PC User considering Switch - Atypical Home Setup

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I apologize in advance for asking such an odd question, but I don't know how else to go about getting feedback/guidance on this. I recognize in advance that this is rather wonky.



Many-year PC user (last used a Mac back in undergrad, more than 15 years go). Thinking about making the switch when I finally replace my aging home desktop PC sometime in the next 6-12 months (nothing urgent/pressing right now). I don't have a need for a laptop - I am issued one (a Dell) for use from work as needed, so my home setup is really about a desktop experience.



Here's the deviant part: I have one PC, but have two "interfaces" to it - two monitors, two keyboards and two mice. One set is at the desk where the PC itself resides. The other set (monitor, keyboard, wireless trackball) is next to my recliner in my living room. I use this (actually, I'm on it right now) to read e-mail and browse the web without having to go to the computer desk away from the living room.



I know that someone will say "get a laptop", but a) I really don't like using laptops in general, and b) I like only keeping up with one computer - having all of my files in one place means I don't have to worry about moving them around to access them.



OK, enough prologue. My current setup is: one PC, a video splitter, and a dedicated cable to run video, keyboard and mouse ~50 feet to the remote location. So I'm wondering what my options might be with a similar setup (Mac in one room, monitor/keyboard/mouse in another) doing the PC-to-Mac Switch.



I looked at the Mac Pro on the Apple site, but it really looks like it may be overkill for me. I'm not a graphics specialist or programmer, nor a hard-core gamer. So I'm don't know if I need the cutting-edge hardware of that setup. I then looked at the iMacs - and that's where I got confused.



With the one-piece design, would it be possible to tap into the video of an iMac and run it to an external monitor (not a second desktop space, but a cloned view)? Also, getting picky, I prefer not to leave the monitor on in the other room (with the computer) - would there be a way to make the internal display on the iMac go dark/off but still output to an external source? And then be switched back on as needed?



I'm thinking the Mac Mini is too underpowered to serve as my main PC. If someone has any other ideas, I'd appreciate hearing them.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 2
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnTree View Post


    I know that someone will say "get a laptop", but a) I really don't like using laptops in general, and b) I like only keeping up with one computer - having all of my files in one place means I don't have to worry about moving them around to access them.



    Laptops are powerful enough to replace your desktop entirely though so you'd use one and plug it into a bigger display when you needed. But if you don't like using them then your setup is ok.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnTree View Post


    So I'm wondering what my options might be with a similar setup (Mac in one room, monitor/keyboard/mouse in another) doing the PC-to-Mac Switch.



    It should be the same. It won't take PS/2 keyboards though if you have them, just USB. An iMac will need an adaptor too as it has Mini-DVI out. The Mini has DVI-out so it would probably plug straight into a splitter.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnTree View Post


    With the one-piece design, would it be possible to tap into the video of an iMac and run it to an external monitor (not a second desktop space, but a cloned view)? Also, getting picky, I prefer not to leave the monitor on in the other room (with the computer) - would there be a way to make the internal display on the iMac go dark/off but still output to an external source? And then be switched back on as needed?



    The iMac does have video-out and you can turn off the display with a hot-key or a mouse gesture.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnTree View Post


    I'm thinking the Mac Mini is too underpowered to serve as my main PC. If someone has any other ideas, I'd appreciate hearing them.



    It's actually quite powerful, it looks bad right now compared to the iMac because Apple haven't done anything to it in well over over a year now but even so, if your needs are basic then it's a great machine. Just stock up on Ram.



    I'd probably hold off until the updates for the laptops come in (hopefully next week). Who knows, they may update the Mini (14 months between updates is ridiculous).
  • Reply 2 of 2
    I've got a 2008 mac pro that i'm thinking about selling since i don't need the power and i need a laptop.



    if a mac pro is what you need then my only asking price is the price of a macbook pro or an even trade for one.
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