Dual iMacs! :)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by EugW, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. EugW, Jun 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    2010 Core i7 870 on the left, and 2017 Core i7 7700K on the right.


    Right now they're independent from each other but I ordered a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter to see if that will work to turn the left iMac into a monitor. (It has Mini-DisplayPort, not Thunderbolt.) it works fine as a monitor with my old MacBook Pro, but that one has a native Mini-DisplayPort port.

    The screen on the old one was fine but of course now it looks much worse... because it's next to a 5K screen. o_O I'd like to be able to pair a bug-free aesthetically matched 5K screen to the new iMac but they are very expensive right now and the LG has had some ongoing significant bugs according to reports. Plus it doesn't match the iMac aesthetically.


    I ended up returning the i7 7700K iMac and got an i5 7600 iMac instead. The i7 was quiet the vast majority of the time, but in the end I decided the iMac to be quiet all of the time, and that could only be accomplished with an i5. For regular usage it makes no difference. For Handbrake encoding, the i5 7600 takes about 25% longer, but it does it quietly.

    And so you don't have to read the entire thread, yes, the DisplayPort adapter from Monoprice as well as a Mini-DisplayPort adapter from eBay, along with the appropriate passive cables, both work perfectly with this setup including with both sleep and wake for the second monitor.
  2. Falcon80 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Looks good with the two iMacs side by side. How are you using them at the moment?
  3. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Work and net access on one and banking or entertainment on other. IOW, all I need is a second monitor.

    Hopefully the right adapters and cables will allow me to use that 2nd iMac as that second monitor for the time being. Not sure if I'll sell it or not but it seems to me the used resale value on 7 year-old iMacs with HD and no SSD, no USB 3, and no Thunderbolt isn't stellar, and not that much more than a used Apple 27" Cinema Display from a 2nd hand computer store.
  4. BuCkDoG macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    So here is a wierd question but do you like the newer full keyboard versus the older full keyboard?
  5. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I like them both. I am more used to the old one but I do like the more stable feel of the newer one. The travel of the new one is OK but I think I would prefer having a bit more travel. I'm very quickly getting used to it though. It's nothing like the 2015 12" MacBook keyboard in terms of feel. Way better than that.

    However I miss having the extra two USB ports. What I had hoped was that Apple would create a wired USB 3 keyboard with more power but instead they went wireless. It is nice to have the wireless though.
  6. BuCkDoG macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Awesome thanks for the feedback. I wish Apple had positioned the Function keys directly above the number keys like in the old style as I prefer the old style for gaming purposes of key memory instead of searching but ill have to try out the new key feel and also try being wireless as wireless would make the desk much more of a clean look with the iMac mx master and wireless keyboard and wireless headset. :)
  7. alexkoo1812 macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2012
    Do let us know if the usb-c adapter works!
    I'm going to buy an 2017 iMac and I have an 27" Apple LED Cinema Display. Same as you, would like to us it as a secondary display.
  8. iMi macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2014
    Is this the non-redneck version of stacking the new TV on top of the old one? :D:D:D
  9. Hublar macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2013
    Dothan, AL
    I have the USB C adapter and a thunderbolt 2 cable to a late 2012 27" iMac and it works great as a second monitor.
  10. EugW, Jun 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017

    EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I just migrated the old Mac to the new one. I've found in the past that a fresh install often wasn't THAT much more labour intensive but this time it was much better to do the migration because I installed off an SSD boot drive backup. The transfer went way, way faster than before, making it much, much faster than doing a clean manual transfer. The only thing though is that now I have a little bit of old junk on the new computer too, but it's not too much and I can delete that over time.


    I'm still running my old copy of Photoshop CS4, and I'm happy to say it runs fine after I installed a legacy version of Java Runtime. Again, I have no idea if it works on High Sierra though.

    My old MS Office 2011 also runs fine on Sierra.

    Heh. My previous setup was perhaps a bit more rednecky. A while back my workplace VPN was not compatible with OS X, and I had a few other things that required Windows, so I bought a Windows machine and ran it side by side with the Mac. That changed more recently so VPN worked fine on Macs including Sierra. (I have not tried High Sierra yet.)

    However, while it worked fine, the machine was a cheap Acer and I was using a mediocre Dell monitor with it. Definite mismatch next to the 2010 iMac. Anyhow, recently I've just been using it for VPN (still) and for basic surfing and playing videos. Now it's sitting on the floor and I'm not entirely sure what to do with it.

    BTW, I used to just run a virtual machine on the Mac, but that stopped being ideal with Windows 7 and Windows 10 on that old iMac. I probably don't have to have any Windows machine anymore, but in case I do, I now have the option of installing a VM on the old iMac or else using Boot Camp, while still keeping my new iMac free of Windows.

    Where is the pic?!? ;) Unfortunately, that wouldn't work in my case. It sounds like you have a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, and then a Thunderbolt 2 cable. That would work for the 2012 iMac but my old 2010 iMac does not support Thunderbolt at all. Mini-DisplayPort only, so I need a USB-C to Mini-DisplayPort adapter or USB-C to DisplayPort adapter.

    I ended up ordering two adapters actually.

    I first ordered a USB-C to Mini-DisplayPort adapter off eBay, and I already have a Mini-DisplayPort cable. But then I found out Canada Post has had a several month backlog for low priced internationally sourced items shipping by snail mail. So it might be quite a long while before I receive that one.

    Then I ordered a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter from Monoprice, along with a DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort cable. Hopefully that comes quickly and it works.


    Their reviews indicate that it works with the 2016 TouchBar MacBook Pro with 2560x1600 monitors, so hopefully it should work wish the iMac at 2560x1440.

    BTW, before the arrival of my 2017 MacBook (which is also in the picture in the original post), I also bought a Plugable USBC-HDMI adapter off Amazon.ca since it was reported to be compatible with the 2015 and 2016 MacBook. However, it does not work with my 2017 MacBook, and they have since confirmed other customers have said the same thing, and it doesn't work with the 2017 iMac or the 2017 MBP. So it seems Apple has changed something with regards to HDMI output. Mind you, these USB-C to HDMI adapters are apparently inherently flaky, but DisplayPort has been a different story. Fingers crossed.

    Plugable says their USB-C to HDMI cable works fine on the 2017 (even though the USB-C to HDMI dongle does not), but that doesn't help me with the iMac.
  11. Jaffaman27 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    How is the heat & fan noise in your new i7 iMac compared to your old i7 iMac..?

    I have pretty much the same 2010 iMac and I'm trying to decide what 2017 to get..
    i7 + 580 was my original option (as I want to use that again another 7 years or so), but now I have been starting to "worry" over the fan noise..

    Dialing down to the high end i5 sounds like an option, but I will loose a lot in potential power and still have the same 91W processor.. Going to the i5-7600 sounds actually better as it would produce less heat, without loosing pretty much any speed compared to the K-model (according to Geekbench). But then, I can't get the 580 GPU..:(

    I'm sure any of the new 27" iMac configs would be a HUGE update, but I want to be happy with it in the future too..
    In similar way like I've been happy with my 2010, until recently..

    Also, how is the new one in general compared to the old one? How does it feel? :D
  12. EugW, Jun 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017

    EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    i7 7700K is silent with regular usage.

    1. I can get it to max fan rpm if I try playing back HEVC 60 fps 4K using CPU only. 650% CPU usage.
    2. I can also get it to max fan rpm if I use Handbrake to encode video. 790% CPU usage!

    However, for #1, it's pointless to do that in the first place, so that doesn't bother me. High Sierra will bring hardware decode for this.
    For #2, I don't mind, because for Handbrake encoding, the i7 7700K is roughly 30% faster than the i5 7600K in benchmarks. And yes it's fast! (However, the 7700K won't be as fast as the 6-core iMacs I predict will come next year.)

    Even at max fan rpm it's only moderately loud, but I'm glad I never hear it except in isolated situations like hardcore video encoding. Never with surfing, email, YouTube 1080p, MS Office, etc. All in all I think it's actually an improvement over the iMac Core i7 870 from 2010, which already was quiet to begin with. With the 2010 iMac i7, if I had my head about 18" away from the top of the iMac, I could hear a faint whirr. With the 2017 iMac i7, I don't even hear that from 18" away from either the bottom or top of the iMac.

    I'm very, very pleased, and I'm glad I wasn't swayed about the noise concerns here at MacRumors.

    BTW, I originally ordered the i5-7500 but then cancelled that order, precisely because I didn't feel the CPU performance was going to be huge update over my i7 870, despite that iMac being 7 years old. Yes it would be an improvement, but benches pegged it around 40%.


    That's significant, but seemed rather lacklustre 7 years later. So then I ordered the 7700K. Yes, other factors such as the 5K screen and various ports and SSD also contribute heavily, but still, I wanted great CPU performance as well.


    BTW, I have come to the conclusion that the new keyboard is better than the old keyboard. The shape of the keys and the lack of wobbliness is an improvement over the previous one. It's superior to the 12" MacBook 2017 keyboard too (which in turn is superior to the 2015 and 2016 MacBook keyboards). The only minor drawback (besides the lack of USB ports) is that it is slightly louder than the MacBook and old iMac keyboard. Each keyclick is quite audible, although I don't mind it at all.

    I just wish it were backlit! :)
  13. Jaffaman27 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    That's great to hear.. :)

    I know it's hard to compare (maybe with some db app in your phone or something) but how is the fan noise compared to the old one? in max rpm for example?

    The old fat one has 3 fans, compared to the 1 in the new one..
    I don't have a personal experience on the slimmer iMac and how the fan sounds on it, so some kind of opinion on that would be great as you have both in your hands..

    I don't think my needs stress the CPU that much in general (?).. so maybe I won't be hearing the fans too often.
    Mostly I benefit from a speedy SSD, a lot of RAM and a good GPU...
    But I guess multitasking heavily, using Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, browsers with countless tabs open, music & maybe some youtube video, and all sorts of things all at the same time, while powering another screen (and sometimes even a virtual Windows on it) stresses the CPU at least moderately.. But as said, I think the CPU is not going to be the most stressed part in my usage..!?
  14. palmwangja macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2015
    Just out of curiosity, can your rMB use your iMac 2017 as an external display?
  15. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    It is not supported on the new Thunderbolt 3 iMac. Even if it were, it would not be possible with the rMB since it does not have Thunderbolt.

    In max RPM from what I remember, the new one is slightly less annoying.
  16. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
  17. alexkoo1812 macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2012
    Thanks for this. I can understanding that sometimes we can't wait and just ordered another...
  18. JVNeumann macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2017
    Mind if I pick your brain on how you got that set up? I'm going to have a spare 2013 iMac soon enough, so I might try running it as a display from my 2017.

    The catch is, I heard you needed the slave iMac to be running its own hard-drive/OS to actually set it up. The issue being my 2013 iMac's drive died, so it's running the OS off an external (which I was hoping to plug into the new iMac).
  19. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    After three weeks, I finally got the Monoprice USBC to DisplayPort adapter (shipped to Canada), along with a DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort cable. This combination works perfectly on both my 2017 MacBook 12" and on my 2017 iMac 27".

    Now my 2010 iMac 27" is working as a matching external monitor for the 2017 iMac. Sleep shuts off both screens and wake wakes both screens. Perfect! :) The only thing though which I wasn't expecting is that sound will actually play out of the second iMac if it's set up to work that way. I had totally forgotten that DisplayPort (like HDMI) can transport audio. Fortunately, you can choose whatever sound output you want.

    Here is the setup with Mission Control activated:


    Now I just need to get out of the habit of trying to use the left keyboard when I use the left screen. :p

    Here is the Monoprice adapter:


  20. Smoothie macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Heh Heh. I thought you were one of the more critical posters (along with me) about the high heat generated by the 7700K. Anyway, congrats on your purchase, and enjoy your new iMac!
  21. Bob418 macrumors member


    Sep 10, 2015
    This is cool:)
  22. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    That setup looks very nice (although up close it's easy to notice the difference in quality between the two screens). The 2010 27" iMac works well for Target Disk Mode and I have used mine for this quite a bit. Sad how the functionality is lost on the current ones.

    Your post also serves to remind me that when viewed front-on (as we are looking at it most of the time), the 2017 iMac looks almost identical to one made 7 years ago. Think of how much Apple's other product lines, such as the iPhone or MacBook Pro, have change in appearance during that time...
  23. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yeah, the honeymoon ended after a few days. The noise issue wasn't too bad because the vast majority of the time I didn't have noise, but for the occasional times I did have noise, it was irritating.
    Do you mean Target Display Mode?

    And yes, it is very easy to notice the different screen resolutions. I have been spoiled. Text just looks so much better on the 5K, so even for surfing it's a significant difference.

    I think what I will do is keep my work VPN window on the 2010 iMac and most of my banking and other related windows there too. But my primary browser windows and of course photo applications will stay on the 2017.

    Alternate desktops with a single screen can work, but having a second screen is just more convenient.

    Also, I had to move my left keyboard out of the way. It was just too easy to try typing on it all the time, and of course, nothing would happen. I'd then realize I'd have to go back to the right keyboard. I can't completely remove it though, since the screen brightness is controlled by the left keyboard. Also, the toggle for native user mode vs Target Display Mode is controlled on that keyboard (although I won't be using this toggle often). Maybe I'll unplug the wired keyboard and finally break out the compact Bluetooth keyboard that it came with. It's much smaller and the lack of wires will make it easier to move around and out of the way.

    BTW, rumour has it that Apple today will bring back the education promotion in Canada. If so, since my iMac i5-7600 is still in the return period, I wonder if I would be able to negotiate getting in on this deal. However, if the deal is just a set of Beats headphones, I won't cry too much. And if it's a $100 gift card, I'll have to mention to others here that such a gift card almost screwed me over for a warranty replacement. Our iPhone 6s developed a problem, and it was going to cost $460 CAD for a replacement. Amex initially would not pay for that, because their extended warranty program only covers items that have been completely paid for on the Amex, and I had used a $100 gift card for that purchase. Even a $10 gift card voids that coverage. However, they would consider honouring the warranty if the gift card was paid for by the same Amex.

    I was hoping for form factor change, but I guess the silver lining is that I now have matching iMacs. ;) I'm predicting maybe a form factor change with the 2018 models. They will likely be going 6-core, so that would be a convenient time to change the look as well.
  24. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Aug 18, 2016
    Am I correct in reading through here that you traded the i7 for an i5? It's not specified, but your signature shows an i5?
  25. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yes. I decided that I didn’t want even the occasional noise. I guess I forgot to clarify that here because I had already posted on that elsewhere in other threads.

    The first pic in the original post is a 2017 i7. The last pic is a 2017 i5, specifically the 7600 non-K with Radeon Pro 575.

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