PC Magazine reviews Apple Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server: Editors’ Choice

Apple Online Store“With the Apple Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server (US$999, list), the sort of flawless design and ease of use we expect from Apple comes to a space that usually offers neither: the server market. Apple’s home/SMB server is strong on looks and drop-dead simplicity (for a server, anyhow) and, as you’d expect, less so on tricky functionality such as integration with Windows Active Directory,” Samara Lynn reports for PC Magazine. “The resulting machine isn’t for heavy-processing workloads, such as a database or e-commerce server with a lot of daily transactions. It’s best employed as a Web server and e-mail server or for daily business processes (such as file and printer sharing). If that suits your home or SMB, this elegant little server is a great choice for a small network or workgroup that is all Apple-based or mixed with Windows 7 or XP machines. I’m impressed; I’m also impressed with OS X Leopard Server.”

“Apple gets a lot of criticism for its prices, but that doesn’t apply here. For a starting price of $999, you get the Mac mini and unlimited client licenses; Windows SBS costs $1,089 (for Standard edition), and doesn’t include client licenses (connecting five additional devices or users to the server requires that you cough up an additional $385),” Lynn reports. “The unlimited client licenses bundled with the Mac mini server are a great value for small businesses. If you are not going the OEM/reseller route, and choose to install SBS on a bare bones server, then you have to factor in hardware costs. A typical SMB server like the Asus Server TS500-E6/P4 ($699.00 direct, ) which is sold bare bones, runs $713 bucks—an additional cost. That’s nearly $2,200 to get set up for five licenses, versus the Mac mini’s $1K, for unlimited licenses. That’s a great deal from Apple.”

Apple Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is “one of the most aesthetically beautiful business servers we’ve ever seen, this tiny, peppy machine makes for a quiet desktop server that’s perfect for light-duty home and SMB server tasks,” Lynn reports.

Read the full review here.


  1. “…this elegant little server is a great choice for a small network or workgroup that is all Apple-based or mixed with Windows 7 or XP machines.”

    Wow. It’s like Vista never existed.

  2. Perhaps a Mac mini Server would make a great home media storage unit for the next “Just one more thing” from Steve Jobs. An iDVR device or just a Mac mini with a cable input (and some software) would be the next Apple product I would pick up. Or we could just store it up on that BILLION DOLLAR SERVER FARM you all finished up this year.

    Everyone in the family has the other Mac stuff and got that 2nd iPad 3G yesterday. Our iPhone 4s are on the way. So Steve, drag that next thing out of the lab and lets get on with slapping down Google’s jump into TV!

  3. With an HDMI output, is it safe to drop kick the AppleTV into the history books as an Apple underachiever?

    If only the mini had a BluRay Disk and DVR software, it would be great as a home multimedia server.

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