Will this work with a Mac Mini???

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by apulk, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. apulk macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sewickley, PA
    Our house has 2 main Macs (iMac with about 600GB used and my MacBook pro with about 900GB used). We also have 4 iPhones and 2 iPads. On the two Macs we unfortunately have 2 different Photos libraries from over the years.....one with about 50k photos/videos and another with about 40k -- many are duplicates. I have external drives attached to each of the two Macs for time machine backups and run BackBlaze on each for a cloud backup. The 4 iPhones are all 256gb and the iPads are 64 and 32gb.

    Here is what I was hoping to be able to accomplish with a Mac Mini added to the environment -- will this work -- OR, is there a better way???

    • Setup Mac Mini on home network with attached 4-8TB drive
    • Move the Photos libraries from the two Macs to this Mac Mini (about a total of 750GB from the two macs)
    • Used 3rd party tool to merge the two libraries to one removing duplicates
    • Setup iTunes on the MacMini to be THE computer for the IOS devices -- each device would backup to the MacMini iTunes
    • and the IOS devices would sync photos / videos to the Mac Mini Photos library (hopefully one large combined one now)
    • Setup each Mac (iMac, MacBook Pro and new Mac Mini) for TimeMachine to backup to the external drive hanging off of the MacMini
    • Move license for BackBlaze to the MacMini and have it backup the internal and external drive attached to the Mac Mini
    Basically would be my own IOS and Mac OS internal private cloud which is then backed up to Backblaze at $5/month

    Would this work?
    Would I really want to do this?
    Is there a better way? -- especially to combine the two large Photos libraries without duplicates.

    What do you think?

  2. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I don't have that many photos and I use different software. And you will have to check backup policy directly with backblaze.

    However, the Mini can certainly be your home server. I'm still on sierra, but know that high sierra now includes most of the features you had to purchase separately with the server app previously. So it can be a time machine server, just like a Time Capsule and should work fine with a big external drive.

    Running iTunes and syncing to your various devices should also be fine. Will leave it to you to figure out merging libraries, etc - never had the pleasure of doing that myself. :)

    I have the base model 1.4 ghz/4gb/500gb HD mini as an iTunes server and it's basically "plain vanilla". All my iTunes content is on a 4tb external drive and I have two additional drives that I rotate for nightly backups with Carbon Copy Cloner. After about 3 years my primary media drive died. Was back up and running in just a couple minutes since I had a local clone and just plugged it in. I also use backblaze, but that is more like my "last line of defense". Would not want to restore from them unless that was the only option. I have 150/150 FIOS but only see around 30mbs with BackBlaze even though I get close to the full 150 on other sites (like Vimeo for example).

    Since your needs are a bit more demanding than mine, I would not get the cheapo base model. And that is the dilemma with the 2014 mini, since you can't upgrade the RAM you're forced to pay Apple's high price. An internal SSD is nice (I have that on a 2012 quad) but I don't know that it's needed for your application, since the external drive is going to get the most use.

    But when you look at the price of the higher end 2014 mini, it's a little hard to pull the trigger considering what you get for the money. I was considering the top 2014 model for video editing but ended up getting a 2012 2.6ghz quad instead, which was less expensive and about 50% faster as well. Not sure that the extra speed would make any difference for your use though, the bigger bottleneck will probably be the speed of your network. My base 2014 Mini comes pretty close to saturating gigabit ethernet already.
  3. apulk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sewickley, PA
    Thanks so much for the reply.....I think it's overkill but it also feels like a very fun project. I would also try to connect the MacMini to my TV via HDMI connection and maybe get some benefit from that too.

    OR - I can just buy 2TB of space at $10/month from Apple :)
  4. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    I use a 2014 mid range Mac mini, hdmi’ed into my tv via a receiver, that I bought in 2014. I wouldn’t buy a new mini until new ones come out. Even in your situation.

    I use a NAS drive for all our iTunes stuff and data backups. Get a drive bay with at least two slots. You can add a second drive for disk mirroring (Raid 1). If you have to leave due to hurricane, civil disturbance, or whatever, you can take the NAS or one drive with you.

    My next step is to buy a third disk and swap a disk out every month and store the drive at someone’s house or safety deposit box. I skip the online back ups altogether.
  5. opeter macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    I also have a 2-bay NAS (Zyxel NAS-326), with two 2 TB HDDs in the enclosure for my backup and multimedia needs. :)

    I works great with my Mac mini.

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4 February 26, 2018