While in Extended Desktop, can iMac still be used remotely?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Wildog27, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Wildog27 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2008
    So, here's my dilemma.

    I've currently got a 21.5" iMac and a 15" MacBook Pro. I really want to get an external monitor for the MBP, but obviously 21 doesn't work as that. The iMac currently serves as our Media Server for our AppleTVs and I also use it to rip and transcode DVDs for our media collection. So my considerations are these:

    Option 1
    I could get a Mac Mini and a Thunderbolt display and use the Mac Mini as the server and switch to the TB display for the MBP. The pro on this is that it's an easy solution for the situation and the Mac Mini can keep running the files for the media and even keep working on transcoding the video files while working on the MPB and using the TB Display. The con is that the Mac Mini is a dual core vs. a quad core like the iMacs which means that it will take longer to do the video conversions for the iTunes library.

    Option 2
    Get a 27" iMac that can serve as an external monitor as well. It's what I wish I'd done originally, but the wild card for me is not knowing if it has the ability for the "computer" part to keep running while the screen is being used as the extended display of the MBP. It really needs to in order to serve the files and transcode files while I'm working on the extended desktop. I could flip back and forth, if necessary, but I could also access it by screensharing or remotely. If it doesn't keep working, that's a deal breaker and I'll go the Mini route.

    If anyone has insight into this, it would be greatly appreciated.
  2. omvs macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    I believe the computer still runs in target display mode. This info is before the 2011 iMac, but I'd assume its still current -- seems like the machine is kept fully on during this mode, which is good for you (though maybe bad if you care about power dissipation)

    What isn't clear is if you can remote desktop to the machine in target display mode -- I would assume assume you can, but I only have 1 TB machine and can't really test it.

    (from: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US)
  3. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    How urgently do you need media ripped to the library? I have a 2009 C2D Mac mini that servers and rips media for the house. It's slower than my i7 iMac but still does it faster than real-time.

    And I don't even bother to connect a monitor to the mini, just run it headless and access it via screen sharing.

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