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Step by step procedure to get the most out of a Mini server


rydenfan
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I am just wondering if a step by step procedure to ensuring evertyhing is setup correctly on a Mini to achieve the highest level of playback possibly exists here?

 

I know I have to do things like turn the sleep off in the power options; EQ needs to be turned off in itunes, etc. but I thought it may be helpful to compile a complete list if it doesnt already exist.

 

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Thanks Chris! That is certainly a helpful start. I think with the addition of external DACs it would be great to compile a list to ensure all the right things are selected. I know it can be confusing to remember all the different places to go so compling the list in one place might be very helpful.

 

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and with a DAC2 in my near future I am gonna go out and grab a MicroCenter special 2008 Mac Mini (only 1GB though) for $399 as a 'what the hell". It will be dedicated to the DAC2 (firewire) for music only, so anything/everything I can do to eliminate computer fat and waste would be appreciated. I'll hang a couple of terrabytes off of it (especially if I do like you and convert all FLAC to AIFF). the list could include what type of inexpensive TB discs are more silent than others (unless I just drill a hole through the wall and sit my discs in my home office 8 ft away). This would be dedicated to Mac Mini only, right?

 

thx

Ted

 

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That's good to know. Edit: I found out my $399 special only accepts up to 2GB, and the new ones only 4GB. An iMAc accepts up to 8GB. Argh! I do 24/192 on my pc with dozens of apps running in the background, and I have 4 GB.

Ted

 

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Rydenfan has his already; mine is soon. Rydenfan is connecting via Apple laptop right now, but is getting a new mac mini. Connection is via firewire and Weiss's own fw drivers.

 

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Ted, with your Hi-Res files that are downloaded as FLACs, do you convert them to AIFF or WAV or leave them as FLAC for playback? I'm wondering what the deal is with some folks having 1GB of RAM with other applications running and no issues with hi-res playback, then others who have 4GB of RAM and having to close all other apps. I'm trying to figure out if it has something to do with FLAC vs. AIFF because theoretically the processor has to do more work playing back FLAC but as fast as our processors are today you would think it's not an issue.

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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since my comments about my pc's processing power when playing 24/192 was not at all like the poster's. I was using my demo DAC2 on an everyday non-tweaked Dell Windows Vista pc, running Foobar and FLAC (16/44) or WavPAck (24/882 to 24/192), through firewire, to the DAC2. All resolutions were playing gloriously, even while I ran the internet and had the myriad of standard Windows crap running in the background. When my own purchased DAC2 arrives i will have a decision to make re: front ends. As we've all discussed, and as Rydenfan is dealing with presently, we want iPhone/iTouch remote capabilities (art, browsing, etc.), great sonics and (someday) automatic resolution change capabilities. If i had a DAC2 right here today I'd probably continue to use the AES/EBU output of my Modwright Transporter (up to 24/96) , which gives me iTouch remote capabilities, etc....and the spdif output of my universal player for the 24/176 and 24/192 stuff...short term. Then I need to decide whether i convert all the FLAC and WAvpack stuff to AIFF (like Rydenfan) and go Mac Mini/itunes/Firewire, or something else, likely MAC-based. Anyway........this is a huge thread hijack from David (Rydenfan). If you want more info let's start a different thread.

 

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davidR, I believe Ted gave a great response to you just now so there is not too much more to add. I do have a thread in the software section of the forum for Weiss owners. Perhaps you could move your thoughts there? My hope here is to really keep this thread about the steps that need to be taken to properly setup a Mac Mini as a dedicated music server. I believe this thread could be a real asset to many members (myself included) as this is new territory for a lot of us and it would be great to have a single point of reference to ensure maximum sonic capabilities.

 

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who claims that the RAM issues that one of our posters was having is likely not RAM but front side bus speed issues. He claims the older Mac Minis are just too slow of a bus architecture for anything greater than 24/96 (however, Norm's is a new one, so dunno really). That being said, he also likes a lot of RAM. :) If it were up to him he'd get enough RAm to have AIFF playlists play from RAM (of course, that would be 8+ GB's on a Mac Pro).

Ted

 

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Hi Guys - Vincent at VRS is a good resource and he may be on to something with the bus speed issue.

 

I too like tons of RAM, but it can get expensive. However, if you are somewhat handy you can purchase the RAM from Macsales.com at a substantially cheaper price and install it yourself.

 

It's touch to say if you'll notice a difference between 2GB and 4GB because everyone is difference. I can't say I would notice the difference between a 400 horsepower and a 425 horsepower car, but I'm sure some people would.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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4GB all the way! You won't regret it, trust me. I absolutely agree with Chris on getting RAM from macsales.com if you are handy, but it would be quite convenient to get that extra 2GB already installed without tinkering inside that size of case. All this RAM talk is funny because I have ordered RAM online for several different people who don't want to pay ridiculous amounts at the Apple Store to use their specific brand of memory. I'm going to install it for them. Sorry for hijacking the thread in my earlier posts rydenfan, that wasn't my intention at all.

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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Vincent will also agree that the OS should be in fast SS disk, not on hard disk. I plan to replace the HD with SSD in mine.

 

Then replace the internal CDROM drive with a USB TEAC drive, this one:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=310134389867#ShippingPayment

 

We are also trying to bring-out the E-SATA interface that was on the CDROM to allow fast connection to a RAID disk system containing the music tracks.

 

Steve N.

 

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Curious why does it take such huge processing/bandwidth for high res files? Especially if they are in AIFF or WAV format where no decompression or transcoding processing is needed? I've never noticed an issue on my Mac Pro, but it's got plenty of horsepower.

 

Depending on which DAC I may upgrade to, still waffling between Weiss, Sonic, DAD AX24, and Playback Designs, firewire versus AES16, mac mini versus my Hackintosh with the AES card.

 

 

 

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