Running PC through iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by flaneur, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. flaneur macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2009
    I have a Dell PC and a 22" monitor with dual inputs (digital and the other) and I am going to get a Mac shortly. I have dithered a bit but think - well, today at least :cool: - it's likely to be an iMac. I would be using Logic mainly.

    I'd quite like to continue to run the PC for WP, spreadsheets, stuff like that.

    I don't really have enough desk space to have two monitors.

    So, can I run the monitor output of the PC into an iMac? Would I need a KVM switch? Do I, indeed, make any sense whatsoever?
  2. crut macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2009
    If your PC can do displayport out, and you get a 27" iMac, then yes you can :)
  3. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Why bother using the PC at all? The mac can easily handle any of those things... and if there's something you specifically need windoze for, use boot camp or vmware fusion to run it! Sell the old machine or give it to someone who needs it.
  4. flaneur thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2009
    Thanks chaps.

    I'd planned on giving away the eMac - G4 but still great - but was sort of reluctant to get rid of the Dell, something I still think of as pretty new (even though it's about 3 years old).

    It'll clear some desk and shelf space, anyway.
  5. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    keep the eMac ,sell the dell, buy the iMac ,simple is that , like someone said the iMac will even let you have windows if you wish,so you can keep windows for nostalgic/sentimental reasons so a bit of your dell would always be with you :D
  6. Zonyc macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2008
    People want to keep PC's around for many reasons. For one MS Office is vastly superior on a PC than it is on a Mac. I use a word processor on a daily basis to take notes in lecture and the Mac office suite leaves something to be desired. Gaming is another reason, my HD4850 is garbage compared to a decent sli or crossfire setup with 2-4 5850s.

    What you require is a video card which has a displayport output and a display port to mini displayport cable. Its a minimum of a hundred dollar investment to get up and running if you dont include a kvm.

    Edit: At this time the 5xxx series of ATI's cards do not work with the iMac. The 4xxx series cards work fine.
  7. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Dude, he's got a 3 year old dell... he does NOT have a crossfire or sli setup. My 4850 trounces my 2 year old GeForce 8800, it's plenty good enough, and again, VMWare Fusion - you don't even need to reboot.

    But when it comes to WP and general officey stuff, Open Office, FTW.
  8. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i would not use the term vastly superior in that case
    and on new macs you can simply install windows
    like i said with a Mac you get best of both worlds Mac OSX snow leopard and Windows , bootcamp is not a emulator so you get the same speed in widows as you would get on a normal pc with same spec
    and vmware or paralells lets you have both operating systems at the same time on the same screen
    so you can do your office work in windows while surfing the web without fear of virus or worm in osx at the same time
  9. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2007
    Not really. Your Hard Drive speeds will be limited to ATA/133 speeds meaning you won't utilize full SATA AHCI speeds. Only with a Mac Pro can this be done. It's a pity that Apple doesn't include AHCI drivers in Bootcamp. Otherwise Macs run Windows amazing! :D
  10. Zonyc macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2008
    You most certainly do not get the same speeds in bootcamp as a native PC( see post above this one). Also keep in mind that the iMac uses the mobile radeon card, not the desktop version. In addition to this, you have to jump through hoops to get the 27" iMac to work properly (diplay driver, microphone, audio drivers, bluetooth etc) with Windows 7 and it is not yet officially supported by Apple. These are all compelling reasons to use a PC. You can run both simultaneously without the need to reboot, and are not subject to the limitations imposed by emulating windows with Paralells, VMware, etc.
  11. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Perhaps you missed the part where he said "WITH THE SAME SPECS". ...and yes, it IS. Also, perhaps you missed the part where the OP mentioned using his PC for WP. NO WAY is running Windows through a virtual machine going to be even remotely too slow for word processing. Don't be silly.
  12. Zonyc macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Thats fine and dandy, but there are others on this forum who would be interested in running a PC through an iMac. Relax just a little bit, and use some common sense. Also no, Windows 7 is not supported by Apple. See links:
  13. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Seems like everyone is missing the "obvious" solution. Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection. I've used it for the three years I've had a Mac to run Microsoft Money on a Windows XP Pro box I'm using as a server. No cost, no hardware, all it requires is that the Windows box be running either a Pro or (I expect) Ultimate version of Windows XP, Vista, or 7.
  14. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    The reason for mentioning it was actually for others on the forum - I don't want a casual user to think "oh, maybe I need to keep my PC too", when really, they don't. I think most serious gamers would probably try the games in boot camp first before deciding whether to keep the game PC around.
  15. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    gaming is a different matter , for gaming you need a far better graphic card then the iMac has to offer , but for that matter no all in one system will provide you with a graphic card suitable for serious gaming

    i build gaming machines as a hobby and one with following components at the moment for a mate who has seen the video and want that machine , which will fly on games and still offers some overclocking potential , and yes it will open word documents too very fast :)and its triple boot windows 7 , windows xp ,and linux mint
    (not my video )
    just for info it will cost more then a iMac27" i7
  16. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    The 27" iMacs are just fine for gaming. Of course, they aren't going to be as good as dedicated PC gaming rigs, but they are just fine for general purpose gaming. I have the 27" i5 and I'm playing all sorts of games, both in Boot Camp and Parallels.

    In Parallels, I can play many less demanding games with great success. For example, casual games like Plants vs Zombies, Defense Grid, and the like all run great in Parallels/Windows 7. I've even been playing Mass Effect at full resolution in Parallels and it runs pretty decent (occasional slowdown, but definitely playable).

    In boot camp, you can run ANY PC game with varying degrees of graphical detail. You're not going to run Crysis at full res and High graphics, but it'll run okay at lower settings. Most other games will run at full res and High graphic settings on my i5.

    And of course, there are also native Mac games (Dragon Age, etc) that all run very good.

    So if you're ONLY into gaming and want the fastest out there, the iMac is definitely not the best choice. But for someone who wants one machine and prefers OSX for daily functions, but also wants to game, the 27" iMacs are a great choice IMO.
  17. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    yes you can play games on a iMac 27" especially on the i7, but still its a compromise , for most games you have to adjust the settings in order to make it run smooth
    i did not mean the 27" is absolute rubbish for gaming , but if someone realy want to play games , then his best option is a gaming pc
    thats why i stoped that trend as i needed to upgrade my pc's every couple month when new versions of games came out spending hundreds in hardware every time , but you cant eat ram modules as nice as they might look and you cant run your car on a graphics card and a watercooling system for pc cost more then my waterpump in the car ,so i said enough is enough , i did spend several thousands over the last ~5 years into my pc's before i realized
    ...back to basics , there are so many nice games for os9 and i enjoy playing them on my iMac g3 now , at the moment i really hooked playing asteroids...
    don't laugh :eek:

    you can have fun playing old games , it does not have to be crysis or counterstrike or manhunt (played them all )
  18. BrokenChairs macrumors member


    Apr 13, 2007
    Over the last few weeks I've been thinking about buying/building a dedicated gaming PC and setting it up to use my iMac as a monitor.

    I've experimented with Bootcamp with a few games and some have been a little disappointing. Dragon Age for example ran fine, but on the lower settings. As I increased the graphics quality etc. it began to look worse and the machine began to slow a little (Dragon Age I'll probably look into on the Mac side).

    But thanks to those for the tips in setting it up :). There's always one or two things that I forget/don't know about and like to know what is missing.
  19. Garrett67 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    I don't know, I have an iMac 27" i5 Quad with the 4850 and I run FSX pretty much maxed out (not everything but mostly) . I couldn't do that with my PC with a 8800 GTS. The 4850 seems to smoke it but I also know that FSX is processor dependent and that is likely to be why I see such improvements.

    But, with that said I am also now running it at 2560X1440 as opposed to 1680x1050 (or whatever that res is). So, that tells me the graphics card can handle current games pretty well , considering the resolution we're asking them to run.

    Now, I have never run a game on the Mac side, so I have no clue as to how the Mac OS X system handles games compared to Windows. I do know that most of the time that PC's have alot of nonsense running in the background , not sure about Macs yet since I'm new to them.

    But anyway, back on topic..... I'd get rid of the Dell and just partition your Mac to have Bootcamp running. I partitioned my drive 750GB for the Mac and 250 for Windows. The ONLY thing I used Windows for right now is to run FSX.

    As for Office on a Mac, I use Open Office. It seems to work well for the little that I use Office (Excel).
  20. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    Im in the same situation as you. Just orderd my imac 27" i7. But i also have money left to update my gaming rig. But the problem is that there is only two radeon cards that work with the imac 27" screen atm. And that is, radeon 4890 (which is going out of stock everywhere) and 5970 (which is very expensive for a gpu).

    So for now i have just orderd a H55 chipset, to support the new i5 core duo, i think 2 cores is sufficient when im just going to game. 8gb of ddr3ram 1600mhz and for now just going to use the internal butil in gpu on the intel cpu. Until i know 100% wich radeon cards work with the imac.

    My dream setup would be this;
    3 displays (imac and 2 benq 27")
    Radeon 5970, two dvi to the two benqs and displayport to imac.

    That should give me 3 screens no?;o
  21. Muscleflex macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    oh my! dont give the guy a hard time just because he suggested selling his g4 instead of his 3yr old PC just because you're all mac lovers!
    he's already got a nice new imac. i dont see the point of having 2 especially when the g4 is old!
  22. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008

    Mr. Money! I have been holding off upgrading my desktop despite only getting the 21.5" ATI iMac. The money I "saved" not getting the 27" is more than the cost of upgrading my desktop to Mac Pro levels.

    I'm usually a big fan of answering the questions posed by the OP... but it just doesn't make sense to use a whole separate PC for "WP, spreadsheets".

    Personally... I think MS Office sucks and I use OpenOffice on OSX, Windows and Ubuntu and it works great on all Operating Systems. At least better than switching between computers.

    But... To answer the OP...

    If you get the 27" iMac you can use a DVI to Display Port adaptor and use your iMac as a monitor for the PC. If you want to use the same keyboard and mouse, you will need a KVM. As far as I know there are no Bluetooth KVM switches, so you'll need a USB keyboard and mouse and just plug those two into the KVM and then to your two computers.

    You can probably pay for the KVM by just putting the bluetooth keyboard and mouse that came with the iMac on eBay. Unless you want to keep them for later use.
  23. ckelly33 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2010
    After finding and reading through this today, I was glad to see someone finally answer the question. I've been waiting to purchase my first Mac, but can't let go of my Win7 PC until Mac natively supports AVCHD-> Blu ray authoring. The current 'work arounds' are more difficult that what I do on Windows machine (and easy is supposed to be a big reason to justify the price of a Mac, right?).

    I will probably wait until the MBP updates come and keep my fingers drossed that the 'bag of hurt' comes to all lines of Mac. If not this may be a solution I can live with until then.

    So back to your answer ViViDboarder, is this graphics card dependent? I have an nVidia GeForce 8500 GT with HDMI out. Any word on DHCP compliance with the HDMI -> DVI -> Adaptor -> Display port?
  24. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
  25. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    I was just about to make a thread like this, I have a gaming PC and I want to just ditch my nothing special 19 inch gateway monitor. I also am thinking of buying a 27" imac, but not the quad core one I want the other one. I am waiting for that model to get icore and for these display issues to iron out. This is a deal breaker for me as I dont want 2 monitors with different inputs and sizes on the same desk.

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