It’s been about 3 months since I purchased and upgraded rubyninja to the lasted Apple Mac Mini, and I must say my new mid 2010 Mac Mini computer completely blows away my previous 1.6 GHz Core Duo 2006 Mac Mini model. With a 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, this is by far my most powerful computer. Upgrading the memory from the factory 2GB to 8GB of RAM (Crucial) also helped increase performance. Immediatly after getting my new Mac Mini online, I downloaded VirtualBox and restored my previous state of rubyninja.net to a CentOS VirtualBox instance, in addition of installing new instances of CentOS, RHEL, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD and Windows Server 2003.
At less than $700.00 (including the 8GB RAM upgrade), I think a Mac Mini is a really good investment for anyone wanting to have a reliable computer that you want to have function as a hypervisor for testing or development. The only downside to the Mac Mini is Mac OS X Lion it self. I’ve read plenty of horror stories on how Lion is Apple’s equivalent of Windows Vista, but man; though when using the Mac Mini, 99% of the time I’m using the Linux/Unix VirtualBox instances. The other 1% percent of the time I’m using Lion, is through the built-in VNC server that Lion ships with, and I have to say it is an absolute pile of shit or nicer words, it is simply broken (which is an known issue). Thus said, at least on the hardware side of things, having used Apple Mac Mini computers as servers for almost 8 years now, I’m expecting my new computer to be rock solid for plenty years to come.