Previous 1 2 3 Next 44 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2012 4:11 PM by infinite vortex Go to original post
  • haykong Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    I understand what you're say, but it all boils down to what is your preferences and what are your needs. All I said is a Macmini is a consideration.

     

    In your case from what I understand, you're doubling up on workstation and server for the Mac Pro which is fine. Question is dubtastic going to double up?

     

    In the end when and if the Mac Pro dies then the macmini should a consideration.

     

    You have good points, but all all boils down to budget, do you want to be more green in terms of power efficent. What does dubstastic do with his Mac Pro now? what does he use it for? Is he going to use it as a full time server? is it going to be use as a workstation too?

     

    It's totally understandable to stick with what they have for now and start using the Mac Pro now and maybe later down the road retire it and replace it with a Macmini down the future.

     

    Does the computer need to be stored in a secured area which some of my clients need to do that because of HIPPA law compliance since they are in the healthcare industry. If you do that you can't double it up as a workstation too.

     

    In most cases, I prefer not treating a server as a workstation.  Again it depends on clients needs and circumstancees.

     

    Now here's a question to Dubtastic:

     

    What does the business do? what kind of business are you setting it up for? what are their needs? what kinds of services would you like to setup? are there large files that need to be served? Are you dealing with a mixed PC and Mac environment?

     

    Do they have a budget to buy a macmini? do they not have the budget to buy a macmni? If they have the budget to buy, would they lose the money this year if they don't spend it?  Some departments I know will lose some of their funding if they don't spend it in that year.

     

     

    Reading Back at Dubtastic Original Post:

     

    hey said the 2nd option would be selling the Mac Pro and using the money to buy a Macmini. Now that changes things...... that should be factored in....

  • infinite vortex Level 7 Level 7 (21,400 points)

    What's interesting to me is that the current Mac mini has a near 8x variance in power consumption between it's stated 11W "idle" usage to its 85W "max" usage. That's an enormous variance. If it doesn't take much for the Mac mini to be using say 40W then once you add an server grade multiple drive external device you're not really using less power than the Mac Pro as you're really only left 130W to the Mac Pro's consumption. The Mac Pro has a little over 1.5x variance to its max power consumption… which will either be to the Xeons or the GPU so basically we know that the Mac Pro's comsumption will actually remain rather static.

     

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're wrong but once everything is factored in to the carbon expenditure you might be surprised as to which is the truly more efficient solution.

  • haykong Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    No Worries Infinitie,

     

         Yeah It's interesting that you point that out on the current, Mac Mini 4-core server, but that's why I would like to wait for this coming up Mac Mini 4-core Server.

     

    I have the 2009 Macmini which is only a Dual-core which takes up less power at CPU MAX, but it takes up just a few watts more at idle.

     

     

    It would be interesting to see what the new Macmini's will be like in a few weeks.

     

     

    Here's one more thing I think that should be consider too.

     

    Dubtastic:

     

    How old are the hard drive in the Mac Pro? If the drives are 3 years old or older, I would highly consider replacing them if you stick with the Mac Pro as a server. This should also factor into the cost.

     

    At this point I would wait til next week when new Mac Mini's are out just to see cost, features etc...

  • dubtastic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Guys, some good points raised and some very interesting discussion material developing!

     

    To answer some of your questions haykong. The client/company in question is one I co-own, it's a small creative collective. We producing creative solutions across a range of media including print, online, social or whatever else floats the boat and works.

     

    This includes; Identity Design • Branding • Graphic design • Web Design • Hosting • Domain Names • Marketing Communications • Exhibition Graphics • Brochure Design • Advertising • Product Photography • Retouching • Social Media • Blogs • and just so much more…

     

    So yes, we use Adobe CS Design Premium, so a fair amount of Photoshop stuff with raw files, 16bit psds, tiffs/jpgs, InDesign documents, Illustrator ai/eps, Acrobat, Bridge, Dreamweaver etc. and all the other usual stuff that us creatives like to play around with. A lot of this content I would like to centralise and then browse/access through Adobe bridge.

     

    We use MS Office 2011 for individual calendars/address books (I would like to centralise this) and email (imap). It is majority mac environment, bu there are a couple of pcs and a android phone in use along with some iDevices.

     

    The iMac v Mac Pro question in terms of green thinking is interesting. I have always believed in the idea that reuse is better than recycle mantra, but I do not let it become a dogma to my thinking. Like infinite vortex says, I have a 'spare' Mac Pro which is why my thoughts initially turned to that, but I am open to choosing the right option for us in terms of short and the medium term.

     

    The drives avaiable are all used, but would be used in mirrored raid 1 configs, but I am lookin at getting maybe some new Western Digital Red enterprise 2TB drives to beef things up, I would prefer to over rather than under configure things, so that solutions should be somewhat future proof!

     

    New announcements re; new Mac minis will be eagerly looked forward to, although it is the Mac Pro range that is seriously overdue an update at the moment!

  • haykong Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    Here's some interesting info,

     

        Apple's a bit inconsistant on the definition of Max Power usage from one computer line to another.

     

    For the Mac Pro line, they define "CPU Max" is defined as running a compute-intensive test application that maximizes processor usage and therefore power consumption.

     

    For the Mac Mini line, they define "Max" is defined as the maximum possible power draw based on the computer's power supply rating.

     

    From what I read so far, the Mac Mini 2011 line doesn't draw more than 60watts(based on the CPU Max definition) I read it somewhere who used a cheap power meter. I don't know which configuration it is. And the Mac Mini late 2009 draws max 35watts in standard configuration which apple published it at one time.

     

    I guess the best way to measure  is to use a Kill-watt-meter to run tests when doing an intensive CPU task such as Photoshop rendering.

     

    So with this in mind, When you add more drives into a Mac Pro say 3 addition drives how much more power it will use during a max CPU session. 

     

    At least it would be an interesting thing to test.

     

    However, My point is in the end. The reason why I look at the idle power usuage as an important consideration is that there is going to be large chunks of time when the server will be idle for a typical office of max 5 users.  Note Idle is defined as when finder is doing nothing. This is an important consideration for especially after work hours.

     

    I know Idle power usage wouldn't matter as much for businesses that are very busy like amazon or websites that get constant traffic.  If you have a server that is constantly busy, then idle power means nothing.

     

    However for a business of 5 users and some web traffic and some mail traffic, idle power comsumption is a consideration especially after business hours.

     

    To keep power usage low the next step would be to look for low power backup drive solutions that use mobile drives or green drives like WD Green Desktop Series.

     

    On the other hand, If you have a business that involves of a lot of batch processing and rendering even after business hours than idle power means nothing.

     

    With Modern day Processors and power management systems, Power Comsumption is quite impressive these days.

     

    All these are important points that both Vortex, and I have brought up.

  • haykong Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    Yeah since you're more in the graphics design business that work with very large files then the Mac Pro would more suit your needs and going with the WD Enterprise drives is the way to go.

     

    Too bad the Mac Pro 2.66 can't run Mountain Lion server. I find Mac OS 10.8.2 with 2.1.1 Server app more stable working with a mixed PC environment that uses SMB 2.0 protocol.  However, that does not involve moving over very large files.

     

    I know with 10.7.4 Lion Server I had issues of SMBX where it wasn'[t too stable after a few day when Windows based computers won't be able to autheticate with Open Directory.

     

    I know with 10.6.8 Server I always had issues with ACL permissions because of the buggy older version of Samba.

     

    At least you can use the Mac Pro for now with Lion server and maybe a year get the new version of the Mac Pro sometime next year. Yes the current Mac Pro is so old now. I can't believe they haven't released a new model since 2010.

     

    Just to FYI you on regards about android phones with Android OS 4.1.1 and earlier. The built-in mail program does not support CRAM-M5.  You would have to use an alternative mail program such as K-9 Mail which supports CRAM-M5 Authentication  when connecting to Lion Mail server or  Mountain Lion Mail server.

     

    I don't know if they added support for CRAM-M5 for Android OS "Jellybean".

     

     

    As for Office 2011 for the Mac, Outlook 2011 does not support CalDAV or CardDAV which means you can't sync directly with Apple's Calendar and Addressbook Server.  However, you can have your Outlook contacts sync with Apple Addressbook.app then sync with the Addresbook Server.

     

    Since you company does also Product Photography, What camera setup do you guys have now? And what lighting system?

     

     

    Oh I have one more suggestion at least for now once you setup the server. Over the next year you should track your power usage on that server alone if there is a way and also how much of the time the computer is idle. At least in the server.app you can see the times your computer is idle and how much CPU processor it is using.

     

    I know Drobo is coming out with a Drobo Mini which will suit some markets.  Just thought I throw that out there.

  • infinite vortex Level 7 Level 7 (21,400 points)

    Yeah It's interesting that you point that out on the current, Mac Mini 4-core server, but that's why I would like to wait for this coming up Mac Mini 4-core Server.

     

    Hmmmm, barring a bump to the Ivy Bridge chipset, and what that brings, I'm not sure what one would expect out of a "new" Mac mini. If you look at the current MBP/MBA line-up we already know pretty much what to expect out of Apple. The only thing that would make me pause for a new Mac mini would actually be USB3.

     

    However, My point is in the end. The reason why I look at the idle power usuage as an important consideration is that there is going to be large chunks of time when the server will be idle for a typical office of max 5 users.  Note Idle is defined as when finder is doing nothing. This is an important consideration for especially after work hours.

     

    But the stated "idle" W usage could require that the drive(s) be powered down which will never happen on a server. I've tried to make it happen on mine and I just can make a drive spin down where I can with the client version. Like I mentioned earlier, without know what conditions gives say a 40W power comsumption the Mac mini may not be as "green" as one might think.

     

    And just as a side note, at $US100-200/hr cost on our combined time there's ANY cost difference just there.

  • dubtastic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I guess with any MacMini scenario, you would also need to take into account th power supplies of any additional external storage you needed to plug into it, which I assume would be at least partially negated with a Mac Pro, as any additional drives fitted internally would not equate to another power supply.

     

    BTW haykong; Product Photography is with a Canon 5D Mk2, and yes, the Drobo products do look interesting…

  • infinite vortex Level 7 Level 7 (21,400 points)

    Exactly. While a drive will use the same power no matter where it is with the same usage, what its in can vary in wattage quite a deal. Going external does come at a premium as the power supplies don't typically load balance as nicely as either the Mac Pro or the Mac mini, they're just on or off. Not to mention good external enclosures are very amply power rather than the more leanly powered enclosures of more consumer grade external.

     

    In any server/enterprise grade devices power uage is rarely the primary concern. Energy efficiency is nice to have but far from what comes first.

  • haykong Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    Yes, I understand what you both are saying, Just saying there needs to be a point where one should look into it for possible options what's out there in the market. I know there are server farms of Macmini's out there. I use to look at getting the most powerful computer that I can get. Now I'm looking a different greener solutions when replacing aging servers that don't need a lot of drive space.

     

    Vortex- as for hard drives spinning down. Drives spin fine on my Macmini server even when I connected a connect a docked hard drive for a few hours, it spins down that too when not in use.

     

    Dubtastic - Do you guys use Lightroom? or Aperture? I still prefer Aperture in processing and organizing wedding photos and be able to design wedding albums in the same program.  However, I am starting to get more tempted switching over to Lightroom 4.    Yeah at this point I shoot with 2x 5D mk II and a 40D as a backup camera. I need at least two camera's since I shoot excusively with prime lenses. I love my 85mm F1.2L and my 24mm F1.4L.. At times I use the 40D with the 70-200F2.8L and swap in a 16-35mm F2.8L to one of my 5D mk II.  At times, I would also use a Zylight Z90 with a small softbox when I want a bit more fill light for the bride and groom  or engagement shots at night.

  • infinite vortex Level 7 Level 7 (21,400 points)

    Just saying there needs to be a point where one should look into it for possible options what's out there in the market

     

    Why? If you discount the technical/OS reasons for choosing one or the other you're really only left with 3 areas of choice… 1) the physical 2) the financial and 3) the environmental.

     

    When it comes to the physical that's all pretty clear cut. The financial is also reasonably clear cut, to me at least. Unless a Mac mini solution can come in at well under 100W in total then the power difference is basically that of a single 60-80W light bulb. On a financial front I think you'd be hard pressed to find a location where that one light bulb will cost you $US1000+ over the course of 3 to 5 years.

     

    Finally there's the environmental. When you consider the environmental differences, I really find it hard to believe that the mining and manufacturing cost of the metals, platstics and rubber, let alone the packaging, in a Mac mini, plus the costs of either disposal or recycling of that Mac mini, and come to think of it, the shipping of that Mac mini, come to less than the environmental cost of an addition single light bulb's power usage. And, in a country like mine where 16%+ of the national power generation comes from wind farms, that's a pretty hard sell to say that even the robot that is used to etch out the Mac mini's case uses less overall power than that light bulb difference of power consumption. So now I'm wondering how much fossil fuel is required to ship that Mac mini from Shanghai to whereever??

     

    I'd really love you to be right here as that will leave me a lot of room to be better… but at the moment it really seems like your postition is not based on anything but a desire to make yourself feel better on an environmental front. My perspective is that the most environmentally friendly thing to do is to not need have a need of something in the first place.

     

    I know there are server farms of Macmini's out there.

     

    I'm sure there are too, but I'm not sure how that relates to someone with a workgroup of less than 10 that doesn't need even the one Mac mini?

     

    Now I'm looking a different greener solutions when replacing aging servers that don't need a lot of drive space.

     

    When the server needs replacing I full agree with you, finding the best solution is well worth it. However, I'm highly dubious that buying new is even remotely greener than using existing.

  • dubtastic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    On a slightly different tact, is it no longer possible to create a USB installer of OSX Lion Server? Do you have to download it from the App Store each time you want to install it?

     

    Does this mean you have to install Lion first and then run the Lion server installer afterwards? Can you not do a clean install of the Lion Server directly from a USB drive?

  • haykong Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    dubtastic wrote:

     

    On a slightly different tact, is it no longer possible to create a USB installer of OSX Lion Server? Do you have to download it from the App Store each time you want to install it?

     

    Does this mean you have to install Lion first and then run the Lion server installer afterwards? Can you not do a clean install of the Lion Server directly from a USB drive?

    Note: you need to buy Mac OS Lion and then buy the Lion Server.app which installs on top of Lion.

     

    have you downloaded lion yet before in the past?

     

    If not, then you should call

     

    Apple Phone Sales 1-800-692-7753

     

    However, I don't know the number if you are based outside of the US.

     

    Once you downloaded you can create the USB installer for lion and then drop the (virigin Server.app) on the USB drive as a backup.

     

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/how-to-create-a-bootable-backup-mountain-li on-install-disk/

     

     

    Once you have downloaded it. You can keep a backup up of it and install as many times you want on your computer.

     

     

    As for clean installs what OS do you plan on upgrading from?  Note to download lion now you have to do it from a computer that has Mac OS 10.6.8 and then you can install it on older computers that don't have 10.6.8 on it, but I recommend that you do a clean install especially on those older computers that have OS 10.5.x and older and then migrate your data that you have backed up.

     

    Hopefully, I answered your questions.

     


  • infinite vortex Level 7 Level 7 (21,400 points)

    On a slightly different tact, is it no longer possible to create a USB installer of OSX Lion Server? Do you have to download it from the App Store each time you want to install it?

     

    Does this mean you have to install Lion first and then run the Lion server installer afterwards? Can you not do a clean install of the Lion Server directly from a USB drive?

     

    It depends on what sort of installer you'e wanting to make and how large you want it to be, as in what size USB flash drive you're wanting to use. There's no way to create a full OS X Lion Server installer that doesn't not require a download of any kind. Unfortunately I've never come across the ability to install the Server Components without doing the (approx.) 700MB download each time.

     

    You can still either make a standard Lion installer upon which you do the Server install from the App Store (this requires about a 5.5GB partition) else you can create an actual running Lion Server partition (the Server Components need to be installed for this to work) from which you run a pre-downloaded App Store Lion installer. By doing the latter you can install Server as part of the Lion client install (it's presented as a checkbox option) although the 700MB download of the Server Components still occurs. Also, doing the latter you do go straight to a Server setup rather than doing a client post-install setup which might be instersting for those that do many Server installs.

     

    FWIW I do the former as it doesn't require around a 16GB to 20GB flash drive partition (for the running OS X plus installer) and given the Server Components are downloaded whichever way there's no real point to saving a 40MB download for Server.app itself that installs the Components.

     

    As for what OS X version Lion/Lion Server can be installed from, while upgrades can only occur over 10.6.8 (I believe it'll work over 10.6.6 or 10.6.7 but 10.6.8 is best) else any prior version of 10.7 (so if you're installing 10.7.5 that means over 10.7.0 to 10.7.4), I'm actually not sure if a pre-downloaded Lion installer will work when booted from anything earlier than a qualifying 10.6.x if you're trying to install to an empty partition. It's just something I've never tried. Lion will definitely not install when booted into Mountain Lion.

  • haykong Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    infinite vortex wrote:

     

    It depends on what sort of installer you'e wanting to make and how large you want it to be, as in what size USB flash drive you're wanting to use. There's no way to create a full OS X Lion Server installer that doesn't not require a download of any kind. Unfortunately I've never come across the ability to install the Server Components without doing the (approx.) 700MB download each time.

     

    Oh yeah I forgot, that the Lion Server.app has to download a bit since Server.app is only 38MB before it starts the download.

     

    Yeah ML Server 2.1.1.app is about 360MB

     

     

     

    infinite vortex wrote:

     

    I'm actually not sure if a pre-downloaded Lion installer will work when booted from anything earlier than a qualifying 10.6.x if you're trying to install to an empty partition. It's just something I've never tried. Lion will definitely not install when booted into Mountain Lion.

     

    If you downloaded the Lion Installer.app you can make a bootable Image out from the image that's embedded  in the Lion Installer.app.

     

    Yeah it's not a problem at all to boot from a USB Image of it and install Lion on a freshly formated HD as long as it's a computer that Lion Supports