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Mac Mini Hardware Requirements


darascal
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Hi all,

 

Getting ready to order a Mac Mini for a new music server & trying to decide on configurations. Looks like the options from the Apple store are 2.0 or 2.26 GHz and 1, 2 or 4 GB memory. (I'm sticking with the smaller 120GB HD, since I'll be using external drives.)

 

Any thoughts on requirements? I don't want to go overboard, but I don't want to sacrifice quality. The Mini will be dedicated for music, running Apple Lossless or AIFF through iTunes hardwired to a USB DAC & simultaneously to AE or ATV for secondary listening rooms. Also Safari/Airfoil for Pandora & such. I might eventually move up to 24/192, but I'll be content with 16/44 for now.

 

Any feedback is much appreciated!

 

Russell

 

A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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I use a Mac Mini 1.8GHz, with 2GB RAM and it has no problems running as a music server. I can surf the web and open other apps while the music is playing with no stutters or drop-outs. I think you'll be fine with the entry level MM.

 

Cheers,[br] - Tim

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Russell,

I have the most entry level of the mini. They work flawlessly as I only use them as a dedicated CAS: albeit with some internet surfing. I could perhaps be termed a penny wise pound foolish......as I always intended to upgrade the Ram(4G) and the HD (SSD) myself - to save some money and to have the joy of gutting the mini in the process.

Mini is also fantastic due to its ultra low noise, very low power consumption and heat output, allowing you to keep this on 24/7.

 

There is nothing wrong with your desire to go 16/44 in the interim. The main catch is to get some good sounding music to make the system sound good. However the joy of the CAS is to go higher, there is where the sonic advantage of the CAS comes into play and one never looks back. IMHO 16/44 should be the briefest of pause in your quest.

 

Happy ears.

 

 

Synology NAS (LPS) >UA ETHER REGEN (BG7TBL Master Clock) > MACMINI (Uptone MMK JS-2) > Auralic Aries 2.1 > (LPS-2) > AUDIO-GD DI20HE (BG7TBL Master Clock) (I2S OUT)LampizatOr GG /Meridian 808.3> Wavac PRT1 / Wavac EC300B >Tannoy Canterbury SE

 

HP Rig ++ >Woo WES/ > Stax SR-009, Audeze LCD2

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Zerung I see that you have a Weiss DAC, I'm thinking about getting a Minerva. I currently have an Altmann battery DAC - excellent, but limited by it's connectivity (Toslink or RCA) to Toslink from the MacMini. There doesn't seem to be any inherant reason why TosLink is limited to 16 bit data-stream on a MM but I can't see how to increase it so all my 24 bit files are down-sampled at the moment. Does anyone know how to get 24 bit from Toslink?

 

regards[br]Michael[br]Mac mini & Amarra 3 | Weiss Minerva | CEC TL-51x | Octave HP500se | ADAM Tensor Delta active speakers. [br]MacBook Pro | V-DAC | Yamamoto HA-02 | ATH-W1000[br]AppleTV | DACMagic2 | Sugden A25 | ADAM HM2

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I just want to check that I've configured my MacMini properly for 24/96 because my DAC won't lock onto the signal even though it is capable of 24/96. I've gone into Audio MIDI setup and changed system output to built in output and then changed the audio output properties to 96000.0 Hz and 2ch - 24 bit. I get no sound output at all using either Cog or Play, but removing the Mini Toslink cable gives me sound from the crappy MacMini speaker. Is this setup properly? If so I'll confine my efforts to the DAC.

 

regards[br]Michael[br]Mac mini & Amarra 3 | Weiss Minerva | CEC TL-51x | Octave HP500se | ADAM Tensor Delta active speakers. [br]MacBook Pro | V-DAC | Yamamoto HA-02 | ATH-W1000[br]AppleTV | DACMagic2 | Sugden A25 | ADAM HM2

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I also have the entry level (new Mac Mini) and it works perfectly. I'm using two external iomega Mini Stack 1TB drives so internal HD space was not a concern. I also use SuperDuper! to backup the OS and music. You will not regret it at all. Oh, get an itouch as the remote...best part for me. :)

 

W10 NUC i7 (Gen 10) > Roon (Audiolense FIR) > Motu UltraLite mk5 > (4) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference +4 subs

 

Watch my Podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXMw_bZWBMtRWNJQfTJ38kA/videos

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Thanks y'all, this confirms my intuition about going with the entry level mini, though I'll probably boost the memory it to 2GB, hell only $50. And thanks Zerung for your comments re 24/192, I have the feeling I'll be exploring that territory sometime soon.

 

However, I do have a concerns about going headless.

 

First is the initial setup. I assume once I've got screen sharing enabled and sleep mode turned off, that I'll be able screen share using my MacBook in lieu of a monitor/keyboard. I've read elsewhere on the web that I can do the setup by booting my MB using the Mini as the boot disk, though I'm a bit clueless about how to do this. I have a keyboard from my old eMac, but no external monitor. Should I buy a cheap monitor so I do the setup and to have around just in case?

 

Second, I've heard that the Mini won't boot if it thinks there's no monitor connected. And that you need to plug something into the monitor port with some sort of tweak to the plug.

 

Anyone have experience with this?

 

Much thanks,

Russell

 

A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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Folks,

Bought myself a used MacMini 1.6 Duo 2Gb (realy cheap + firewire400!). Should suffice for dedicated iTunes I thought. I intend to use iPod touch most of the time for listening but do need a keyboard & mouse for the usual.. (convert & import using Max, fix tagging, whatever..). I wonder what the impact of a bluetooth keyboard & mouse would be and whether that would be a wise way to go...How bad is MacMini bluetooth in terms of EMI on your kit & sound?

 

I'll be using toslink to my DAC (but might go for USB, more likely firewire in the future). The MacMini will sit in my hifi rack. All of my signal cabling is balanced, power cables are shielded.

 

Also, does Macmini have similar USB issues (power) as Macbooks?

 

Does any of you folks have any experience with usb versus bluetooth keyboard+mouse and sound quality?

thanks!

Hans

 

Bits to analog: HP Pro Server [Win10Pro, software raid; Roon Core] -> Metrum Ambre -> BADA [series1]

Analog to speaks: ARC Ref3 -> ARC DS450M's -> Dynaudio C1 Sig's + 2 REL G2's

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I use a wireless keyboard and mouse with my MacMini and it has no audible impact whatsoever:)

 

regards[br]Michael[br]Mac mini & Amarra 3 | Weiss Minerva | CEC TL-51x | Octave HP500se | ADAM Tensor Delta active speakers. [br]MacBook Pro | V-DAC | Yamamoto HA-02 | ATH-W1000[br]AppleTV | DACMagic2 | Sugden A25 | ADAM HM2

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yes it does....you need to power your router right! duuuuuh.

 

Visit this websites for some more info on proper setups:

http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/wiki/index.php/ITunes-QuickTime_for_Mac_-_Setup_Guide

and

http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/wiki/index.php/OS_X_Audio_Playback_-_Setup_Guide

 

You should also know that the guys from Ayre don't like the idea of wireless in the house with audio equipment in the mix. I mean think about it you have this thing transmitting all the time. If I find the article I will post.

 

Also, does anyone know how big of a tv can one hook up to one of these mini macs and still have a good pic?????

 

regards

 

vortecjr

 

 

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vortecjr

My home TV is a 32" LCD, the apple mini is connected to this at 1280 x 720 at 60 Hz via HDMI. The picture is fantastic. I will upgrade to a 42", I have not seen any issue with this, infact the new LCD should do better. I am not sure what is the impact on much larger screen.

Best

 

Synology NAS (LPS) >UA ETHER REGEN (BG7TBL Master Clock) > MACMINI (Uptone MMK JS-2) > Auralic Aries 2.1 > (LPS-2) > AUDIO-GD DI20HE (BG7TBL Master Clock) (I2S OUT)LampizatOr GG /Meridian 808.3> Wavac PRT1 / Wavac EC300B >Tannoy Canterbury SE

 

HP Rig ++ >Woo WES/ > Stax SR-009, Audeze LCD2

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As much as I've been in the camp that Amarra's $1500 price tag is too damn high for this early stone age of computer audio discoveries that we are living through..(an maybe we're all missing the point that we spend way more for less improvement...I don't know).....I do want to mention that if you plan on using such software it requires 3GB of RAM minimally.

 

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"Please inflate shoes before leaving bus."

 

First, the stone age was around 1992. - I'm not suggesting that 17 or so years is a large dent in the thing we count and perceive as time, but it was a while ago and things have changed drastically. Second, I'm not sure what you are spending your money on - would you care to be a bit more specific with you grievance? Working through this might be beneficial to lots of folks. Amarra wasn't being discussed in this thread (and I'm on your side Re: pricing), so I REALLY cannot tell where you are coming from, but I'd like to know where that place is. I'd recommend gathering yourself and starting a new thread on it rather than tromping on a 'Mac Mini Hardware requirement' thread.

 

SINCERELY,

- markr

 

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I was simply telling the OP that if he wants to buy/configure a Mac Mini that supports Amarra he'll need 3 Gig (he was looking at 2 gig). Sorry that you saw it as tromping? Seemed relevant to me. He was looking to buy some RAM and wanted justification or guidance..

 

Maybe I should have phrased it this way: "Hey Russell, if you are building a Mac Mini and want to run such software as Amarra (regardless of how you feel about it's price/performance) you should know that it requires a minimum of 3 GB of RAM. Maybe more leading edge software will require that size of a footprintt, dunno. It's too early to tell."

 

Better? BTW, thanks for the nice comments....sheesh.

 

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I thought I would tack on this thread rather than create a new one. As above what is the minmum spec Mac Mini I could get away with to use as a Music server with iTunes and the odd web browse? (sometimes both simultaneously)

I am looking at getting one on the second hand market then prob throw in a bigger HD or go with a NAS.

 

 

PS3 60bg (160GB installed + Native music Browser)-AVI ADM9.1-Klipsch SW12 Subwoofer-Belkin Power Board- Custom power cables-Supra Sub Cable- No Name Toslink Cable - PROUD NZer

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