Apple Mac Mini MC438LL/A Server (OLD VERSION)

December 31, 2011 - Comment

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Brian Stucki says:
85 of 87 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Machine, Great Deal, June 18, 2010
By 
Brian Stucki (Las Vegas, NV) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Apple Mac Mini MC438LL/A Server (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

It’s been a few days since these were announced and we’ve already installed 30 of them here at Macminicolo. (We host them as servers in our data center.) Here is what you need to know:

1) The image above is not correct (as of 6/18/10). This mini does not have an optical drive and instead has two hard drives. You can use optical drives of other Macs on your network though.

2) The two drives total 1TB. YOu can use them separate or in RAID configurations. New in this version are the 7200RPM drives (up from 5400 in the last version.

3) Apple now officially supports 8GB of RAM in these minis. Eight GB was unofficially supported in the last version, but did work fine.

4) These minis are quiet, don’t get hot, and use hardly any power. Amazing build and design went into this machine.

5) If you buy this mini and want to upgrade the RAM, Apple has made it very easy. Just twist the bottom and put in the RAM. No tools required.

6) This Mac mini comes with an unlimited license of Snow Leopard Server. No yearly seat costs, not license per user. Totally unlimited.

7) The SD card slot can read SDXC. That’s not a big deal now,but will definitely be so in the future. That standard can support up to 2TB. So, as that technology comes, this mini will be future proof. (In Theory, this means you could have 3TB of data in this mini. Incredible.)

8) The video card has been upgraded and is a great addition.

9) The power brick is now inside the Mac mini. (It used to be a huge white brick nearly the size of the mini itself.) This is very much welcome.
So overall, great machine. Nice to see the nice new look.

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Ziontrain says:
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars
A good machine – I use it as a sort of Home Theater PC/Home Server, August 28, 2010
By 
Ziontrain (London) –

This review is from: Apple Mac Mini MC438LL/A Server (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

I bought this Mac Mini Server basically because it was the quietest machine I could find that could also function as a HTPC/media player into my TV ( a projector actually). I could have bought the regular version but chose the server edition so that I could get a full 1TB of storage space, which allows me to also use this a as a quiet NAS for my home network.

Now I’m not really a computer geek but I liked the convenience this thing could offer. Setting it up wasn’t easy but with some reading the manual as well as some guides on setting up OSX server I was able to succesfully set it up to play to my TV was well as to link up to the home network on my router so it can network with the three laptops we have in the house running Windows 7. So in that sense it doable for the average user, but you do have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and learn a bit about networking and server management. It’s not stuff I knew about before – but I sure do now. That said, in all fairness the server control panel on this Mac Mini Server is a lot more user friendly than on my Windows server.

I wanted to control the Mac Mini server without having to turn on the projector that it feeds. I found that I could do this with a software called a VNC client. I use one by Mocha. I works perfectly well. As a backup to that I have a wireless Mac keyboard and trackpad, as well as an iphone VNC client. I would caution that the iphone VNC client is really mostly a gimmick, as the screen is very small and its really more useful for just checking that all is well than actually doing anything heavy duty. For real work the laptop-based VNC client is far better.

With the server set up with VLC media player and Plex, this box has replaced both my Squeezebox music and my Popcorn hour media player. Which is no mean feat, as both of those are pretty good in their own right.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this thing. It is dead silent sitting in my living room, yet it does everything I need. That’s just a whole new ballgame when it comes to PC’s to be honest.

The only criticism I would make is that so far there are no matching external hard drive out there that go with this new Mac Mini. So if you want to extend the storage then you have to either accept tacking on an ugly, non matching drive, or hiding the whole set up.

No, that’s not true – I do have another criticism, which is that at a thousand dollars the price of this thing is quite high. That said, there simply are not other full power PCs that look this good or can operate at 14 decibels of silence in the middle of your living room, so I guess I didnt have a choice really. But I do hope more companies try to take Apple on here – so we can get this sort of thing cheaper!

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Ruben Lopez says:
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome server., August 17, 2010
By 

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This review is from: Apple Mac Mini MC438LL/A Server (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

This is an amazing little box. I replaced a big loud HP server at my home office with the mac mini server in about a day. Not only am I able to host a site using Apache, PHP, and MySQL but I was able to install Windows Server 2008 using Parallels and host sites using IIS, ASP.NET, and MS Sql Server at the same time. You can get the best of both worlds using this server. I used Apple’s USB ethernet adapter (which you can find on Amazon) to give the virtualized Windows Server it’s own network interface so I can treat it as a completely separate entity on the firewall.

So far it’s been running just fine with the 4 gigs of RAM but you do have the option to upgrade to 8 later if you need to.

I highly recommend this server to anyone who needs one at a home/small office. Even if you need to run Windows Server, this little box can handle it.

I do not recommend this for the average user, stick to the regular mac mini if you do not need a server.

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