How to recycle a 2011 iMac into an M1 iMac

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Philippe Gloaguen
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It's a very common thing in the tech world: to do something to brag about, even if it's mostly useless or unusable, simply because you can.

If you have an iMac from a few years ago that you no longer use (low memory, slow disks, old operating system, etc.) you can take apart one of Apple's new Mac mini M1s and reuse its card to mount it on your old iMac to have a computer with a modern operating system, even if the rest of the computer is practically useless.



That's exactly what YouTube content creator Luke Miani did: take apart a Mac mini M1 and put everything he needed inside an old iMac, creating what he calls the first iMac with Apple Silicon, albeit. is very far. your dreams.

Luke Miani found that the Mac mini's motherboard is so small that it fits neatly into the iMac chassis without requiring modifications. You also used an HDMI monitor adapter to be able to switch between the Mac mini connection to the iMac monitor connector.

Basically, the Mac mini works unchanged within the iMac chassis and uses the iMac screen as a monitor, although this has placed significant limitations on the iMac's functionality.

For starters, the 2011 iMac has a low resolution by today's standards, predating Retina monitors. The 27-inch iMac screen has a maximum resolution of 2560 by 1440, which isn't the best for enjoying the latest version of macOS.

To continue, since this is the Mac mini card screwed into the iMac chassis, all ports on the Mac mini, including the power button, remain inside the iMac chassis, so they cannot be used unless do not take the screen apart again.



Of course, the ports on the iMac, not using its motherboard, are also useless.


Finally, the Mac mini's Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios have been optimized using a set of three antennas, but one of them is built into the Mac mini's chassis itself, so to keep the signals efficient, an additional antenna had to be connected. . the iMac antenna cable circuit.

Although YouTuber Luke Miani is glad he did, he doesn't recommend installing it to anyone, even if it's easy to do. However, it says that if you have an abandoned iMac somewhere in the house, it's worth using it as a Mac mini monitor.


As exciting as it may seem to us to take apart a Mac mini to get an iMac Frankestein, I think we will wait for Apple to release the official versions of the iMac M1, which will be much more powerful than the Mac mini and will be able to take advantage of the maximum resolution. of the monitor that the computer has integrated.

It will also be interesting if other geeks take this project forward by improving the output of the Mac mini ports or by taking advantage of the iMac ports in some way.

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