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Need help finding cost effective mac

So…im a studio owner run ex server grade kit on the pc side and am fluent, have basic operating knowledge on the linux kenral side (enough to get by) and am fluent enough to use all the mac os stuff ( as afterall my early home computing with universal binary then ppc mac stuff)…

Nowadays i run all my small setup virtual networked and on win 10 pro for all its faults…in my ‘physically ringfenced’ closed environment its fine.

However dads struggling… my dad is a ex Royal Marine Commando, section leader, winner of the coverted ‘kings badge’ and worked at the jhighest levels of strategic clearance… this year however, he and therefore we are struggling…we run a small business in the events industry now and have just had our entire seasons calender wiped out by anti virous measures.

dad wants to be able to ramp up business from home but… he has only a crappy dual core 2011 mini mac.

and an old ppc dual (irrelevant)
we have no money to just buy him an upgrade… and he will not move over to pc…

he also uses an iphone an there fore cant do a straight swap to a hackingtosh…

so i have a theory and therefore questions…

i can build him a nice 8 core 16thread quad channel x79 (headless box)… could i install that say undeer the stairs, run it as a headless hakingtosh (sortve server) and then use the existing mac mini as a thin client style device to access it and also give use of usb network airdrop etc???

Hi, it’s a bit hard to make out; what exactly does your father require?

Setting up a computer under the stairs sounds like a cool project, and if it can cover the workload, then great!
I am not sure why having a type of phone would influence a type of computer, unless it is an indicator that the Mac system is t he only one he feels comfortable using?
I’m not really an Apple guy, but hackingtoshes seem to be in the rise lately, with hits and misses abound

Please choose more appropriate thread titles because the current one doesn’t say anything for outsiders.

As for the topic, I skimmed through your post but just as @Trooper_Ish I couldn’t really make out what exactly your question is. You describe your current situation and that of your father, but don’t actually state what your issue is and/or what your father wants from his system.

As for the headless box, theoretically? Sure. Practically? Probably a lot of work.

Just get a second hand/refurbished mac for him, or fix the existing one, drop in an SSD and see if it makes sense adding ram, this time either setup time machine (using your Linux skills) and go setup carbon copy cloner to make periodic snapshots (ccc can make/maintain bootable snapshots).

Next, consider having things you need on less than a days notice in the cloud/synced to phone or similar. That’s because it takes a few hours to get a running Mac machine out of thin air when you have backups, round it up to a day.

Also, please rename the topic to “need a cheap reliable mac solution for dad” or similar.


with almost any computer and os adding ram almost always sees a major benefit in performance
whether is windows mac or linux.
be aware of the upper limits of the os and the software you use when it comes to memory though or you end up wasting money for ram that does nothing but sit there.

quite often Ive seen improvements in older systems (pc) by adding a good video card with its own cache of memory will free up mobo resources for use by the os.
with most newer graphics card having their own gpu and cache it takes a load off the processor and you can notice the difference in performance.

anyhow finding the specs of the equipment can give you some insight on how and where you can make improvements.

Im not a mac user but I do get some in the shop from time to time. and I honestly can say the ppc is like a sherman tank! very solid and quite a dependable machine, and they make one hell of a server.

If you are talking about the powermac G5, yeah it’s solid. Same thing for the mac pro that were based on that chassis. I’m writing this on a 2009 model.

Really depends on what he’s doing. As an audio appliance in a studio it probably wouldn’t hurt to run Mojave because of 32bit support. For general purpose computing, especially thinking about security, something newer would be more appropriate. Any kind of imac comes to mind. (just get one with polaris graphics at least)