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I currently have a 27" iMac i7 with the 512mb ATI card. After looking at prices on other Apple displays it appears I can purchase another low-end 27" iMac (Core 2 Duo basic model) for less than a 30" display.

3 Part question:

  • Can I easily use the lower-end iMac as an additional monitor to my higher end iMac?
  • While I am using the lower-end iMac as an additional monitor can I still take advantage of its CPU to do things like run a webserver, compress video with Handbrake, etc?
  • Are there any other 27" LCD displays with the same resolution (2560 x 1440) cheaper than the basic iMac (~$1699.00 US)?

Any insights appreciated.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

What you're looking for is Target Display Mode, built right into the iMac. Apple describes it in full in their knowledge base article.

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That is awesome! I never knew about that feature. – Josh Apr 8 '10 at 22:57
very cool! I didn't know that. – John Douthat Apr 9 '10 at 17:37
That is a fantastic feature! – Darren Newton Apr 9 '10 at 19:32
  1. Yes, you can use one iMac as monitor hooked to the other iMac
  2. Yes, you can still use both machines at the same time

You can see these two questions answered in this video:

  1. No idea :-)
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ScreenRecycler will allow you to use your 2nd iMac as a 2nd display. It can even continue to run other stuff, like a webserver, etc...

Yes, there are cheaper 27" displays. Like at NewEgg.

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Downvote, but no comment? boo. – John Douthat Apr 9 '10 at 17:37
Upvote from me, since it is a working solution. I have a 24" iMac which I cannot use in target display mode, and I do want to use it as monitor for my MacBook. ScreenRecycler lets me do this. However, I'm still looking for an easier solution. – drvdijk Sep 16 '10 at 18:58

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