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New Mc Mini Configuration


cjsalvat
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Hi All,

 

There is a lot of information on the site regarding using a Mac Mini as a music server. But before I pull the trigger on a purchase I wanted some opinion regarding the configuration of the mini.

 

Will the top end Mac Mini in it's default configuration be a good choice to use as a server? 2.8GHz Processor, 1 TB Fusion Drive and 8GB Memory.

 

I plan to run Windows 10 (via Bootcamp) and JRiver Media Center. That is all that will be loaded onto this computer. It will be hardwired to my in-home network to which is attached a Synolgy DiskStation DS1815+ NAS which holds all music files.

 

I realize that one can move from the fusion drive to a 256/512 SSD as well as upgrade the RAM to 16GB but will these upgrades _really_ provide me any benefit.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

CJ

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If you are only going to run windows on it, why not just get a small quiet PC that comes with Windows on it?

 

I've posted mac advice on my blog, but it doesn't seem relevant here. (If I am wrong, please take a look.) Briefly, that should be fine. An SSD over a spinning fusion drive will be quieter and might be superior in terms of electrical noise as well. 8 gig of memory should be more than sufficient.

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If you are only going to run windows on it, why not just get a small quiet PC that comes with Windows on it?
Good question. I bought a MacMini a bit back with the intention of running it as a server in OSX. I eventually gave up, installed BootCamp and run under Win7. It is OK. However, if I was doing it again, I would go directly to a PCWin machine.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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If you are running Windows why bother with the extra expense of a Mac? Same bits as a pc inside. I tweaked the hell out of a Mini, ( Mac CAPS thread) and it was a pain.

 

If you are running a NAS, why not go all in with MinimServer and BubbleUPnP running on the NAS to a streamer. Avoid the pain of Jriver, tweaking time and expense and it will likely sound better.

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If you are running Windows why bother with the extra expense of a Mac? Same bits as a pc inside. I tweaked the hell out of a Mini, ( Mac CAPS thread) and it was a pain.

 

If you are running a NAS, why not go all in with MinimServer and BubbleUPnP running on the NAS to a streamer. Avoid the pain of Jriver, tweaking time and expense and it will likely sound better.

 

The OP already owns the mini.

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"If you are only going to run windows on it, why not just get a small quiet PC that comes with Windows on it?"

 

Just my thought. Could someone suggest some finite examples of current devices that would work well and would be able to decode dsd?

 

Prices on laptops are dropping by the day it seems but

 

1 What is a minimal level pc that would reliably be up to the task (including dsd)

2 Doesn't make a lot of noise

 

I tried an hp i7 and the fan was easily heard even when pc apparently at idle. Perhaps too much computer in too small a space without a constant on fan. At any rate, one can't expect the stores to let you bring a pc back because of normal fan noise that is unacceptable to only the audiophile crowd.

 

So I'm looking for specific recommendations of windows device, probably laptop, that will do above, quietly

 

Thanks

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The OP already owns the mini.

 

That isn't at all apparent from the OP's post. (Counterindications bold-faced):

 

Hi All,

 

There is a lot of information on the site regarding using a Mac Mini as a music server. But before I pull the trigger on a purchase I wanted some opinion regarding the configuration of the mini.

 

Will the top end Mac Mini in it's default configuration be a good choice to use as a server? 2.8GHz Processor, 1 TB Fusion Drive and 8GB Memory.

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I have a mac mini with two internal SSD drives. One of these is a boot-camp partition that permits booting into windows (currently 8.1). I haven't used windows for music playback, apart from a few experiments with foobar. The differences, if any, are subtle compared to the differences within OS X +/- room correction with Dirac, for example. I use OS X primarily because I am not a windows person, and am more comfortable using unix operating systems. (I'm also heavily bought into the apple "ecosystem". We installed the windows partition for games and a model airplane simulator.)

 

A mac mini, with two drives (or two partitions), has the advantage that it allows you to hedge your bets, and you can set your computer up for playback with both operating systems, and choose whichever one you want to use based on whatever you wind up liking the best for any reason. (You can also install linux or pretty much any other OS you can think of that runs on intel chips.) If you like to tinker with operating systems and software, this might be an ideal choice. If you like to tinker with hardware, a mac mini isn't the best bet. If you want to just plug the thing in and use it (in OS X) without having to do anything special, a mac mini is ideal.

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Thank you for the inputs/insight and other responses. Much appreciated.

 

I did end up purchasing the Mac Mini with the specs referenced in my original post above.

 

I have a JRiver MC master license and plan to set up the MM to run either the Mac or Windows version of MC.

 

BTW, the only real reason I am running Windows on the MM is so I can have the Theater View (it's a nice feature for parties and such) option - the Mac version of MC currently does not support Theater View.

 

Again, Thank you for the inputs! It's gonna be a busy weekend . . . . . . :)

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