Mac Mini vs. another Mac for music server

I've been getting into computer-based audio, and had been planning on picking up a Mac Mini for use as a music server. (Perhaps one of the new models, if they ever come out; maybe an older one that I could snag for a song once they've been superceded.) I'm currently ripping my CDs to a Dell laptop that is on its last legs, using a MacBook as the remote controller. I'm streaming to an Airport Express connected via an optical cable to a Cambridge Audio DacMagic feeding a Creek Audio Destiny integrated amplifier. (Speakers vary.)

My question: Does a Mac Mini necessarily make more sense than, say, a refurbished MacBook for a few dollars more? Is there a real advantage to using a Mini, sonicly or otherwise? (I'll most definitely be going with a Mac, as I'm now sold on Apple for a number of reasons.)

Is anyone using a MacBook (or an iMac or another Mac) as a server -- and doing so happily?

Thanks for your help on this.

Hey Ckorody, you make some very good points!

The sonic differences between the Mac Mini and a Macbook would require the sound system to be of the caliber where imaging differences could be easily identified in the Z axis depth, where of Mini is perhaps 10 to 15% deeper and the midrange is a tad more "see through" offering a bit more harmonics, especially around voices.

Other things that are improved upon with the Mini are more realistic lower registers where drums and/or bass registers sound more harmonically correct. Again, maybe a 10 to 15% improvement on a system that easily shows these particular sonic differences.

Hence; not all sound systems are as revealing as others, so these differences may be marginalized on lesser systems.

Please Note: My answers to this thread have been mostly centered around the sonic differences between the Mini versus the Macbook due to the author's original inquiry here: ..."Is there a real advantage to using a Mini, sonicly or otherwise?"
Thnx Ehider - I very much admire people such as yourself who are such disciplined and careful listeners. Perhaps someday I'll achieve it.

No quarrel with your advice - you did a spot on job of answering the question.

Of course now you have me wondering if a Mini would outperform my G5 tower LOL

Apple just released the new mini yesterday. It's a great deal (bank for 600 bucks). Check it out and have fun!
I just received a new Mac Mini. Fired it up and had a listen. Marked improvement in comparison to Macbook. I can't be as articulate as Ehider other than to just sounds better.