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Apple Mac Mini MC438LL/A Server (OLD VERSION)

by Apple
15 customer reviews
| 4 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
  • 4 GB of 1066MHz DDR3 memory
  • Dual 500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA hard Drives
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M Graphics
  • Mac OS
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Product Description

Product Description

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server allows customers to bring a server into their small business or departmental workgroup. It's a complete solution that comes preloaded with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, and it's the easiest way to set up and deploy a server to support Mac and Windows clients as well as iPads and iPhones. And because it includes an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server, you'll pay no additional client license fees as your organization grows.

Mac mini features an all-new, 1.4-inch-thin aluminum enclosure. It's called the unibody - a seamless enclosure carved from a single, solid block of aluminum. The unibody construction was originally developed for Apple's MacBook Pro. It's created using computer numerical control, or CNC, machines - the same kind used by the aerospace industry to build mission-critical spacecraft components. This ensures absolute precision of every component of the Mac mini enclosure. Not to mention a stunning aluminum fit and finish that will make any desk proud. NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB DDR3 Shared Video Memory Built-in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (802.11n) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) Ethernet with support for jumbo frames Audio - Built-in speaker, combined Optical Digital audio input/audio line in, combined optical digital audio output/headphone out Ports - 4 x USB 2.0, FireWire 800, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI (via adapter), RJ-45, SD card slot Approximate Unit Dimensions (HxWxD) - 1.4 x 7.7 x 7.7 inches Approximate Unit Weight - 2.8 pounds

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. This is big for small business.

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is specifically designed to be a server. There are two 500 GB 7200-rpm hard drives with plenty of storage to help your group work more efficiently. It comes with unlimited client licenses. And you can access and swap files quickly and securely between Mac computers and PCs. Easily create full-featured wikis and high-quality podcasts. And automatically back up all your important data.

Apple Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server
The redesigned Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server (see larger image).

This version of the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server (model MC438LL/A) features a faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor and next-generation NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics as well as 4 GB of RAM (expandable to 8 GB) and dual 500 GB hard drives (see full specifications below). It comes pre-loaded with Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server operating system--offering 64-bit power and up to twice as fast as its predecessor.

Free Upgrade to OS X Lion Server

This Mac comes pre-installed with OS X Snow Leopard Server, but you can order a free upgrade to OS X Lion Server via Apple's OS X Lion Server Up-To-Date program for a limited time (depending on the date of your purchase).

OS X Lion
Purchased Between June 6 and July 20, 2011

If you purchased a new Mac with OS X Snow Leopard Server from Amazon between these dates, you must enter your order from the Apple Online Store by August 19, 2011.

Purchased After July 21, 2011

If you purchased a new Mac with OS X Snow Leopard Server from Amazon after the official OS X Lion Server release date (on or after July 21, 2011), you must enter your order within 30 days of the date of your purchase.

Learn more about the OS X Lion Server Up-To-Date Program and enter your order at

Key Features

Serve It Up

The Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is a great choice for sharing files, calendars, and e-mail amongst users in a workgroup or small business--whether it be on a Mac, an iPad, or an iPhone. It replaces the SuperDrive found on the standard Mac min with two 500 GB hard drives (for a 1 TB total), providing a wealth of storage for active files as well as backing up all your important data using Time Machine. And Snow Leopard Server is easy enough to run even by people who have never thought of running server software before.

Small Footprint, Excellent Versatility

Featuring a new unibody construction, the Mac mini reduces its footprint over its predecessor by 20 percent. It even houses its own integrated power supply into the 7.7-inch square aluminum enclosure (that's also 1.4 inches thin)--eliminating the need for an external power brick (as the previous version of the Mac mini had). Additionally, the Mac mini helps contain your environmental footprint with a 10 watt power consumption--a 25 percent reduction from the previous generation.

But despite its smaller size, the Mac mini offers a full range of ports for connecting to your existing peripherals--from keyboards and mice to external hard drives and displays (now via the HDMI port). And when you're ready to add more memory, the Mac mini's bottom removable panel makes the upgrade process a breeze.

Apple Mac mini Server with display and peripherals
Just add your own display, keyboard, and mouse--such as the Apple Cinema Display, Wireless Keyboard, and Magic Mouse (not included; see larger image).


Apple Mac mini ports
A full range of ports, including HDMI video output and SD card slot (see larger image).
Intel Core 2 Duo Processing

Combining fast processing speeds with power-saving features, the Intel Core 2 Duo processor provides greater multitasking performance by combining two independent processor cores while also reducing power requirements and saving on battery life. This Intel Core 2 Duo processor has a 2.66 GHz processor speed, speedy 1066 MHz front-side bus (FSB), and 3 MB L2 cache. (An L2, or secondary, cache temporarily stores data; and a larger L2 cache can help speed up your system's performance. The FSB carries data between the CPU and RAM, and a faster front-side bus will deliver better overall performance.)

High Performance Graphics

Powered by the NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics card, the Mac mini allows you to view flawless video in full screen HD and play the latest games with fast frame rate. It's a great match to editing video masterpieces with iMovie and managing your photos in iPhoto, and it comes with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM that's shared with main memory.

Key Specifications

  • Fast 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor helps you breeze through everyday tasks such as emailing, web browsing, and working with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in iWork or Microsoft Office for Mac (both sold separately).
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor (with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory) for an outstanding everyday graphics experience.
  • Dual 500 GB hard drives (7200 RPM)
  • 4 GB installed RAM (1066 MHz DDR3; supports up to 8 GB)
  • Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible)
  • Gigabit Ethernet wired networking (10/100/1000BASE-T)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and cell phones.
  • Four USB 2.0 ports
  • One FireWire 800 port
  • HDMI audio/video output with support for up to 1920-by-1200 resolution and multichannel audio output (included adapter for DVI output).
  • Mini DisplayPort video output with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution (optional adapter for VGA output).
  • Combined optical digital output/headphone output (also includes line-in/microphone jack)
  • Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
What's in the Box

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server; power cord; HDMI to DVI Adapter; install/restore DVDs; printed and electronic documentation

Limited Warranty And Service

The Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a 1-year limited warranty, which can be extended to 3 years with the AppleCare Protection Plan.

AppleCare Protection Plan

AppleCare Protection Plan

Because Apple makes the hardware, the operating system, and many applications, the Mac is a truly integrated system. And only the AppleCare Protection Plan gives you one-stop service and support from Apple experts, so most issues can be resolved in a single call. Extend the complimentary service and support on your Mac to 3 years from the original Mac purchase date with the AppleCare Protection Plan. You get direct telephone access to Apple experts for technical questions, and you get global repair coverage--including both parts and labor--for your Mac and select Apple peripherals.

Optional Accessories and Related Products

Time Capsule

Time Capsule
Back up a lifetime's worth of memories with Time Capsule, a wireless hard drive that works seamlessly with Time Machine in Mac OS X. It's also a full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi base station with simultaneous dual-band support. Choose from 1 TB and 2 TB models.

AirPort Extreme Base Station

AirPort Extreme Base Station
Speed, range, and easy setup make AirPort Extreme the perfect wireless solution for home, school, and small business. It offers simultaneous dual-band support and lets up to 50 people share Internet access, a wireless network, a hard drive, and a printer.


Apple MacBook Air SuperDrive
Compact and convenient, the MacBook Air SuperDrive connects to your Mac mini with a single USB cable and fits easily into a travel bag. It lets you install software and play and burn both CDs and DVDs, including double-layer DVDs.

Cinema Display

27-inch Apple LED Cinema Display
The stunning 2560-by-1440 resolution, built-in camera and speakers, and easy connectivity of the 27-inch Apple LED Cinema Display add up to a viewing experience unlike any other.

Apple Magic Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse
Magic Mouse is unlike any other mouse you've ever used. The Multi-Touch surface lets you use gestures to swipe through photos and scroll down web pages. And the entire mouse is the button, so you can click anywhere.

Apple Magic Trackpad

Apple Magic Trackpad
Magic Trackpad is the first Multi-Touch trackpad designed to work with your Mac desktop computer, and it supports a full set of gestures. Click, scroll, swipe, and rotate to control what's onscreen. Use it along with your mouse or as an alternative to one.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Apple Wireless Keyboard
The sleek aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard lets you type in front of your computer, on your lap, or anywhere within range. It's also incredibly thin and streamlined, so it sits on your desk surrounded by nothing but glorious space.

Apple Remote Desktop 3

Apple Remote Desktop 3
Apple Remote Desktop 3 is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and automate routine management tasks--all without leaving your desk.

Product Information

Expand all Collapse all Technical Details
Processor2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM4 GB so-dimm
Hard Drive500 GB
Brand NameApple
SeriesMac Mini
Item model numberMC438LL/A
Hardware PlatformMac
Operating SystemMac OSX 10.3 Panther
Processor BrandIntel
Processor Count2
Computer Memory TypeSDRAM
Hard Drive InterfaceSerial ATA
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank #21,909 in Computers & Accessories (See top 100)
Shipping Weight5.2 pounds
Domestic Shipping Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Date First AvailableJune 15, 2010
Warranty & Support Return Policy: You may return any new computer purchased from that is "dead on arrival," arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. reserves the right to test "dead on arrival" returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, is missing parts, or is in unsellableRead more condition due to customer tampering will result in the customer being charged a higher restocking fee based on the condition of the product. will not accept returns of any desktop or notebook computer more than 30 days after you receive the shipment. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Brian Stucki on June 18, 2010
Verified Purchase
It's been a few days since these were announced and we've already installed 30 of them here at Macminicolo. (We host them as servers in our data center.) Here is what you need to know:

1) The image above is not correct (as of 6/18/10). This mini does not have an optical drive and instead has two hard drives. You can use optical drives of other Macs on your network though.

2) The two drives total 1TB. YOu can use them separate or in RAID configurations. New in this version are the 7200RPM drives (up from 5400 in the last version.

3) Apple now officially supports 8GB of RAM in these minis. Eight GB was unofficially supported in the last version, but did work fine.

4) These minis are quiet, don't get hot, and use hardly any power. Amazing build and design went into this machine.

5) If you buy this mini and want to upgrade the RAM, Apple has made it very easy. Just twist the bottom and put in the RAM. No tools required.

6) This Mac mini comes with an unlimited license of Snow Leopard Server. No yearly seat costs, not license per user. Totally unlimited.

7) The SD card slot can read SDXC. That's not a big deal now,but will definitely be so in the future. That standard can support up to 2TB. So, as that technology comes, this mini will be future proof. (In Theory, this means you could have 3TB of data in this mini. Incredible.)

8) The video card has been upgraded and is a great addition.

9) The power brick is now inside the Mac mini. (It used to be a huge white brick nearly the size of the mini itself.) This is very much welcome.
So overall, great machine. Nice to see the nice new look.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ziontrain on August 28, 2010
I bought this Mac Mini Server basically because it was the quietest machine I could find that could also function as a HTPC/media player into my TV ( a projector actually). I could have bought the regular version but chose the server edition so that I could get a full 1TB of storage space, which allows me to also use this a as a quiet NAS for my home network.

Now I'm not really a computer geek but I liked the convenience this thing could offer. Setting it up wasn't easy but with some reading the manual as well as some guides on setting up OSX server I was able to succesfully set it up to play to my TV was well as to link up to the home network on my router so it can network with the three laptops we have in the house running Windows 7. So in that sense it doable for the average user, but you do have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and learn a bit about networking and server management. It's not stuff I knew about before - but I sure do now. That said, in all fairness the server control panel on this Mac Mini Server is a lot more user friendly than on my Windows server.

I wanted to control the Mac Mini server without having to turn on the projector that it feeds. I found that I could do this with a software called a VNC client. I use one by Mocha. I works perfectly well. As a backup to that I have a wireless Mac keyboard and trackpad, as well as an iphone VNC client. I would caution that the iphone VNC client is really mostly a gimmick, as the screen is very small and its really more useful for just checking that all is well than actually doing anything heavy duty. For real work the laptop-based VNC client is far better.

With the server set up with VLC media player and Plex, this box has replaced both my Squeezebox music and my Popcorn hour media player.
Read more ›
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ruben Lopez on August 17, 2010
Verified Purchase
This is an amazing little box. I replaced a big loud HP server at my home office with the mac mini server in about a day. Not only am I able to host a site using Apache, PHP, and MySQL but I was able to install Windows Server 2008 using Parallels and host sites using IIS, ASP.NET, and MS Sql Server at the same time. You can get the best of both worlds using this server. I used Apple's USB ethernet adapter (which you can find on Amazon) to give the virtualized Windows Server it's own network interface so I can treat it as a completely separate entity on the firewall.

So far it's been running just fine with the 4 gigs of RAM but you do have the option to upgrade to 8 later if you need to.

I highly recommend this server to anyone who needs one at a home/small office. Even if you need to run Windows Server, this little box can handle it.

I do not recommend this for the average user, stick to the regular mac mini if you do not need a server.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brad Marx on January 17, 2011
Verified Purchase
Of course, another wonderful product from Apple. We use it for hosting Subversion repos, file serving, VPN connections, and so on. It handles all of these tasks beautifully. The remote Server Tools and built-in screen sharing making it a joy to run this machine headless. And like many have said before, Remote Disc is as easy as you could possibly want borrowing another machine's CD/DVD drive to be.

But I do have some complaints.

For starters, it's pretty chilly in the office since replacing the old server and I don't like the cold. Not one bit. The old server put off so much heat that it did a good bit to combat the draftiness of our giant-windowed office. If we did get cold, we could go sit by the server and warm ourselves up. Or we could just run some crypto to really get it generating some BTUs. Not so with the Mac Mini--it's barely warm to the touch.

Second, it's far too quiet. In fact, it doesn't make any noise at all. Sometimes I freak out and think "OMG, is our server still on?!" Then, I open up a Web page it's serving or access a file on one of its bountiful hard drives, and breathe a sigh of relief. But still, those momentary freak-outs can't be good for my heart. I'm not twenty anymore.

Lastly, it's barely larger than our router. Sitting over there with the rest of the networking equipment, one might confuse it for a common network appliance. Come on! It's our server--it should look menacing and massive. If thieves broke in, they might not even think to steal it. "Oh, what's that over there?" said Bob Thief. "That's just the modem and stuff; they give that stuff to you," replied Roger Thief.

Long story short, the Mac Mini server version is a fantastic machine but don't count on it to keep the office warm.
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