Help Me select Mini


I am selling my Mini on ebay and will be replacing it with a new one. Which model should i go for and do i need to buy extra ram or anything. This is going to be used strictly for music.
streetdaddy
The best Mac Mini to buy is the 2.8ghz Intel Core I7. You will have to order this machine from apple. I would make sure it has the 8gigs of ram and a esata 3 solid state hard drive. go to www.Ultraf.biz and click on the link; Optimization Guide for Apple OS X. Follow the steps and you will be amazed. The 2.5ghz Intel Core I5 does sound good but the I7 sounds better. Do not buy the 2.3ghz, it does not sound all that good and for difference the bigger processors sound better.
I just bought one - went for the base version with 64gig SSD and 8gigs RAM. Added external 2TB Thunderbolt drive for music storage. Works great - sounds great!
CPU speed doesn't matter, RAM does. A solid state drive is said to help. Buy the bottom of the line mini and have it shipped to Other World Computing (OWC). You set up an order with them in advance and give Apple the OWC mailing address with an RMA. Have them install 8gb RAM (cheap) and replace the hard drive with an SSD drive of 120gb or more. Buy from them a cheap optical hard drive USB enclosure, and they will install your original HD in that and copy all the contents to the SSD. Now you have a backup of your operating system, and even some storage space to back up your music if you like. The new mini's don't have disk drives, so you'll need to buy an external one from OWC if you don't have another means of reading your CD's for burning purposes. I bought a blueray compatible external drive so it could be used for playing movies of all types. My external hared drive, on which I store music, is firewire - allowing the USB to be dedicated to just the DAC. Good luck, Peter
I have had all three processors and, the Core I7 sounds the best. Do not use thunderbolt. You will find that a firewire 800 is much more quiet then then thunderbolt. I have played with several thunderbolt drives, and one drive had both thunderbolt and firewire800 and the firewire 800 connection sonically speaking sounded much better. I spoke to several engineers and they told me that the data transfer rate was faster with thunderbolt but that there is a microchip that is on the thunderbolt cable that must be powered and they think that it is interfering with the sound. The guys who mix music on macs are sticking with firewire800 until the sound issues with thunderbolt get worked out.
I have had all three processors and, the Core I7 sounds the best. Do not use thunderbolt. You will find that a firewire 800 is much more quiet then then thunderbolt. I have played with several thunderbolt drives, and one drive had both thunderbolt and firewire800 and the firewire 800 connection sonically speaking sounded much better. I spoke to several engineers and they told me that the data transfer rate was faster with thunderbolt but that there is a microchip that is on the thunderbolt cable that must be powered and they think that it is interfering with the sound. The guys who mix music on macs are sticking with firewire800 until the sound issues with thunderbolt get worked out.
Get the version with i7, 8GBytes DRAM and 256GB SSD.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Why would 256gb SSD be preferable to 64gb if storing music on an external drive? Under most circumstances I'm using less than 1/3 of the drive - all that is really on there is the OS and the music software I'm using.

Haven't tried a firewire drive - ended up with a Thunderbolt drive because my previous audio computer was a macbook air and it didn't have firewire. I haven't noticed any "noise" other than the fan on the drive itself. If using something like Amarra doesn't it play from cache memory anyways- i.e the drive is purely for storage?
It is a good idea to get a large SSD so that you can put multiple OS images on it. Often, the good S/W players need fresh OS installs to sound good for each new release. Amarra for instance. Things get mucked-up with both the OS and the player S/W if you do multiple installs on the same image.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Ok...good news. I popped my 2007 Mac Mini on Ebay and got $256 for it. Now will be looking on Apple.com for a refurb unit and then have it shipped off for the upgrades. Thanks for the advice!
>>I have had all three processors and, the Core I7 sounds the best.

Dude, c'mon. Seriously?
I bought the base model and sent it off to OWC for the upgrades. It all adds up and i could't afford to swing the 17 with all the upgrades. Should get it back Monday.
Mach2music for me. It's the combinTion of many factors such as how to use the bus, declutter the operating system, use Hard disk ans SSD in a sensible way and operate with Amarra and Puremusic. While one can probably get there on one's own, eventually, Mach2 music gets you there on the fast lane incl. offering firewire with cut power supply, etc. I think it's the most painless way to a decent server.
Mach2Music is outta business....at least for now.
I received a new mach2 mini on May 3. I placed my order with this number 505-249-4452.
Here is what I found. Comparing identically configured 2009 and 2011 (i7) Minis both with SSD and 8GB DRAM, the 2009 mini wins hands down. The biggest improvements are from Veesion 4318/19 Amarra and the SW scripts to reduce active apps.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I have the '09 MM. Do I sell it and get the '12 unit?
Keep the 09 Mini. It will sound better than new Minis with USB converters and DACs. Just put a SSD in it from Other World Computing. Maybe replace the AC adapter with a Paul Hynes supply. Use the USB port next to the middle one.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Have a LPS from Chris Huff at BPT with music rails. No SS drive but a local guy can install one. What model/brand do I get. PM still one of the best?
This SSD:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/SSD/Mercury_Electra_3G_Solid_State

I like the 120GB. You can install it yourself in 30 minutes.

I dont like the sound of PM myself, in fact most versions of Amarra dont ring my bells. I use a specific version of Amarra with great results. Good enough to get two best sound of shows at RMAF. The EQ function is indispensable.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve, is it your opinion that a 2009 mini is the way to go assuming a SSD and 8gb of ram even without Amarra but another software such as Pure Music or another? Thanks.
PGleekel - Late 2009 Mini is the way to go IME. Under $500 on ebay.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve, thank you for the reply!:)
Not meant to challenge Steve's expertise but to offer some perspective...

I just replaced my circa 2007 Mini with the latest Mini and stuffed it with 8GB RAM. Required a move from Snow Leopard to Lion. IMO, the new one sounds considerably better.
Drubin - So you're saying a new Mini sounds better than a 2007 version? Steve is saying the 2009 is best, so I don't think your challenging his expertise until you've said the new is better than 2009. I happen to agree with Steve.
How do I tell which mini I have...? About this computer doesn't tell you anything about year...

Thanks
Tony