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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Two iMacs vs iMac & Thunderbolt Display


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Lastmboy

 
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Member Since: Apr 07, 2012
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
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Here's an unusual one for you. Likely a dumb idea, but I'm curious.

I want to get a 27" iMac, but I want dual display, even though they're 27" (yes, I'm greedy). The problem with using the Thunderbolt display along with the iMac, is that they don't look the same and aren't the same height. That's not the end of the world, as you can sit it on a stand or whatever.

However, here's an idea that crossed my brain. I can get an older refurbished 27" iMac for around $100 - $200 more than a new Thunderbolt display. What do you think of linking two iMacs together? I watched a Youtube video (below) where a guy was using a second iMac, and he could use it as a standalone or as a secondary (extended) display for the first iMac.

How to Connect Two 27" iMacs for a Dual Display Setup! - YouTube

I was curious about this, because the height problem would go away, and I could potentially use the second one as a bootcamp machine or whatever, leaving the primary one free from "tampering".

Here were my initial thoughts:

PROS:
second display that looks identical to primary
could be used for bootcamp without having to screw with primary
could be used as an independent workstation (multi tasking)
additional hard drive space
spare keyboard and mouse
minimal extra cost (not much more than new display)

CONS:
more things to go wrong (whole iMac vs just a monitor)
wasted processor if you just use it as a secondary display
need adapter/mini display port connector
can you hook a thunderbolt iMac to one without thunderbolt?
do you lose all benefit by not connecting them via thunderbolt?

I'm not sure about the whole thunderbolt situation. In the video, I'm assuming he's using two older (mini display port) iMacs. I'm not sure of the issues if you try to mix them. Would there be any added benefit/features/capabilities by connecting two thunderbolt iMacs? That's not quite as feasible, as they cost a lot more, and not many refurb ones, but I'm still curious.

Anyone have any theories or even want to just comment on how stupid this sounds?
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iMac9

 
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Couldn't you get a refurbed Cinema Display for a little less? It seems to suit your needs and saves you a bit of money and to answer one of your questions, you can hook two iMacs up via firewire if the one doesn't have a thunderbolt port.
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Lastmboy

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMac9 View Post
Couldn't you get a refurbed Cinema Display for a little less? It seems to suit your needs and saves you a bit of money and to answer one of your questions, you can hook two iMacs up via firewire if the one doesn't have a thunderbolt port.
Yes, that's always an option. However, it's not the same size or height as the actual iMac, which is a pain. You have to prop it up on something to get it to the same height. Since the refurbed iMac isn't much more, I just thought it might be an alternative, if they work together ok.

They'll work with a firewire connection? I didn't know that. Interesting.

27" iMac 3.4GHz I7, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, iPad Air, iPhone 5S, Apple TV (3rd generation), iPod Classic
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Dysfunction

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastmboy View Post
They'll work with a firewire connection? I didn't know that. Interesting.
It won't pass video.

mike
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