For some time now, I have been running an old 2012 Mac Mini as an HTPC that streams content from my HP ProLiant G7 MicroServer via plex, and my MicroServer also acts as a NAS for several things. Both of these systems are failing me, but not in a major way, yet.
My Mac Mini has developed some unsavory issues that are becoming detrimental to the previously perfect HTPC setup it once was. It has its uses outside of being an HTPC as it has Logic Pro installed on it, so I can create rough drafts for my music, but it rarely gets used for that these days. But the issues that have cropped up are really starting to get on my nerves. For a start, the WiFi drops out at seemingly random times with no indication as to when it will happen or if it has happened. This can be super annoying when your binge-watching a show and in the middle of a tense episode the WiFi craps out, leading you on a whole season’s worth of time trying to diagnose the issue before you even think to check the WiFi icon in the top bar. The other issue is a way bigger problem as the screen likes to turn green when in full-screen view whilst watching media in both applications and in browsers.
My HomeServer isn’t so bad as it doesn’t exactly have anything wrong with it, it all works fine, or fine when used purely as a NAS. As mentioned, the MicroServer is the single-core, 2.0GHz powerhouse that runs my Plex server which streams up to 4K content around my house with the help of the GTX 670 to assist with encoding. I know, raw energy flows through this system. Well, actually it doesn’t run too well when running 4K content, often taking a while to pull data from the 12TB worth of storage drives, or when two different movies are being streamed to different TVs.
I’m thinking that if both can survive into the new year, it may be time to get an upgrade. I have an old GTX1080 GPU lying around gathering dust, and I buy a bog-standard motherboard to run an Intel Core i3 – 11100 with 16GB of RAM, in a nice little microserver type case with hot-swappable drive bays. I’ll have to see what I can come up with. As for the Mac Mini replacement, I can build another i3 or Ryzen 3 or Ryzen 5 system, something that won’t be too powerful as I can stream games through Steam, but I would like to be able to emulate PS2 games at higher resolutions, which I won’t be able to do through Steam.
BONUS: The little black feet on my MacBook Pro have also fallen off in the last week, so I’ve ordered some new ones. The MacBook itself is fine, although I’m still a little bummed out that I can’t upgrade to macOS Monterey.
Obviously, with all of the shortages in the tech world, these ideas are purely aethereal until I’m actually ready to start planning. I’ll most likely Tweet about it, so follow me up for more tech chat like how I removed a charred DVD drive from a computer because the MOLEX to SATA converter caught fire, as they do.