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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:01 AM   #1
jaminor
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Using iMac as Display for Mac mini

This is my first post.

BACKGROUND: I want to use my iMac 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (2009 model) as the display for the Mac mini 2.3 GHz 2012 model I am planning to purchase. My iMac has 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Firewire 800 port and 1 Mini Display port. I use the Firewire 800 port for my external 1 TB hard drive and want to dedicate the Firewire 800 port for the external hard drive. The Mac mini has 1 Firewire 800 port, 1 HDMI port, 1 Thunderbolt port and 4 USB 3.0 ports.

QUESTION: Can I use my iMac as the display for the Mac mini? If yes, what cable do I need? Does anyone have experience with doing this, and, if so, how has it worked? Are some cables for this setup better then others, and what is the best one to purchase?

Thanks for your responses . . .

Jim
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:11 AM   #2
martinm0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminor View Post
This is my first post.

BACKGROUND: I want to use my iMac 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (2009 model) as the display for the Mac mini 2.3 GHz 2012 model I am planning to purchase. My iMac has 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Firewire 800 port and 1 Mini Display port. I use the Firewire 800 port for my external 1 TB hard drive and want to dedicate the Firewire 800 port for the external hard drive. The Mac mini has 1 Firewire 800 port, 1 HDMI port, 1 Thunderbolt port and 4 USB 3.0 ports.

QUESTION: Can I use my iMac as the display for the Mac mini? If yes, what cable do I need? Does anyone have experience with doing this, and, if so, how has it worked? Are some cables for this setup better then others, and what is the best one to purchase?

Thanks for your responses . . .

Jim
This should work, though I don't have these machines to verify. You will want to connect the Mini to the iMac using a Mini Displayport cable (not a Thunderbolt cable). They have the same connectors, but due to the iMac not supporting Thunderbolt, I believe it requires the use of the MDP cable. I'd look at Amazon or Monoprice for one of these (just check the reviews on Amazon to find a quality cable.)

Also, HDMI only supports up to 1080p resolution (sans the new 4k tech), so you really don't want to use any HDMI to MDP cables as you'll not get the 2560/1440 resolution that the iMac can support.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:27 AM   #3
jaminor
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Is this what I need? A Mini DisplayPort (male) to HDMI Adapter Cable (male)?
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:32 AM   #4
TRAV9614
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No you just need a simple mini display port cable. MDP(male) to MDP(male).
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:39 AM   #5
jaminor
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I don't think the mini Display Port (male) to mini Display Port (male) will work. The iMac has a mini Display Port but the new Mac mini does not. I've looked at the ports for the new Mac mini - no mini Display Port on the one I will be purchasing.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:51 AM   #6
jmcgeejr
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Originally Posted by jaminor View Post
I don't think the mini Display Port (male) to mini Display Port (male) will work. The iMac has a mini Display Port but the new Mac mini does not. I've looked at the ports for the new Mac mini - no mini Display Port on the one I will be purchasing.
Thunderbolt is backwards compatible with display port, you are going to want to put the imac into target display mode to use it with the mini.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:18 AM   #7
jaminor
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After further search I found the following information . . .

Can I connect a Mini DisplayPort monitor or monitor using a Mini DisplayPort adapter to a Thunderbolt port on my Thunderbolt-equipped Mac?

Yes. A Mini DisplayPort display or a display connecting with a Mini DisplayPort to VGA, DVI, or HDMI adapter will work just like it was connecting to a Mini DisplayPort connector when plugging in directly to the Thunderbolt connector on your Apple computer. Click here for more information on Mini DisplayPort connections and adapters.

So I gather that the solution is to use a Mini DisplayPort connector to Mini DisplayPort connector from my iMac Display Port to my mac Mini Thunderbolt port. Is this correct?
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:01 PM   #8
minifridge1138
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Won't the iMac have to be booted in order to use it as a display?
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:04 PM   #9
jaminor
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Thanks for your help. I know what to do now.

Thanks again,

Jim
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 06:46 PM   #10
colinwil
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Originally Posted by minifridge1138 View Post
Won't the iMac have to be booted in order to use it as a display?
No - you can toggle the iMac's display between the iMac and the Mac Mini by pressing cmd-F2. No rebooting required.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 06:59 PM   #11
colinwil
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So I gather that the solution is to use a Mini DisplayPort connector to Mini DisplayPort connector from my iMac Display Port to my mac Mini Thunderbolt port. Is this correct?
Yes - that's correct. It won't work the other way round (MDP mini to thunderbolt iMac), but Thunderbolt mini to MDP iMac will work fine with an MDP to MDP lead.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 07:04 PM   #12
minifridge1138
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No - you can toggle the iMac's display between the iMac and the Mac Mini by pressing cmd-F2. No rebooting required.
I didn't say the iMac would have to be rebooted.
I said booted; as in the iMac would have to be on and running OS X. You can't turn on just the monitor portion of the iMac.

I see situations where this could be useful. But if you really just want the iMac for its screen, then it seems much more effective to sell the iMac and buy a display.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:27 PM   #13
chrise2
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I had the 2010 iMac and you could only use it as a display on the 27" model. The 21.5" model I had would not support this.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 07:56 PM   #14
leandrogp13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminor View Post
This is my first post.

BACKGROUND: I want to use my iMac 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (2009 model) as the display for the Mac mini 2.3 GHz 2012 model I am planning to purchase. My iMac has 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Firewire 800 port and 1 Mini Display port. I use the Firewire 800 port for my external 1 TB hard drive and want to dedicate the Firewire 800 port for the external hard drive. The Mac mini has 1 Firewire 800 port, 1 HDMI port, 1 Thunderbolt port and 4 USB 3.0 ports.

QUESTION: Can I use my iMac as the display for the Mac mini? If yes, what cable do I need? Does anyone have experience with doing this, and, if so, how has it worked? Are some cables for this setup better then others, and what is the best one to purchase?

Thanks for your responses . . .

Jim

Hi Jim, have you done it already? did any of this options worked? I want to do exactly the same thing and I was wondering if you made it.

Thanks in advance,

Leandro
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 02:12 PM   #15
FreakinEurekan
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Originally Posted by leandrogp13 View Post
Hi Jim, have you done it already? did any of this options worked? I want to do exactly the same thing and I was wondering if you made it.

Thanks in advance,

Leandro
It will work with any 27" iMac, or with mid-2011 and newer 21.5" iMacs. can't be done with the plastic (white) iMacs. Details here:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3924
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Old Aug 12, 2014, 11:46 AM   #16
skeetr
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iMac 2007 version display for mac mini

It looks like I'm close.
I have an iMac 2007 version that has miniDVI for the display port.
and a 2 year old Mac mini with thunderbolt or HDMI out.

is there such a connector as a miniDVI male to Mini DisplayPort male?
would this work?

would this old imac support that?

Many thanks folks
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Old Aug 12, 2014, 12:23 PM   #17
wlossw
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Any questions about which models support target display mode can be answered by this support article at apple:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924
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Old Aug 12, 2014, 02:35 PM   #18
paulrbeers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeetr View Post
It looks like I'm close.
I have an iMac 2007 version that has miniDVI for the display port.
and a 2 year old Mac mini with thunderbolt or HDMI out.

is there such a connector as a miniDVI male to Mini DisplayPort male?
would this work?

would this old imac support that?

Many thanks folks
No. The only Macs that support Target Display mode are the 27" iMacs from 2009 - Today and the 21" iMacs from 2011 - today. 2007's could not due target displaymode.
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