Thoughts on putting old iMac under desk?

I’ve got a 2013 iMac (27 inch) and a school issued 2020 intel Macbook Air, as well as 2 monitors.
Right now I use the iMac and monitors (and the desk it sits on) for personal stuff, but I’d like a way to use the other monitors for school. I don’t really need 3 monitors, so I was thinking a way to do this is put the iMac under the desk, then use a KVM switch to switch the other monitors/keyboard/mouse between iMac and Macbook air. Could this work, anyone else tried this?

Or you could put the iMac under the desk and remote into it from one of the other macs.

I used to occasionally remote into multiple Macs, and windows servers, and keep each in a separate Space. Then just swipe between them as needed. No KVM needed.


Another possible route to take is to use an HMDI switch, assuming you are using HDMI to connect to your monitors, along with a keyboard and mouse which can be switched between devices. I do this with my setup in my home office.

  • I share a monitor between my Windows work laptop and personal Mac via a HDMI switch.
  • I have a Logitech MX Master 3 mouse which can be paired with both systems and switched via button press.
  • I have a Satechi Compact Keyboard, which likewise can be paired with both and switched via a button press.

This may be cheaper than using a KVM switch.

I actually have both systems running at the same time, and switch back and forth as needed. I have other monitors connected to the Mac, and use the laptop monitor, in addition to the shared monitor. So I use the shared monitor with the laptop during working hours and with the Mac otherwise.

Good luck whatever route you take.

This sounds slick. I wonder why more people don’t do this. Latency, maybe?

I wasn’t doing anything involving heavy graphics. Using programs to manage phone systems, running reports, monitoring backups, etc.

When I was remoting into local machines (on the local lan) there was no perceptible latency which is why I could connect to multiple machines. It worked so well we replaced Parallels/VMWare Fusion with physical PCs.

I was able to come in on a VPN and admin a windows server on 3 mpbs DSL.

Hmmm … an idea what to do with my just replaced 2018 Mac mini. :slight_smile:

If minis haven’t changed lately, you’ll need something like this if you don’t connect a display.

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I’ve already got one. :slight_smile:

When the Mini first came out there were multiple issues with eGPUs, and I needed one to get the system to work.

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What would the latency be with that kind of setup? I can connect both of them through ethernet

For routine office work, Word, Excel, email, etc. I would say virtually zero. I have never tried running photoshop or resolve, etc. remotely. I have no problem running my MBA remotely from my iPP over WiFi.

The Mini is headless and under the desk. :slight_smile:

In fact, the browser session I’m using to type this is running on the Mini.

And no HDMI plug needed.

I’m using Jump Desktop as recommended in another thread, and I’ve got it assigned to a specific space. Very cool.

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