Replacing an iMac, connectivity and Having It All

I hope that someone can help me figure out how to streamline my set up.

I have an ageing late 2014 5K iMac 27 with 24gb ram. I run it with a second monitor (see picture). I am looking to replace this with either an M1 mini or a new laptop to replace my MacBook 12".

I have learned that the M1 laptop will only run 1 external monitor however (it’s own screen being monitor 2) whereas the mini will run 2 monitors. Thank you @killerwhale for your enthusiastic posts on the mini, and recommendation for the Calbits hub.

Also in the picture you can see a second set up. This is a work mini PC (optiPlex 7070) which I need for remote access to work documents and images. Its has 3 DP outputs. The larger monitor is a Dell 32" 4K.

If I upgrade from the iMac I would ideally like to switch back and forth between PC and Mac. Otherwise I will need a new monitor.

This is where I get confused regarding what hardware would be needed. Does a switch also act as a hub? Or do I need a switch and a hub? How many ports do I need? Will I need a switch with DP outlets? Do you connect to the switch direct from the computer or via the hub? Help!

I hope someone can help or point me to a resource which would clear this up.

TL;DR What do I need to consolidate Mac and PC systems in my home office. Or should I just buy another iMac…


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