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New Mac Mini Server

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It will be connected to a benchmark DAC.


1. Is there a way to get a solid state drive in it? I know if you open it you void the warranty. Is the spinning HD going to be that loud? or is looking into solid state helpful/ necessary?


2. Right now I stream from my macbook to an AE to a Nuvo GC for everyday listening in my home. The server mini will now handle that function. All my music is on a time capsule in my closet. I stream to the macbook pro and then over to the AE. I never get buffer problems and it functions fine. Figured I would keep that the same for now over the mini though.


Can I do the same with the new lossless set up for use with the benchmark? Can i keep my lossless music on a networked HD and stream over to the mini and output? Is there any know decrease in sound quality streaming vs being on the physical drive. Figured that would help with the noise issue. Or should it be physically on the puter's HD?


3. Right now I only have a few things ripped via my macbook pro to apple lossless but if I am going to do this I am going to do everything. 1. what should I rip to in all your opinion? 2. i need to buy an external drive anyway for the mini to install programs on it when needed. should i just get the regular mac super drive or should I look into something better, diff since I have to get one anyway?


Thanks guys,




PS my plans is to use the other HD for Windows XP for programming stuff I have that has to be done on a PC. Figured this was a good way to do a windows and a lossless mac setup without getting a separate windows machine. i have a power mac g5 but it isn't intel based so i'm out there for windows and i don't want to split my powerbooks HD and have windows on the same drive as mac. i want to use 2 HD's so I'm thinking this is a good solution to kill 2 birds with one stone? any input here is welcome too.


Thanks again!




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"1. Is there a way to get a solid state drive in it?"


It's a little early to confirm it, without doing it oneself, but I've no doubt that in no time flat someone will post a success story somewhere online.

I don't see any reason why you couldn't though, since there are sata drives in it now, as opposed to the even tinier pata drives in the earlier MacBook Airs.


"I know if you open it you void the warranty. Is the spinning HD going to be that loud?"


Probably not.


"...or is looking into solid state helpful/ necessary?"


probably not necessary, but it's waaay coool, and some people claim a improvement in sound (on very highly resolving systems). On the practical side, you can boot up in seconds. :)


"Can I do the same with the new lossless set up for use with the benchmark? Can i keep my lossless music on a networked HD and stream over to the mini and output?"


Should be fine, nothing has changed that I can see that would prevent you from maintaining the same setup.


"Is there any know decrease in sound quality streaming vs being on the physical drive. Figured that would help with the noise issue. Or should it be physically on the puter's HD?"


Some people say yes, some say no, depends on one's point of view and ears. Many of the people saying NO are using wireless streaming devices like Squeezebox and what not. The most dedicated audiophiles reaching for the best possible sound would use a physical connection, not wireless. People concerned (more) about noise in their listening room either use wireless, or run long cables (which has it's own issues).


"1. what should I rip to in all your opinion?"

"...should i just get the regular mac super drive or should I look into something better, diff since I have to get one anyway? "


Rip 'to' or rip 'with'? You may want to hold off a bit, and keep an eye out for Chris's ripping article that's forthcoming. If you're looking for the ultimate tweaky dedicated ripping drive, refer to the this thread (or search for Teac 224)



"i want to use 2 HD's so I'm thinking this is a good solution to kill 2 birds with one stone?"


I posted to the earlier Mac Upgrade threads about possible uses for the dual HDs in the new Mini Server model. This is as good a reason as any I came up with, but....I think you might be paying a steep price just to get two 500Gb drives (one of which will be removed) and the Server version of OS X.


Might be better off just to get the regular Mac Mini - with a larger than standard disk, since the SSD will likely be smaller due to cost constraints - and replace the optical drive with the SSD.


You can save $200 by getting the $799 Mac Mini - standard with 320GB HD and 4Gb RAM. It's not cost effective to build up from the base model, if you're assuming a large drive AND 4Gb RAM.


There will likely be some fancy cable connection work in that scenario however. You can use the universal link to find out: www.google.com










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thanks for the detailed response and the time. Sorry for all the questions. A few things.


I settled on the server version not due to the software but cause of the 2 HD's. I never thought about taking out the super drive to put in another HD. Would that be even possible?


I am looking into the new mini cause like I said I really need a windows machine for programming stuff like my Nevo remote and my Nuvo CG in my home. And for that matter any new things i might buy that I need windows for for programming.


I figured this was an excuse to update some music aspect of my system. New project itch ya know.


So windows aside. . . .


1. Lets go back to the streaming thing. I have structured wiring throughout my home. I had planned on going with the wired stream route anyway for buffer and stuff. I just go wireless for everyday stuff cause it just works I have drops where the AE is and on my island where I usually have the mac so I can go wired there but no need to. Actually the AE ended up in the house due to being to stream internet radio over itunes. We already have 2 ipod docks that give me metadata on the room keypads, but also when remote came out it was a nice way to change music without going to a keypad even if I was in another room or outside. No keypad there.


So pretty much I'm just going to have to get this thing and try out diff setups.


2. You think I should be looking into a diff solution. I don't want to use the powermac. It's like 8 years old. Runs great has 1TB of disk space over 2 drives and 4 GB of ram but it's big! and load with all those fans.


Would just a reg mac mini and a separate like netbook be better. Just keep windows totally out of the mix?


3. I meant Apple Lossless vs Flac and such. . . sorry. I'm also going to check out that thread being I need a drive anyway.


Thanks again!!


@ Chris. . . .


Whens that article coming out! Seems like you always have something coming out I need to read when I am upgrading! LOL








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I think clay mentioned this already ... but I think a considerable amount of the cost difference is going to be down to the cost of Snow Leopard Server instead of desktop (Sever costs £400 to buy). [P.S. can you run iTunes on Server?]


I've seen reports of people replacing the optical drive with a second HDD in the previous release of MacMini, so it should also be possible with the current ones.


Actually I've been wondering about a Mini Server plus something like a Drobo instead of a NAS. Will cost more but could be more flexible and vastly more powerful.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Apple told me I wouldn't even know it was snow lep server unless someone told me. They said it was the same as the regular OS but with additional server functionality if turned on. Also told me none of those features are on out of the box unless I turn em on. Maybe they are wrong. It's happened. I know as much as I'm being told. Thats why I came here! LOL





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Buying the server version just for the extra hard drive doesn't make sense to me. Much less expensive to simply add an external drive. Also, are you sure you don't need that optical drive for ripping CDs?



Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

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Hi Jimi - I was shooting for Friday to publish the article, but I'm spending a ton of time at my graphic designer's shop working on the new site design (oops, did I let that slip?).


I promise the ripping article will be on the site by Sunday evening. Please don't expect the world with this article, cause I'll never live up to it :~)


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems AudiophileStyleStickerWhite2.0.png AudiophileStyleStickerWhite7.1.4.png

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The reason for the 2 internal hd's is one for windows and one for my media setup. Lime I said above I need windows too for other reasons and thought this was a good time to do some changes to mysetup. You can't have windows on a external drive so that is out.


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"You can't have windows on a external drive so that is out."


Technically you could, but that doesn't diminish your point that you might not want to do so.


You DO configure your backups to be bootable, right?

Same thing. Back up your entire disk to external drive as a bootable disk. Then you can run from it whenever you want, but you'd have to re-boot to do it, assuming you're running Windows in a Mac environment, such as bootcamp or Parallels.









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ah, come on, Chris, surely you're gonna lead us to the promised land regarding ripping CDs, that's why we're all here.


BTW, can you give your loyal posters an early preview of what you're gonna recommend - so we can beat the ebay rush. ;)







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LOL I agree! Some insight would be cool Chris!


@Clay: I never knew you could run windows on an external drive. I know nothing about windows never used it always used mac since my first computer for college in 94. Only used windows ow and then for school when I had to so don't know much. any reading re: running windows on a external drive you can provide? would be real cool! What would speeds be like running this way? Clay one other thing. Booted to windows each time wouldn't be a prop cause I will be in the mac os always unless using windows for programming something. . .






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this was my disclaimer on the ability to run Window on a bootable external drive.


"assuming you're running Windows in a Mac environment, such as bootcamp or Parallels."


IOW, you'd need to boot Mac OS X on the external disk, with the virtualization software of your choice (Bootcamp, VMware, Parallels) hosting the Windows environment.


I don't do this on a regular basis and don't know how reliable/stable it is. Presumably it's fine. Something about the 'external' aspect of it can cause complications. For years, you could only boot externally via Firewire. I'd make sure the disk you choose has Firewire and eSata connections, if you go this route.


Does anyone do this regularly, or have experience with it? If so, please comment.






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how do you make the back up drive bootable in a Mac environment, and what is the benefit?


\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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Just thought I'd post a few thoughts.


Firstly, booting windows from an external drive seems like way more complication than it would be worth unless there is a reason you would really need to do this. Ditto for even booting from a second hdd. You don't need two drives to run windows and osx. Bootcamp, parallels, etc, will create a bootable partition on the main drive no problem. Really the only reason I would see two drives as being necessary are for space concerns.


If you decide you do need two drives I actually think the server edition is not a bad way to go. I'm sure this forum is populated by people who think nothing of popping the hood on their computer (I've built more than one myself), but know that replacing the optical drive with a hdd (at least on previous models

) does require some jimmy rigging and cable soldering.


Hope that helps.


PS Audio Quintet > Powerbook (iphone with apple remote app) > HRT Streamer II > Kingrex Pre-amp > Kingrex QS-01 > Devore Fidelity Gibbon 7.1\'s

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Thanks. . .I understand now. Was familiar with that. I just don't trust it. I'm not even a big fan of wireless let alone something coming in from an outside source such as an external HD. I only do it now cause it works and I'm not too worried about quality over the Nuvo really. Just has to sound fine when people are over or I'm in the yard or for everyday use. You know what I mean. I hardwire all my network stuff pretty much just cause I'm weird like that. So booting from an outside source like that just doesn't make me feel goo to begin with that's why the 2nd physical HD. But again the chioce do I just get a mini with 2 HD's or do I get a mini with one and a 400 dollar netbook for my windows stuff. I know they are powerful enough to run the Nuvo and Nevo software.




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Thanks for the reply. . . I thought about going the parallels route but it takes up so much computing power and then you add on top of that the Nevo software which needs 1 GB of RAM to even wake up pretty much and you are dogging it for setting up remotes and I. This is coming from another guy who does this in the field when at jobs. Now the Bootcamp thing is fine but I personally don't want windows on the same HD as my Mac OS. JMO. I just don't want them in the same world. Now maybe that's me being weird or I don't know but just my pref.



I guess what I came here for pretty much was people's opinion of wether a mini with 2 HD's one for Windows and one for OS would be a better solution that a mini with one HD and a separate Netbook.


And also which wxternal drive would be better for ripping music a apple superdive or something diff.


Thanks guys,



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I use CCC - Carbon Copy Cloner.




It asks when cloning a drive if you'd like the copy to be 'bootable'. CCC is free. I'm a big fan.


I uncovered a bug in a new release. Bummer. Mike Bombich bought me a license for Prosoft - an $80 product that does hard disk recovery.


Mike provides phenomenal support by any standards, and especially so for freeware.








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Ya I think I have.


I still don't know about a drive for ripping though. Still up in the air there.


But today when I talked with a guy who is Apple repair place something came up. I posted it on the tread re: the Teac drive. Pretty much we got talking about putting a SS drive in the new Mini server. I told him it for for decreasing sound. He said that is all and well but then " what about the other drive"? I said "what"? He said ya it will still be spinning and will add to the noise. He said that because there are 2 drives they both spin? I thought only the one you re using would be spinning and adding to the noise? He said if I wanted to get rid of the spinning sound problem then both drives would have to be SSD?


True or False?


Also on a side note what is a headless mac mini? i noticed it in your sign?


thanks Clay!


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"True or False?"


I've not had a computer with multiple drives, so I wouldn't know. It seems like you ought to be able to put a drive to sleep, but I've never tried it.


"Also on a side note what is a headless mac mini? i noticed it in your sign?"


"headless" just means that I don't use (or even own) a monitor. I use Screen Sharing capability in OS X to control the Mac exclusively with my Macbook Air (laptop for work). When absolutely necessary I connect it to the TV, e.g. when I first got it and had to set up Screen Sharing.











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  • 1 year later...

1. If you *really* need two internal drives, OWC is now offering the parts to do just that on a standard Mac Mini. They also offer a service where they'll perform the labor on changing drives, upgrading memory, and all that. If you don't want to pop open your computer by yourself, that may be worth considering.


2. An SSD really does make most computers operate faster, Mac Minis included. A lot of interaction goes on between the hard disk and the operating system when the computer is running. An SSD is faster.


3. For music, an external drive works fine. This gives you lots more freedom on the size of your library, back up options, and so on.


I have a Mini (last years' model) with 8 Gig of memory, a 60 Gig SSD, and a 2 Tb external drive attached to the FW800 port. The operating system and applications are located on the internal SSD and the media files on the spinning hard drive. Almost silent, runs cool, and runs way faster than I ever expected. (The hard drive is a new Samsung that "only" spins at 5400 rpm, but is close to silent. I could detect no difference in actual performance between this drive and the 7200 rpm 1 Tb drive it replaced. This is for playback - not video editing!)



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