Mini PC / Gaming Desktop? iMac Display?

14
Posted 18th Nov
Hello there,

Hopefully someone can help with my rather vague thread. My Win10 Laptop is about to go kaput. I’m mainly now using my iMac and various tablets for general surfing etc however I would still like a Win10 as it’s what I know far more intricately than my iMac so far.

My Imac is Centre of my music making set up so I’ve not got much space on the desk it sits on with monitors, a DAW etc, so it dawned on me I could potentially get either a ‘mini’ pc or small factor desktop and use the iMac as a display if I needed to.

However I’m very much out of touch with latest PC parts so I’m not sure what I should be looking for. Ideally I’d like to spend as little as possible but realise smaller could equal more cost, so if my iMac became the display a bigger desktop box under the desk or elsewhere would be fine if it drastically reduced the cost.

I’d also like a decent gaming PC at some point in the future, but I’m aware this would cost significantly more, but again if I could get a half decent gaming rig in a desktop I might buy it ‘this purchase’ rather than wait for a future date. Perhaps what I need to use it for may dictate your suggestions

general office type stuff - word, excel etc. Surfing, DVD Profiler. This is by far far my most serious need for device and appreciate this can be done the cheapest. However it would be nice to have a device that FLYS doing this rather than cheap as chips / just manages

Music making - soft synths etc. (Not hugely important if dramatically increases costs as it’s mainly my iMac for this so could forgo if added too much)
Gaming - again I know this is where the big money can be spent and I’m realistic my budget doesn’t stretch that far but if it was achievable then great.

looking at acepc Celeron mini PCs at £170ish on amazon has sort of started my budget around that point (despite always being aware Celerons weren’t ‘too quality’ from when I knew a bit about PCs to somewhere say upto £600 if I could fit a decent gaming / music spec desktop PC in and use the iMac as a display.

As you can see, that is why title was so vague as I’m not even sure what I want or need, however a laptop seems to rule itself out as I don’t really need it to leave the house, although I could even be tempted with another if it meant working from sofa / bed.

So any info or ideas greatly received but really it’s some form of PC that flies at general tasks but still on the low end of my budget or if I can fit in everything at the higher end of budget then that would be doable too.

cheers!
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14 Comments
If you must have windows 10 you could either run it under virtual box or bootcamp. I’m not aware of a solution to use the iMac as a display only.
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Freddy_uk18/11/2019 06:28

If you must have windows 10 you could either run it under virtual box or …If you must have windows 10 you could either run it under virtual box or bootcamp. I’m not aware of a solution to use the iMac as a display only.


You can use the iMac as a display only but I’m unclear if that only works for Mac’s or whether it will work with other formats
deleted147109818/11/2019 06:42

You can use the iMac as a display only but I’m unclear if that only works f …You can use the iMac as a display only but I’m unclear if that only works for Mac’s or whether it will work with other formats


Ya looks like you can with target display mode and a DisplayPort cable. It looks like it must be a DisplayPort cable of some kind without an adapter.


google.co.uk/amp…mp/
Freddy_uk18/11/2019 06:28

If you must have windows 10 you could either run it under virtual box or …If you must have windows 10 you could either run it under virtual box or bootcamp. I’m not aware of a solution to use the iMac as a display only.


I’d agree with this.

However one alternative would be to use parallels if you have some cash to throw at it. If you’re looking at celeron cpus then it’s probably going to be better using your existing mac even if you virtualise on it (assuming it’s fairly recent from what you’re saying)
Freddy_uk18/11/2019 06:49

Ya looks like you can with target display mode and a DisplayPort cable. It …Ya looks like you can with target display mode and a DisplayPort cable. It looks like it must be a DisplayPort cable of some kind without an adapter.https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.cultofmac.com/20176/using-imac-as-monitor-requires-very-specific-cable/amp/


I doubt he's got a 2009 model these days.

Most iMacs don't have any video inputs. There were a few models around 2010 that did and I think Apple implemented a proprietary target display mode over thunderbolt for a few years after that which only worked with other Mac OS PCs but anything more recent than 2014 doesn't support it.
support.apple.com/en-…592

There are ways to transfer screen data over a network connection, but there's typically some element of sluggishness to it due to the compression needed so that wouldn't work here.


One solution already mentioned that would work is to install Windows 10 onto your current PC rather than just using it as a display. Apple swapped to standard PC architecture in the mid-2000s and they provide windows drivers for their hardware.
Edited by: "EndlessWaves" 18th Nov
Oh blimey. I was just assuming as the iMac could be used as a display it could be used as a display for anything. You guys have helped already! Thank you. I think I need to do a little more research to see if that’s even possible.

Cheers
sh2018/11/2019 07:09

I’d agree with this. However one alternative would be to use parallels if y …I’d agree with this. However one alternative would be to use parallels if you have some cash to throw at it. If you’re looking at celeron cpus then it’s probably going to be better using your existing mac even if you virtualise on it (assuming it’s fairly recent from what you’re saying)


Virtual box is free
sh2018/11/2019 17:39

I know?


So why pay for parallels when other free alternatives are available, and work better in my opinion.
Freddy_uk18/11/2019 17:43

So why pay for parallels when other free alternatives are available, and …So why pay for parallels when other free alternatives are available, and work better in my opinion.


because OP said he had money and it provides a more seamless experience. It’s a completely different solution to virtualbox. as I said, it was an alternative solution to virtualbox.
sh2018/11/2019 17:46

because OP said he had money and it provides a more seamless experience. …because OP said he had money and it provides a more seamless experience. It’s a completely different solution to virtualbox. as I said, it was an alternative solution to virtualbox.


No worries.

I tried it years ago and don’t remember it being anything special compared to other alternatives like VMware.
Freddy_uk18/11/2019 18:03

No worries.I tried it years ago and don’t remember it being anything s …No worries.I tried it years ago and don’t remember it being anything special compared to other alternatives like VMware.


It basically allows you to run apps as if they are native (although obviously it’s still running windows to an extent in the background, you just don’t see it). It’s just a method to virtualise apps. If you are only using it to virtualise a whole OS then yes there’s no reason to use parallels.
My iMac is a late 2013 one if that has any bearing.

However what with BF & Christmas offers coming up (and having access to a mates 10% Currys / PC world discount as well should something come up there) and the issues you guys have raised above, I’m now leaning towards a decent ‘ish’ windows laptop that will no doubt turn up over BF.

Happy for more thoughts but ill keep I’ll keep an eye out on the forums for any decent laptop offers. Again though my trouble is that my price point seems to throw up so many options

thanks for the help chaps!
At present I’m leaning to getting this and forgoing any major gaming on it. Sounds like it will do anything I need it to do apart from that.

Trouble is will BF bring up better

hotukdeals.com/dea…228
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