Normally, the answer to my question would be: “The fastest one you can afford.”
But two things are weighing against that:
1. I’m considering a Mac Mini primarily as a media server that would need to run Plex and HDHomerun, which grabs over-the-air tv signals. This would connect into a new cat6 ethernet network in our under-construction home addition. most, but not all of the Plex delivery will be over ethernet, with a bit of eero in our old bedroom and in the living room.
2. I’m convinced that the first Apple Silicon hardware will be a Mac Mini. It’s not a crucial piece of hardware in the marketplace but it’s flexible enough for the very early adopters to want to play with.
#2 is meaningless, honestly, other than my anticipated buyer’s remorse when the next Mac Minis are announced.
But, here’s the question: Can I get away with an i3, or do I need to step up? The only other job this headless computer would need to do would be serve as a central point for in-house computer-to-computer backups and, then, as the primary backup point for Backblaze. Lots of network traffic, not a lot of CPU-intensive work.
Thanks for your ideas!