27" iMac x2 with one being external display for the other

Unfair

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 21, 2007
49
5
So, before I move forward with my plan here, I was curious on something.
There are a ton of threads about adding a monitor to an iMac, or hooking things like a PC / Xbox to an iMac display, but is there any reason you couldn't stick 2 iMacs together?

I currently have an '09 i5 27" which I wish to keep, but I want to grab one of the new 27" '10 i7's to replace it as my primary system.

The ultimate goal would be to run them both with the new i7 being the primary and the old i5 being a secondary display + passive file server / windows machine as needed.

Can anybody see any issue with doing this? It isn't really documented anywhere nor have I seen this done.

I know it requires a specific cable, such as: http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=508255

Can anybody who has maybe tried this confirm if it works?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
I haven't tried this but I've seen people doing it. As long as both have MDP like they do, it works. Just run the "display iMac" in Target Display Mode
 

Unfair

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 21, 2007
49
5
I haven't tried this but I've seen people doing it. As long as both have MDP like they do, it works. Just run the "display iMac" in Target Display Mode
I didn't think it would be too mush of a problem, was just wanting to confirm if anybody else had done this! Thanks!

iMac as a second 'screen' sure beats the hell out of trying to figure out where to stuff a PC tower somewhere under the table!
 

maf2k8

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2009
316
0
I am REALLY thinking about doing this. I have a i7 27" iMac and i have gone thru 3 monitors ( including a 24" apple cinema display ) and not one of them can duplicate to clnea/crisp displat the my 27" iMac has.... So i am thinking about just adding a 2nd iMac as a external display but would also like to use in in the background for streaming movies to my PS3 and doing other jobs.

I know the 27" Apple displays will be out next month but i am not holding my breath with there yellowing issues and the fact that there 1,000.00 with no VGA/DVI/HDMI options? insane............might as well drop a few hundred more and get a iMac.
 

maf2k8

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2009
316
0
It works very well....

How do you have this setup? Just 2 sepereate iMacs? or 1 being used as a 2nd display?

and if your using 1 as a 2nd dislpay, are you allowed to still use the imac in the background? ( say for streaming movies, doing batch file converting, etc, etc ) while using its display for iMac #2

( yeah i did make that sound a little confusing, lol )
 

Unfair

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 21, 2007
49
5
How do you have this setup? Just 2 sepereate iMacs? or 1 being used as a 2nd display?

and if your using 1 as a 2nd dislpay, are you allowed to still use the imac in the background? ( say for streaming movies, doing batch file converting, etc, etc ) while using its display for iMac #2

( yeah i did make that sound a little confusing, lol )

I'm pretty sure this would still work, can't see why it wouldn't!

Thanks for the photo proof!
 

rw3

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
679
41
DFW, TX
Just haven't removed the plastic wrapping..


Yes, one, my Core i5, was used as the second display and also as a HandBrake encoding machine...
 

Will : Hi !

macrumors member
Apr 1, 2006
35
0
The ultimate goal would be to run them both with the new i7 being the primary and the old i5 being a secondary display + passive file server / windows machine as needed.
IIRC Target Display Mode is only available when booted under OS X.
 

Gregintosh

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2008
1,782
419
Chicago
Sounds like a great plan. For $269 (assuming refurb 27) more than a 27 apple cinema display you get a matching display for your imac AND a pretty good backup computer. You could probably even use the other computer as a home server or torrent client.
 

Tomple

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2008
604
0
New York, New York
Sorry to come back to a dead thread but...

If i connect my 2008 iMac 24" to my new iMac 27" will i be able to use the old iMacs hard drive, ram, etc, while in target display mode.

Ex

Running a program on one iMac without it using the other ones processor but still being used as a second screen.

Sorry if that was confusing but please bear with me
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,698
1,860
192.168.1.1
That's not a multi-monitor setup. There's 2 menu bars. That's just 2 imacs sitting side by side.
True. But regardless, a 27" iMac *can* be used as a second display (via mini Display Port). And since that secondary iMac needs to be booted & running, it can execute tasks in the background. You could even remote desktop in to it and control it from the primary machine if they're both on the same network.

I do it with my MacBook and my iMac i7.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
True. But regardless, a 27" iMac *can* be used as a second display (via mini Display Port). And since that secondary iMac needs to be booted & running, it can execute tasks in the background. You could even remote desktop in to it and control it from the primary machine if they're both on the same network.

I do it with my MacBook and my iMac i7.
No one has actually shown it done or said if it's flawless or not.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,698
1,860
192.168.1.1
No one has actually shown it done or said if it's flawless or not.
What do you mean? I do it several times per week with my MacBook. Works great and my iMac continues its processing without pause. The only difference is that in my case it's a MacBook, not an iMac, as computer #1. But that's immaterial.
 

nobias

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2010
150
0
It's really unfortunate that the cinema displays dont exactly mesh perfectly with the iMacs. Had this issue with the 24 and now facing the same issue with the 27.

I would not mind the back of the iMac being wider, if only the bezels and front appearance would be able to match the cinema display perfectly.
 
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