Moving from a mac mini to an imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mark.phalan, May 10, 2011.

  1. mark.phalan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #1
    I'm seriously considering upgrading my early 2006 mac mini to the 2011 21.5 entry-level imac. Before I go ahead with the purchase though I have a few questions:

    1. Can someone confirm that using switchresx it is possible to completely disable the imac's internal panel when an external display is connected to the new 2011 imacs? I intend to use the imac with a projector and this would be a deal-breaker for me if not possible.
    I'd also be interested to know if Lion would solve the issue. Can anyone comment on using (the latest beta of) Lion with the 21.5 imac and an external display? Any other caveats I should be aware of here?

    2. The SSD BTO option is only available in the higher-end 21.5 model. If I buy the base model and my own SSD would there be anything preventing me from putting it in myself - i.e. do these models differ in any way other than slightly different processors, graphics card?

    3. From what I've read only the thunderbolt equipped mac laptops can use the new imacs as a monitor. I'm interested in using the new imac as a display for my work laptop (with DisplayPort, VGA). I'm aware that there is no current way to do this but I'd love to know if this is simply because no-one has made the right converter yet or if it's simply technologically infeasible.

    4. How silent are the imacs? Would it be similar to my current mac mini assuming I installed the imac with an SSD?

    Thanks,

    -M
     
  2. Zeov macrumors 6502a

    Zeov

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Odense
    #2
    i have the base model 27" 2011 iMac, and i obviously can hear the fans, but they are nowhere near loud, and it's not at all a problem, considering i came from a PC just 2 years ago, those monsters would sound like a freaking tractor or something :D


    i also have a question:

    why do you want to use the iMac as a screen for your MacBook? i mean what can you do on a macbook you cant do on an iMac :)?
     
  3. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    The 21.5" iMac cannot be used as a monitor AFAIK that is only for the 27" model.
     
  4. dwmac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #4
    The new 21.5" CAN be used as a display for another computer just like the 27", but both will only work with other Thunderbolt computers (i.e. 2011 MBPs or iMacs). Maybe there will be the appropriate adaptor at some point in the future, but that's anyone's guess at this point.
     
  5. mark.phalan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2011
    #5
    Ah, thats good to know re the noise.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear above. I don't have a MacBook - I have a lenovo laptop running UNIX. I'd like to be able to use the large screen (at least compared to the 12.1 inch screen on my laptop) when at home working.
     
  6. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
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    United Kingdom
    #6
    If you want to do that youd probably be better off with a soon-to-be-released sandy-bridge Mini and an external display (since no PC has Thunderbolt, so cant use the display function).
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    Network them. Use the iMac either as an X-Windows server for the UNIX box or as a VNC client if you want to display the full screen and GUI of your UNIX box.
     
  8. mark.phalan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2011
    #8
    Yes, this is probably what I'll do. Using X11 seems to work well enough although native use of the display would be preferable.

    The only real concern I have is the issue of being able to disable the internal screen when the imac is hooked up to a projector...

    thanks
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    You can't really disable it but you can set a black background. Look for the program called "Backdrop".
     
  10. mark.phalan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #10
    Oh that's a pity. I had real hopes for switchresx as it can, from what I've read, disable laptop panels as well as externally connected screens. Backdrop won't be enough for me so I guess I'll have to go with the new mini when it's released :(

    Thanks.
     
  11. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    I never tried switchresx, so don't give up.

    (When projecting, I keep my display active, so I haven't pursued this.)
     
  12. mark.phalan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #12
    I emailed the developer for switchresx this morning and he just replied to me saying that switchresx supports this scenario and it should work fine! I guess that means I'll be getting the imac.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  13. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    Apr 11, 2005
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    #13
    That +1. Some sort of Remote Desktop VNC would be your best bet there.

    Instead of Backdrop or whatever, you should be able to turn the brightness down via the keyboard to zero when it would go black, AFAIK, this would be independent of the Projector or secondary screen brightness.
     

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