Wow look away for a day and now I feel obligated to reply to many posts in this thread!
First, thanks to @rbstehno for a couple of well informed great posts.
Let me say that from my firsthand experience is based on using MacMini, Audirvana+, (as well as Amarra & Pure Music) Apple Remote for years. I had shootouts in my system with Aurelic Aries (not Aries Mini) including its linear power supply, other servers. I upgraded to Sonore microRendu & a linear power supply as streamer/renderer with my files stored on a Synology NAS in the next room. I run ethernet CAT6A cable to the Sonore(although you don't have to). I use Lumin app on iPad (or Android phone) for controlling the music. The improvement is TREMENDOUS!
IMHO, the advice to run a headless MacMini with internal or external harddrives, use iTunes (or Audirvana+) & Apple remote is good advice FIVE YEARS AGO, but not any longer. Sorry, but the disadvantages mentioned in a few posts are significant. Get the full purpose computer running a big mac O/S or Windows O/S out. Get the big noisy switching psu for the bigger computer out. Get any spinning discs out. Get optical isolation in. Use a single purpose computing solution( e.g microRendu, Aurelic, Aurender, all running O/S with fewer processes. The mR also has optimized audio board with improved USB output which helps keep noise from getting to your DAC. This stuff is discussed in gory detail daily on a computer audiophile related forum that you should all read before recommending ten year old computing solutions. This stuff has changed too fast!
Audirvana+ whether running atop iTunes or in its own mode(which sounds better, but introduces many painful database management issues) is not as user friendly as Lumin, Linn Kazoo or Aurelic's DS Lightning app. Library files get corrupted for many users and the fixes are painful; I've been there.
The Aries Mini is a good product but needs a better power supply to perform at a high level. It's built in DAC is inferior to most audiophile DACS, but good for a starter system on a tight budget. The Aries at $1600 including a good LPS sounds excellent and is closer to the microRendu in sound quality IMHE. The Aurenders also sound good if you don't mind their cost.
As I posted last week, the microRendu is incredible and only $650 + choice of power supple; it can stream Tidal, but you will want a NAS to store your own library. You won't need the mac at all unless you choose to use it for running HQ Player or similar to do DSD upsampling and/or EQ. Read the online reviews, especially Connaker's. It's a real Swiss Army knife! Cheers,