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Update or Upgrade mini?


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I have an older mini (’07), OWC Mercury Electra 128GB SSD, OSX 10.75, library on a NAS, GB network, A+, iTunes controlled with iPad etc.. Everything works nicely (although using it headless, the mac remote desktop implementation is very much lacking compared to Win, but I digress).

 

The installed memory is on the light side and I would like to either upgrade the memory (4GB $60~, 3GB usable) or just upgrade to a newer mac altogether. So my questions are:

 

  1. Is it worth spending $60 on upgrading memory (prob not) or would it make sense to go with a 2010 or 2011 mini? These appear to be right around $500 ~
  2. If updating to a newer mini what model yr and what OSX version should be used?
  3. I think I could use the SSD I have and use it for the newer mini (use Superduper to clone whatever the newer mini comes with)?

 

This only gets used for music and nothing else so it doesn’t need to be a max’d out system etc.. I realize an '07 model is old/obsolete but for what it does (just running iTunes) its been solid. Any thoughts and or other things to consider are more than welcome!

My rig

 

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I have an older mini (’07), OWC Mercury Electra 128GB SSD, OSX 10.75, library on a NAS, GB network, A+, iTunes controlled with iPad etc.. Everything works nicely (although using it headless, the mac remote desktop implementation is very much lacking compared to Win, but I digress).

 

The installed memory is on the light side and I would like to either upgrade the memory (4GB $60~, 3GB usable) or just upgrade to a newer mac altogether. So my questions are:

 

  1. Is it worth spending $60 on upgrading memory (prob not) or would it make sense to go with a 2010 or 2011 mini? These appear to be right around $500 ~
  2. If updating to a newer mini what model yr and what OSX version should be used?
  3. I think I could use the SSD I have and use it for the newer mini (use Superduper to clone whatever the newer mini comes with)?

 

This only gets used for music and nothing else so it doesn’t need to be a max’d out system etc.. I realize an '07 model is old/obsolete but for what it does (just running iTunes) its been solid. Any thoughts and or other things to consider are more than welcome!

 

If you decide on a 2011 Mac Mini (with internal CD/DVD a la 2010 style) mine is for sale for the price you mentioned with 8 or 16 megs (forget which but can check)(checked, it is 8GB) if you are interested. Obviously, my post is self-serving, which is my reason for prefacing if you are interested. I used it for maybe two months before upgrading to a 2011 Mac Mini Thunderbolt. Left out that I personally replaced the HDD with an SSD/240GB purchased from OWC. Mac Mini is "perfect".

 

Good fortune with whatever you decide.

 

Best,

Richard

 

PS

See my add at CA which I am now changing to selling piece meal:http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f20-buy-and-sell-audio-and-computer-components-no-dealers/mac-mini-2011-2010-style-12944/

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I have an older mini (’07), OWC Mercury Electra 128GB SSD, OSX 10.75, library on a NAS, GB network, A+, iTunes controlled with iPad etc.. Everything works nicely (although using it headless, the mac remote desktop implementation is very much lacking compared to Win, but I digress).

 

The installed memory is on the light side and I would like to either upgrade the memory (4GB $60~, 3GB usable) or just upgrade to a newer mac altogether. So my questions are:

 

  1. Is it worth spending $60 on upgrading memory (prob not) or would it make sense to go with a 2010 or 2011 mini? These appear to be right around $500 ~
  2. If updating to a newer mini what model yr and what OSX version should be used?
  3. I think I could use the SSD I have and use it for the newer mini (use Superduper to clone whatever the newer mini comes with)?

 

This only gets used for music and nothing else so it doesn’t need to be a max’d out system etc.. I realize an '07 model is old/obsolete but for what it does (just running iTunes) its been solid. Any thoughts and or other things to consider are more than welcome!

 

I would get a newer one. I got a 2010 (with Super Drive) and a 2013 i5 (no optical drive) in the house right now and I don't hear a difference in sound but haven't really listened critically. The faster processors will give you better performance if you want to start experimenting with upsampling or format conversion. For example, JRiver can convert PCM to DSD, but it needs computing horsepower.

 

As long as you don't have a DAC that uses M2Tech drivers, I recommend OSX Mavericks.

 

What protocol do you use to connect to NAS? Know that Mavericks uses SMB2 as the default. Seems to work a little faster than AFP with my Synology.

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Yeah I kinda figured it's time to upgrade, but this was my first foray into iTunes/mini territory and as I stated its been solid with the "model T" mini, lol.

 

As far as protocol pretty simple => CIFS/SMB for Window, NFS for Linux and Unix, DHCP client, PPPoE etc....

 

I may take REShaman up on his mini if its still available.

My rig

 

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I would not recommend using a mini older than 2010 (based on my experience with two 2009 minis, one of which is sitting disassembled on a book shelf next to me).

 

Any preference on models from '10, '11, '12 etc.. and OSX version? Having no CD equipped (in the later mini models) isn't a big deal to me (at least I don't think so) since I can rip CD's from one of my other systems if need be.

 

Also, will there be any foreseen issues or things to consider using the "replacement mini" with my existing library? E.G. I'm currently using iTunes 10.x on OSX 10.7.5 and if the replacement mini has a newer iTunes/OSX, the newer version will sort of convert the library to whatever version the mini is equipped with. Obviouisly a current back-up would be smart but anything other than that?

 

Thanks for all the feedback.

My rig

 

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I"m lin the same boat with a 2009 Mini and have decided to go with the AURALiC ARIES.

 

Hi, I'm new to this topic, and don't want to hijack the thread, but I've been wondering about setting up a mac mini as a server vs. a dedicated device. The Aries ($1000 - 1500) would still need to go into a DAC and then amps etc. - correct?

 

With either mac mini or Aries, or other server, where files are on a NAS, must you have a mini or Aries in each room where you want to play music ? e.g. main listening room, office desktop system, maybe bedroom headphone system ?

 

thanks

-Qua

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Hi, I'm new to this topic, and don't want to hijack the thread, but I've been wondering about setting up a mac mini as a server vs. a dedicated device. The Aries ($1000 - 1500) would still need to go into a DAC and then amps etc. - correct?

Yes, still need a dac whether you get a Mini or an ARIES.

 

With either mac mini or Aries, or other server, where files are on a NAS, must you have a mini or Aries in each room where you want to play music ? e.g. main listening room, office desktop system, maybe bedroom headphone system ?

 

thanks

-Qua

Depends. You can either do that or stream.

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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I recent bought a new MM with the i7 chip and 8GB of RAM. I am using the Exasound E28 with both A+ and JRMC19 to do mch. My older (2009) MM with 8GB RAM was skipping regularly when playing back mch files and George of Exasound told me that the older MM did not have enough computing power to process all the mch info without skipping. He recommended the new MM with the i7 chip Since I got the new MM with the i7, the problem is solved.

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp  Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Pacific, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105  Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.7KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50TBripped files

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hmmm... sorry, still learning... lets just say you store audio files on a NAS , and you have an Aries. How do you connect to DACs in more than one location?

 

If you want to do that you will need multiple ARIES'. This is what I might do for my headphone setup.

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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If you want to do that you will need multiple ARIES'. This is what I might do for my headphone setup.

<gulp> that's what I was afraid of... somehow it seems that it shouldn't be so expensive to distribute the hirez audio, but the streaming technology does seem to make these multi-configurations possible and far more convenient that having multiple CD transports. Thanks for the help.

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<gulp> that's what I was afraid of... somehow it seems that it shouldn't be so expensive to distribute the hirez audio, but the streaming technology does seem to make these multi-configurations possible and far more convenient that having multiple CD transports. Thanks for the help.

 

Depends on what you mean by hirez. Mainly, I guess, what your expectations are for multi room listening. We have 4 rooms that over the years have gotten 2.1 speakers in them, which were either fed via computers, iPods, or radios that we would physically plug into. All as more background music rather than dedicated listening. (Two other rooms with more developed equipment for that, plus the ht room, which is so so in terms of 5.1 set up.) since I put in a synology NAS, we've switched to streaming flacs to those 4rooms via the synology app on either phones or pads (these seem to have accumulated over the years too) and it works great. The next bump up would be adding a small DAC rather than the built ins, but I doubt there'd be that much benefit for us, between the speakers, their placement, and the fact that it's generally lower level playback, while doing other things.

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Hi Pooger,

I may have a basic misunderstanding of how streaming from a NAS would work, so please bear with me.

 

1) Assuming music files (FLAC or AIFF for other) reside on a NAS drive. Devices like an Aries, or a mac mini, or a Sonore Rendu, could get those files via enet or WIFI. One of these acts as a CD deck or turntable. The NAS acts as your collection of CDs , records.

If this is correct, then you might want multiple Aries/MacMini/Rendu - one for each room where you have a DAC/amp/spkrs or headphones. Is that correct?

 

2) Is an iphone or ipad used as a 'player', or only for using the app to select music to be played?

 

3) if you want a desktop/headphone system in your office, could you use your computer (iMac in my case) to act as the player by connecting it to a DAC via USB, while using some other player (Aries, or something else) for a larger listening room system?

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Update. I spoke with Richard and he was very kind and provided a lot of details about the mini he has for sale. However, after much thought, I decided to go with a newer model mini that has a thunderbolt functionality and an i5 processor.

 

Hopefully I'll have something up and running this coming weekend. Thanks all for the input.

 

Although I do have a question => when putting the new mini in place (which will have Mavericks and thus diff version of iTunes), will my library be subject to some sort of conversion once I open up and "save" with the new mini? I haven't gone through this process and just curious.

 

FWIW, I have always enabled "keep iTunes media folder organized" and "copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library" in the advanced settings and will do the same with the new mini.

 

Thanks

My rig

 

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Update. I spoke with Richard and he was very kind and provided a lot of details about the mini he has for sale. However, after much thought, I decided to go with a newer model mini that has a thunderbolt functionality and an i5 processor.

 

Hopefully I'll have something up and running this coming weekend. Thanks all for the input.

 

Although I do have a question => when putting the new mini in place (which will have Mavericks and thus diff version of iTunes), will my library be subject to some sort of conversion once I open up and "save" with the new mini? I haven't gone through this process and just curious.

 

FWIW, I have always enabled "keep iTunes media folder organized" and "copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library" in the advanced settings and will do the same with the new mini.

 

Thanks

Congratulations. A Mac with an i5 is likely more future proof. I successfully upgraded from iTunes 10.x on Mountain Lion to iTunes 11 on Mavericks and had no conversion issues. There was a learning curve on the functionality on iTunes 11, but no issues with my library.

The Remote app works better with iTunes 11 and iOS 7 in my experience.

I'd consider adding 8 GB of RAM to the Mac in the future.

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