Upgrade iMac with Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sarah0405, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. sarah0405 macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2011
    I have an iMac with the Core Duo processor which means I can't upgrade to Lion. Is it possible to upgrade using a Mac Mini and using the iMac as an additional hard drive and display? If this is possible, how would I make the system "see" the Mini as the main processor unit?
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
  3. robodude666 macrumors member

    May 12, 2008
    It would be possible if it were a newer iMac with Mini-DisplayPort.

    You could use the iMac's HDD via Firewire Target Drive, and the iMac's screen via the Mini-DisplayPort's target display mode. This would require the Mac Mini to also have FireWire 800 and Mini-DisplayPort on it.

    Alas, if you had the correct Macs to do this, you wouldn't have an issue with upgrading to Lion. So the answer is still no, not possible for you.

  4. Trinite macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2010
    This is a great question for future upgrading. Does the above mean that any of the newer iMacs and Minis can do this? Does it work with Thunderbolt, too?

    I've been thinking about getting an iMac, but have been worried about the fact that I wouldn't be able to upgrade either the CPU or GPU a few years down the line. This could be the solution (okay, not perfect, but it would be cheaper than buying a new iMac every few years...)!

    I guess another question is how much of a pain would it be to run a setup like this? Would it be possible to make the iMac screen the Mini's default option?

    Thanks for any more insights!
  5. Hackfix21 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    I've been asking myself the same questions as well (I have a 2009 C2D iMac and am not so happy about having to waste the screen of that one when I'll upgrade, so next time would probably only get an iMac again if this solution of later on hooking it up to a Mac Mini would be a feasible option).


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