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Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini
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Author:  601 [ Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

The backlight in my 2011 iMac is beginning to fail and I'm having trouble justifying the cost of the replacement screen for a six year-old machine. I went to the Staples by my house, cold booted the 1.6GHz iMac and immediately decided I didn't want one. My Beige G3 booted Mac OS X significantly faster.

This has me contemplating my collection of Macs. When the shitty 2014 Mac mini came out I rushed out to buy a 2012 Mac mini to replace the 2010 I was using as a server. I have subsequently added Thunderbolt storage to the 2012 Mac mini server. My primary Mac is a 2012 i7 Mac mini with 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD.

So I find myself contemplating upgrading the 2012 Mac mini I am using as a server to the same standard as a replacement for the iMac but that leaves me in need of a Thunderbolt equipped server. If I swallow my pride and buy the base 2014 Mac mini will it be sufficient for running Server with all the File Sharing related services running (including NetBoot) along with MySQL in support of a small database.

The last time I used a Mac with only 4GB of memory was my Mac mini in 2009 running 10.5, so I approach this possibility with some dread.

Is there any prospect doing this will see me do anything other than pay $500 to get very frustrated?

Author:  BDAqua [ Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

Apples new machines lack too much, how about a 2011 or 2012 Refurb?

http://www.macofalltrades.com/Refurbish ... -s/299.htm

Upgradable to 8 or 16 GB, & they have Thunderbolt.

Author:  MonkeyBoy [ Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

When looking for used systems I usually poke around eBay until I find something reasonably priced that isn't damaged and being sold as-is.


Obviously you'll want to bump RAM on most but 8GB of Mac qualified DDR3 RAM is only $50. Generic will go for less.

Author:  Anonymous [ Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

It might depend on your MySQL needs. How much of a query cache do you need to hold on to? My experience is generally that server daemons are usually a lot easier for limited hardware than GUI tasks. If you put in an SSD I suspect it'll perform adequately. Do you think it's running any servers that are RAM constrained?

In the long run you'll probably be frustrated when you find other things you need it to do, but it might work for the time being.

- Anonymous

Author:  601 [ Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

I'm reluctant to buy used because I have begun to see hardware problems with a few 2011 and 2012 Mac minis.

I however just noticed that the 4GB Mac mini has been marked down at Best Buy to $399.

I don't know if that telegraphs that the abomination that is the 2014 Mac mini is EOL or possibily nothing at all.

I have been experimenting with the MySQL database on a MacBook Pro with only 4GB of memory and it seems to be behaving reasonably well. Although that is in a machine with an SSD. There is a damaged 2014 MacBook Pro I can probably appropriate the Apple SSD from, but I am still lost in space and contemplating biting the bullet on another iMac with my tax return.

Author:  Anonymous [ Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

How large is your database and how large a query cache do you suspect you need?

- Anonymous

Author:  601 [ Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

The database is about 8GB, i'm not sure on the query cache. I haven't set that manually.

Although oddly enough the backlighting appears to have returned to normal.

Author:  Anonymous [ Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

What's the IO load look like? I don't think the RAM will make a difference for MySQL as it's configured, but the if the read/write load on the DB is high enough that the drive can't keep up you'll grind to a halt very quickly.

If it were me I'd put in a Samsung 850 Pro in either way. Then it won't matter what kind of IO load it's hitting and the rest of the system will be more tolerably responsive as well.

I'm also kind of surprised no one seems to be offering a RAM upgrade for these systems and others with soldered RAM. I'd bet you could just replace the RAM chips and be set. As far as I can tell that wouldn't be too hard with a good rework station (in Shanghai you can have it done for the flash in your iPhone while you wait). Charge $90 labor + cost of RAM for bare board upgrades, or $180 + cost of RAM if not already disassembled, and you might have a viable business...and it would still be cheaper than buying RAM from Apple.

- Anonymous

Author:  601 [ Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

Those guys in Shenzhen have a little more than a rework station at their disposal.

The thing that really surprises me is nobody has built an adapter to use standard PCIe SSD modules in these things. You just need the pinouts of the flex cable and some double-sided tape.

The IO isn't too bad, I used to run this on an Atom 330 without too much strain.

Author:  MonkeyBoy [ Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

It'd be easier if Apple just stopped using proprietary nonsense and started using industry standard parts. Didn't M.2 drives start shipping around the time Apple switched to their proprietary PCIe slot?

Author:  Anonymous [ Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Server on 4GB 2014 Mac Mini

Yup. :roll:

Apple just doesn't want you upgrading or repairing your Apple computer. Or at least I haven't heard an alternative plausible explanation for Apple's behavior that fits the data.

- Anonymous

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