iMac 2009 as monitor for Mini?

MatthewAMEL

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 23, 2007
372
4
Orlando, FL
Greetings all.

I am considering the purchase of a Mac Mini Server. One of the short term considerations is a monitor for the Mini Server. While I know it can be headless, has anyone tried using their iMac (Late 2009) as a monitor for their Mini?

My understanding is the iMac monitor can be used as a input if the MiniDisplay Port is used.

Anyone tried something like this?

Thanks in advance.
 

xav8tor

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2011
504
6
The '09 27" iMac accepts mini displayport input. Simply press CMD and F2 to switch screen between your iMac and other Mac. This is known as target display mode. Works great.
 

MatthewAMEL

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 23, 2007
372
4
Orlando, FL
That's what I have. The 27" iMac (Late 2009). Model A1312 or Mac 10,1.

So, which cable should I use from the Mini to the iMac? The Mini only has a HDMI output for video. All the adapters on the Apple Store say DP to HDMI. Does it matter which 'direction' the signal goes?
 

xav8tor

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2011
504
6
That's what I have. The 27" iMac (Late 2009). Model A1312 or Mac 10,1.

So, which cable should I use from the Mini to the iMac? The Mini only has a HDMI output for video. All the adapters on the Apple Store say DP to HDMI. Does it matter which 'direction' the signal goes?
As for HDMI out yes, it matters, and it's limited rez. Kanex makes (or made anyway) an expensive converter/scaler. The new Mac Mini also has Thunderbolt output. You would connect a Mini Displayport cable (NOT a Thunderbolt cable) from the Thunderbolt port to the MDP input/output on the back of the '09 iMac.

I'm 95% certain this is all correct since I researched this before deciding to stick with MDP about a year ago, until Thunderbolt becomes more prevalent and cross-compatible with other devices via converters...if that ever happens.

Apple provides free and excellent presales support via telephone or chat. Call to confirm. Bottom line is, you can feed a Displayport display with Thunderbolt output, but can't feed a Thunderbolt display with Displayport output.
 

xav8tor

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2011
504
6
Thanks, I think I got it now.

Mini to iMac would work. iMac to Mini would not.
The Mini isn't a display. The point is: Thunderbolt video output from a new Mac will feed an MDP input, which you have on the back of your 09 iMac. You could not however, for example, use the new Thunderbolt display as a second monitor for your iMac, which carries video output via the MDP.