I’ve been using a MacMini as my home server for about 6 months now. I found one cheap (£250) on ebay. Its only an Intel core duo (not core 2) running at 1.66 but it works great as a server. I had problems with it when I bought it. It wouldn’t boot and showed all the signs of a faulty RAM module.
The seller kindly sent me a replacement 1GB stick as it looked like one of the RAM slots was faulty. I had been running fine for about 5 months, then last month I did a re-boot after OS X 10.5.5 was released and boom….the mini wouldn’t boot. After spending about 5 days trying to fix it, even trying to reinstall OS X I gave in. It looked like OS X stopped running if there were memory issues.
I installed Ubuntu which worked flawlessly….for 5 days. I’m still running Ubuntu and have to re-boot every 5 or so days as it locks up. Nothing in the logs, it just locks up. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s something not right hardware wise and cant be fixed.
I’m going to be looking into replacing it, but cant really afford to splash out on another MacMini. I think I’ll be making a new server using an Intel Atom package. I can still run at 1.6 Ghz and its still a small sized motherboard.
Since the Atom integrated motherboards are fairly cheap, I will be able to spend some money on getting system to boot on a solid state drive. I found that you can get 32GB CF Cards, and a CF to SATA drive for under £50 which is great! You can even get duel CF readers, thus giving you a 64GB solid state drive on the cheap!
So heres my spec plan:
1.6Ghz Intel Atom
2GB DDR2 RAM
2x 32GB CF solid drives (using a SATA -> CF adaptor)
A small case (not much bigger than the MacMini case hopefully)
DVD RW +/-
Since I’m off on holiday soon I cant really afford to build this, however when I’m over in the states, I’ll pop into circuit city, Best Buy and a few other places to see if I can get some of the parts….will be much cheaper than buying here!