Mac Experts help a struggling switcher

Nov 3, 2011
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Ok, here's my dilemma. I am a die hard PC gamer but I want to move all of my other daily computing over to Mac. We have just purchased a 15" MBP for my wife that she will use exclusively for her school and work. I am looking to complement that with another 1 or 2 macs and a 27" display. My budget is $2500 or so and these are my requirements:

27" Cinema Display - Will be used for my primary Mac display and as a display for my PC for games. I am not opposed to a 27" iMac fulfilling this requirement but I really prefer the look of the regular display.

Must be able to setup a Mac workstation for the kids. This can be as a second display connected to my primary Mac or another Mac on it's own (My thoughts here have been a Mini or a 21" iMac)

In a nutshell I need to be able to display a Mac and PC on a 27" and also be able to have a workstation for the kiddos. I am also looking at a 13" MBP or Air to use for this which would allow portability as well. I hope this isn't too confusing. I know I will have to be looking at a 2010 refurb iMac or the LED Cinema Display given the Thunderbolt limitations with the PC. Here are a couple scenarios I have drummed up:

21" iMac + 27" Display. I should be able to use the 27" as a secondary display on the 21" iMac correct? Would I then still be able to attach the PC to the 27" display via a switch, Kanex Snapx or the like?

27" Display + 13" MBP or Air. Basically the same scenario except use an LCD I currently own for the kid workstation. Would be using a Henge dock or something similar. Would this work - Docked 13" laptop output to both 27" display and 24" LCD.

I would not need to be able to work on both screens at the same time. I just need to be able to setup 2 "workstations" with a display and hopefully have them both run off of one central Mac. Thanks for the help!
Sep 10, 2011
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Your Mac's Specs
MacBook Air M1 2020 Ventura 13.4.1 500Gb 8Gb. iPhone12, Watch 5, HomePods.
Why not have a look at the new Mac Mini with Lion Server for the main hub?

You can set up a regular Mac Mini for your kids' workstation which you can manage the admin of.
You can then set up your PC as a user, your wife's MBP can be a user or not, and you could add in whatever screens you wanted according to budget.

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