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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Old iMac with new Macbook?

Old iMac with new Macbook?
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Oct 25, 2013, 09:58 PM
 
My early 2009 iMac (Model Identifier: iMac9,1), can barely deal with Aperture and additional editing software together, so I will have to update over the next 6 months budget permitting. I also have an older MacBook (the solid white plastic variety that now seems to weigh a ton) which could do with replacing. There is no way I can purchase both, so I'm wondering if I could hook a new MacBook Air to my 24-inch iMac and use it in my home office with the big display? There is a single unused connector outlet alongside the USB, FireWire and Ethernet connectors on the iMac. The symbol shows a screen with an additional line on either side. Can someone tell me what this is for? And is there a way to use it or one of the other outlets, with an adapter for instance, that would allow me to hook a new MacBook air to my iMac? I asked this question at an Apple store-in-store and was told no, but the staffer didn't seem entirely sure.
     
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Oct 26, 2013, 08:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Yokohama View Post
The symbol shows a screen with an additional line on either side. Can someone tell me what this is for?
External monitor.

Have you maxed-out the RAM in the iMac?
OMG!!! We did it!!!!
     
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Oct 26, 2013, 08:53 AM
 
That outlet is mini-DVI, and no, you can't use it as a display in connection. Your iMac is unfortunately a couple of months too old for that - the display in feature arrived on the Late 2009 27" iMac.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
hab
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Oct 26, 2013, 01:59 PM
 
"display in feature" (?)

Can you direct me to info about that - I tried google and was unsuccessful. Many thanks.
21.5" iMac 2.7GHz i5, 10.8.5; 15" FP iMac 0.8GHz G4, iPhone 3GS.
     
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Oct 26, 2013, 03:30 PM
 
The 27" iMacs from Late 2009 and on can be used as a monitor by using a DisplayPort to connect it to another computer. From 2011, this requires a Thunderbolt-capable computer at the other end, which in effect means a Mac of the same vintage.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
hab
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Oct 26, 2013, 05:23 PM
 
Very cool. Learn something new every day … I thought the thunderbolt on my new iMac was display-out only. Thanks for the info !!!
21.5" iMac 2.7GHz i5, 10.8.5; 15" FP iMac 0.8GHz G4, iPhone 3GS.
     
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Oct 27, 2013, 08:26 PM
 
In reply to Thorzdad, yes, I believe so. I have 4 MB of RAM. This is really disappointing news as I'm quite happy with my iMac except for its processing speed.
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 04:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Yokohama View Post
In reply to Thorzdad, yes, I believe so. I have 4 MB of RAM. This is really disappointing news as I'm quite happy with my iMac except for its processing speed.
Then the answer is no: Max RAM in that model is 8GB. You can easily upgrade it yourself. Get two sticks of 4GB DDR3 SO-DIMM, 1066 MHz or faster, and install using the provided access door:

iMac Intel 24" EMC 2267 RAM Replacement - iFixit

I would strongly recommend doing this first. Adding more RAM can be a significant boost to an aging Mac. The step after that is installing an SSD, but that is both more expensive and significantly trickier.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 07:43 AM
 
Dear Moderator--Thank you SO much for this info. I had it in my head that my iMac was non-upgradeable. I must have be thinking of the earlier models that max out at 4MB. And to think I almost didn't bother to follow up with my second comment because there didn't seem much point!
I will upgrade in the next couple of days. Now I can wait until the Retina iMacs arrive! Yay!
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 07:46 AM
 
Quick follow up. Your write "1066MHz or faster." If I go for something faster than what Apple has outlined in its RAM upgrading explanation, is there a speed or something else that I should avoid?
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 08:58 AM
 
What I meant was this: Look around for 1066 MHz DDR3 SO-DIMMs, but if you find 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz cheaper, then just buy that instead. If it's quality RAM that follows the specs, it has the timings JEDEC specifies and works on all slower speeds.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 12:38 PM
 
That's pretty hit and miss. Even some of the upper mid-tier brands (eg. Corsair and the like) don't have the proper timings for the slower speeds, unless it's specifically listed as being Mac compatible for that speed.
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 03:45 PM
 
Then it should use the timings for the next faster speeds. Honestly, I haven't had a memory chip fail to work since the EDO RAM era.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 05:00 PM
 
I've had many fail in several different Macs. Stuff that worked perfectly fine at faster speeds in other machines wouldn't boot the Mac at slower speeds.

BTW, there are PC apps that will show all the listed timings, and you'll see that some brands only include a limited set of timings. Even during the DDRx era, I've had both Patriot and Corsair RAM fail to boot a Mac. Buying 1333 DDR3 for a 1066 machine will sometimes give you a no-boot machine. With some of these brands, you must buy 1066 RAM... or else faster RAM that you know includes the right timings for the Mac. That's probably one reason why so-called "Mac compatible" RAM often costs a lot more. I never buy more expensive Mac-compatible-labelled RAM though. To make it easy for myself I just buy the RAM that has the right specs for the machine, and try to stick to top-tier brands.

Irritating but true.
     
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Oct 28, 2013, 06:03 PM
 
I appreciate the latest input. Will go to Akihabara (in Tokyo) today and armed with this info, I will be careful to choose. Thanks to everyone who has responded here.
     
   
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