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iMac 2017 (5k retina) or Mac Mini + external Monitor

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Old 25-03-2019, 03:24 PM   #1
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iMac 2017 (5k retina) or Mac Mini + external Monitor

Hi

I currently have a iMac 2017 (5k retina) and 2 Windows laptop -- one issued by company, one for my own personal use.

I was initially thinking of using my iMac to run OSX, and also use as external monitor to hook up either of my Windows laptop via Target Display Mode. But of course after a while, I realized the iMac 2017 5k display don't support target display mode. In addition, due to space constraint, I am unable to put two monitors side by side. So I am faced with a dilemma.

Should I sell my iMac and get a Mac Mini + external monitor? I will still be able to run OSX on my mac mini, and also individually hook up my windows laptop.

Or is there any swivel mounting arm that allow me to physically toggle between my imac and the external monitor? I have about 50cm of space behind my imac.

Thanks!
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Old 25-03-2019, 03:36 PM   #2
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Why do you need an external monitor for your windows laptop? What do you want to use OSX for? Why not get a mac laptop and install bootcamp so you can combine both platforms into one hardware.
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Old 26-03-2019, 12:04 AM   #3
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Why do you need an external monitor for your windows laptop? What do you want to use OSX for? Why not get a mac laptop and install bootcamp so you can combine both platforms into one hardware.
To recap, I have a company issued work laptop and my own personal windows laptop to run autocad and solidworks for work. A larger screen will be much better.

I prefer OSX for home usage as I often edit videos and photos in the comfort of my home. Best of both worlds.

So now wondering if i should go for imac and external monitor + windows laptop, or mac mini - windows laptop - external monitor.
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Old 26-03-2019, 07:24 AM   #4
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I would choose iMac and windows laptop.

To recap, I have a company issued work laptop and my own personal windows laptop to run autocad and solidworks for work. A larger screen will be much better.

I prefer OSX for home usage as I often edit videos and photos in the comfort of my home. Best of both worlds.

So now wondering if i should go for imac and external monitor + windows laptop, or mac mini - windows laptop - external monitor.
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Old 26-03-2019, 07:38 AM   #5
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I would choose iMac and windows laptop.
Yes but i need to hook up to an external monitor for my windows laptop, and i have no space for this. And imac cannot be used target display mode.

Any suggestions?
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Old 26-03-2019, 11:45 AM   #6
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Can you mount the external monitor on top of your iMac?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acj0glAME8c
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Old 26-03-2019, 12:39 PM   #7
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To recap, I have a company issued work laptop and my own personal windows laptop to run autocad and solidworks for work. A larger screen will be much better.

I prefer OSX for home usage as I often edit videos and photos in the comfort of my home. Best of both worlds.

So now wondering if i should go for imac and external monitor + windows laptop, or mac mini - windows laptop - external monitor.
A mac mini + monitor + screen switcher + windows laptop would work best for you. Mac mini is powerful enough for the needs you describe, and it takes up very little real estate. You can share the monitor with the laptop via a screen switcher. You can even consider a logitech wireless keyboard + mouse that can be paired to multiple devices.
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Old 26-03-2019, 05:32 PM   #8
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Can you mount the external monitor on top of your iMac?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acj0glAME8c
Erm don't think so. And it is not every ergonomic to tilt up my head as my imac 27" is already quite humongous to begin with.
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Old 26-03-2019, 09:29 PM   #9
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Yes but i need to hook up to an external monitor for my windows laptop, and i have no space for this. And imac cannot be used target display mode.

Any suggestions?

If I am reading this correctly, it is either this or you get a HDMI switch. If your external monitor have multiple ports like DP and HDMI, just get the corresponding adapters/cables for both the iMac and Windows laptop,hook them up to the respective ports and switch accordingly when you need to.
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Old 27-03-2019, 12:06 AM   #10
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If I am reading this correctly, it is either this or you get a HDMI switch. If your external monitor have multiple ports like DP and HDMI, just get the corresponding adapters/cables for both the iMac and Windows laptop,hook them up to the respective ports and switch accordingly when you need to.
Sounds like i made it too confusing to understand.

My current setup:
iMac + windows laptop
==> imac cannot be used as external display for my windows laptop if i require some work done on my windows laptop and need an external monitor

I am thinking of either:

1. mac mini + windows laptop + external monitor (and sell my imac), OR
2. current iMac + external monitor (for my windows laptop) but this will occupy a huge space.
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Old 27-03-2019, 12:09 AM   #11
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A mac mini + monitor + screen switcher + windows laptop would work best for you. Mac mini is powerful enough for the needs you describe, and it takes up very little real estate. You can share the monitor with the laptop via a screen switcher. You can even consider a logitech wireless keyboard + mouse that can be paired to multiple devices.
Yes, I am also thinking of selling my imac and then getting a mac mini + external monitor. Then I can also unhook it and connect my windows laptop to the external monitor if required.
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Old 27-03-2019, 09:46 AM   #12
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OP you mentioned that you edit videos. Do note that the lack of a dGPU in the Mac mini may be an issue. Additionally, scaling is still quite bad if you want to use a 4K monitor; UI lag will be annoying in any resolution other than 1080p and 4K.

I had the same conundrum, returned the Mac mini and sold my 4K monitor for an iMac instead.
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Old 27-03-2019, 10:01 AM   #13
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Erm don't think so. And it is not every ergonomic to tilt up my head as my imac 27" is already quite humongous to begin with.
OP you mentioned that you edit videos. Do note that the lack of a dGPU in the Mac mini may be an issue. Additionally, scaling is still quite bad if you want to use a 4K monitor; UI lag will be annoying in any resolution other than 1080p and 4K.

I had the same conundrum, returned the Mac mini and sold my 4K monitor for an iMac instead.
Yes TS, It's a waste to sell your iMac 5K if you prefer to use MacOS at home.
Just get a external monitor first and try it out.
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Old 28-03-2019, 08:53 AM   #14
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OP you mentioned that you edit videos. Do note that the lack of a dGPU in the Mac mini may be an issue. Additionally, scaling is still quite bad if you want to use a 4K monitor; UI lag will be annoying in any resolution other than 1080p and 4K.

I had the same conundrum, returned the Mac mini and sold my 4K monitor for an iMac instead.
Hmm. ok. I was initially thinking of getting Mac Mini cuz the processor specs are impressive.

It is so troublesome seeing that I need to get a separate table, monitor, and external keyboard to connect to my windows laptop in clam-shell mode.
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Old 28-03-2019, 09:28 AM   #15
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Processor specs are only relevant when you need it. For video editing in final cut, the dgpu will help greatly with render times. I also do Lightroom editing and the 6 core might have a slight edge over the 4 core, but I found that the mini got ridiculously hot, close to the max of 100 degrees. A quad core runs much cooler.

That said, if you really want to cut down duplicative set ups, get the mini, but if you feel that you are being bottlenecked for video editing, can always get an egpu subsequently. Just very expensive atm.

Hmm. ok. I was initially thinking of getting Mac Mini cuz the processor specs are impressive.

It is so troublesome seeing that I need to get a separate table, monitor, and external keyboard to connect to my windows laptop in clam-shell mode.
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