Use Old iMac for New Mini's Second Display?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by CoMoMacUser, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #1
    My early 2008 iMac is getting slower, so I'm probably going to replace it with a Mini when the new models come out. I'm self-employed, and the Mini would be my new work machine. I think it would be helpful to have a second display because I typically have multiple things open simultaneously, and it would be a lot more productive to have them available side by side.

    Can a Mini use an iMac as a second display? If so, any drawbacks?

    Also, if the iMac's hard drive craps out, that eliminates the ability to use it as a display, right? AFAIK, there's no way to use the iMac just as a monitor; it has to be functional as a PC to be able to display video from an external source.

    Thanks.
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    your iMac has no video-in port.

    you can buy dongles but they can cost more than a monitot
     
  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #3
    I'm not sure if the 2008 iMacs support Apple's Target Display Mode. If you do a Google search for Target Display Mode, you'll find all you need to know.

    What I do recall:

    - only the 27" iMacs had this ability, the smaller ones did not (not sure about the current Thunderbolt-equipped 21" models).

    - I do not recall if the 2008 or 2009 iMacs support Target Display Mode.

    - the 2010 27" iMac will do Target Display Mode with a miniDisplayPort-equiped Mac (this includes Thunderbolt-capable Macs such as the current Mac minis, but does not include Macs without an mDP port)

    - the 2011, 2012 and 2013 27" iMacs will only do Target Display Mode with another Thunderbolt-equipped Mac (which a current Mac mini will have).

    - the iMac has to be booted and running OS X for Target Display Mode to work. If the iMac won't boot, the TDM won't function.

    With these caveats in mind, the TDM function works quite well. I occasionally connect my MacBook Air to my iMac and use the iMac's display if there's something I need two displays for (like rehearsing a Keynote; the iMac acts as like the display the audience sees and the MacBook Air's screen shows the presenter view).
     
  4. biohead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    West Drayton, UK
    #5
    From Apple's KB article (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924):

    27" Late 2009,
    27" Mid 2010,
    21.5" + 27" Mid 2011,
    21.5" + 27" Late 2012

    So no, you can't use your early 2008 as a TDM monitor with a mini unfortunately.
     
  5. CoMoMacUser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #6
    Thanks, everyone. I guess I'll buy two monitors.
     

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