iMac

Can I use an old iMac as a display for a new mac?

iMac

Episode 1698

Mark from Panama City, FL

Mark has a 2012 iMac and a 2018 Mac Mini, along with a 2016 MacBook Pro and 12" iPad Pro. Can he hook up his Macbook Pro or his MacMini to his iMac and use the display? It can on a limited number of iMacs and is called Target Display Mode. IT requires a thunderbolt connection. Here's how - https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/use-an-imac-as-a-display-mh30822/mac. It may not work with Mark's model, but you can do it. Only for models mid 2011 to late 2014.

What iMac should I buy?

iMac 27"

Episode 1692

Richard from Centerville, OH

Richard wants to upgrade his Mac Mini to an iMac. What's the biggest bang for the buck, the 21.5" or the 27"? Leo says to get the larger screen if you can afford it. If not, why not just get a new Mac Mini? Richard always has a screen, mouse and keyboard. The Mini has been upgraded and is now a pretty compelling product. You can get a six-core i7 Mini with a nice SSD and RAM for less than that iMac. Or if you need the iMac, go with a six-core i5 and the Radeon Pro instead of the i7. It'll save you $200 that you can put into more RAM or the larger screen.

Why can't my iMac read my SD cards?

27" iMac

Episode 1676

Vanessa from California

Vanessa has a two-year-old 27" iMac. She uses it for her drone photography editing, but her SD card adapters aren't reading. Leo suspects that the SD cards aren't reading because of the format they've been formatted in. It may be due to formatting the card in the drone itself.  Leo recommends Disc Utility on the Mac and format the card with ExFAT. Copy off the data first though with a Windows machine. Also, make sure you use a card that the Mac supports.

Should I buy a NAS or repurpose an old iMac with Plex?

WD 8TB My Cloud EX4100

Episode 1647

Brian from Pittsburgh, PA

Brian recently bought a MacBook Air. He wants to know if he can repurpose his old Mac as a server to run Plex. Leo says that Brian's old dual-core iMac isn't super fast, but you can run Plex on an Atom processor, so it'll work on that iMac, but it may struggle with 4K. In that case, getting a dedicated NAS, like Synology, would be a better option. You'd also have a lot more storage space. It'll also sit and a closet out of the way. You'll also have to fit drives into it. So that'll be an extra cost.

What is a Good Computer for a 12-year-old Kid?

iMac

Episode 1646

Vivian from Long Beach, CA

Vivian wants to get a computer for her 12-year-old daughter, but she's in the dark in what to get her. She's into gaming on Apple Arcade. She also wants one that she'll use for a long time. Leo says that a desktop is a better choice because they aren't that mobile and as she becomes a teenager, Vivian is going to want that computer in a public area! Leo recommends getting an iMac, ideally. Another option is a Chromebook, because she probably uses them at school. They will be limited for gaming, but that's a good thing. The Google PixelBook Go is a good option.

How can I backup my photos on my mac?

MacBook Pro

Episode 1639

Larry from Temecula, CA

Larry has an old 2015 MacBook Pro with a 256GB SSD. It's not enough for his Raw Photo storage. Should he get an external hard drive or replace the internal one? Or maybe get a RAID? Leo says it's not that hard to replace the SSD in that 2015 MacBook pro. It's just a few screws, and MacSales.com has videos showing you how to do it. Getting an external may be OK, but it's not Thunderbolt 3, so it won't be as fast as internal. Leo also recommends learning about 3-2-1 backup from DPBestFlow.org. Leo also recommends backing up the photos online. Google Photos is a great place to do that.

How can I get my second monitor to match the resolution of my 5K iMac?

SwitchResX

Episode 1639

Chuck from Thousand Oaks, California

Chuck has a 5K iMac and a second LG 5K monitor. But he can't get the resolution to match. The window ends up 50% smaller. Leo says Apple has taken a lot of control away from users. He suggests trying an app called SwitchResX. It'll let you choose any resolution and frame rate your monitor will support.

How Can I Make my New Mac Like My Old Mac?

Mac

Episode 1638

Jim from Santa Clarita, CA

Jim bought a new Mac and wants to know how he can set it up like his old one. Leo says he'll need a cable and connect the two. There is a tool in MacOS that will copy everything over and make it look just like the old Mac, only faster. Leo does recommend, though, to take an external hard drive and backup data just in case. Leo recommends either SuperDuper or ChronoSync. The old mac should also have someting called "target disc mode," which can be used as an external drive, dragging them over to the new mac. But Jim will probably need a thunderbolt-firewire adapter. 

Should I Buy an iMac or Mac Mini?

Mac mini.

Episode 1592

Jeff from Pasadena, CA

Jeff has reached the end of the line on his iMac since it won't work with updates anymore. So he's looking at buying a new Mac. Should he get an iMac or a Mac Mini? Leo says that he's a real fan of the new Mac Mini because it has a ton of connectors, including Thunderbolt 3, so he can run an external GPU if he wants. He can also upgrade the RAM. He can save some money and get his own screen, keyboard, and mouse.  He can also get a better webcam or connect a video camera to do streaming. 

Should I Buy a Mac Mini?

MacMini

Episode 1583

Jerry from Woodland Hills, CA

Jerry is looking to get a new computer and wants to know if the new Mac Mini is good for occasional video editing and sound recording. Rich says that the Mac Mini was thought dead, but the new version has had a bump in specs. Pretty much any computer will work for editing basic video for the internet. But 4K video is going to require more power. For $800, the basic Mac Mini really isn't up to the task. Rich recommends maxing out the RAM and hard drive if the budget allows. But remember, that the Mac Mini also requires one to buy a monitor. keyboard, and mouse.