Hardware Recommendation - NAS vs Mac Mini

Hi all:

We recently upgraded the family computer and I have the opportunity to “upgrade” the family server currently being run on a QNAP NAS (HS-251+ - essentially A fanless version of the TS-251+ with 2GB of non-upgradable RAM) to a mid-2012 Mac Mini i7 2.3 GHz with 16GB of RAM. If I switched, I would redo the 8TB RAID system I currently have in the NAS in an external USB 3.0 RAID case (OWC) I currently own. The only thing we really use the server for is Channels and Plex, with minor amounts of transcoding and/or remote access. With the Mac mini, the use case would be the same (this would not be used on a regular basis for anything other than a server; the option is if I don’t use it as a server I will either bring it into the lab for re-purposing or will resell). I feel like the older mini might future proof me, but feels like using a sledgehammer when all I really need is a flyswatter, specifically when it comes to power draw for my use case. Loads on the current NAS are around 1.2-1.4 at idle and ramp up to 3+ under moderate load. Definitely would appreciate input, particularly from folks who have/use similar hardware. Thanks in advance!

If you have an extra Mac Mini then I recommend just using that. You could always just run the Channels DVR server on there for a while and see how you like it.

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