, Finale, and a whole host of other stuff. It's more than capable.
  7. Ubele thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    Which is why I just ordered a 2012 2.3 GHz quad-core i7 Mac mini with a 1 TB hard drive from the Apple Refurbished Store for $679. :) I'd seen a couple of these in the Refurb Store recently, and they disappeared within hours, so I decided to go for this one when I saw it this morning. I'll max out the RAM from Crucial right away, and add a 512 GB SSD in the near future. I have no doubt I'll be very happy with this machine.

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