A iMac G4 and Intel Mac Mini Marriage

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 16 2006
Posts: 2

I have a iMac G4 17" flat screen with a bad logicboard that is in great condition. I was wanting to mate a Intel Mac Mini with this iMac. I think that it would be possible to place the Mac Mini inside of the iMac dome, leaving the outside untouched. I would like to use the iMac Superdrive and harddrive, both of which would be powered by the iMac power supply. The USB/Firewire/Audio connections could be worked out with some short cable extensions. But the big question is how do I connect the iMac display wiring to the Mac Mini DVI/VGA monitor port. If I knew what each of the wires from the display and the pins on the connector were for, then I could come up with a jumper of some type. I believe that logicboard of the Mac Mini will easily fit in the place of the iMac logicboard with the proper bracket. And there may even be room for the Mini's power brick inside. I like the design of the iMac, but with what it would cost to replace the bad logicboard, I though it would make more sence to update with the new Mini. I need to know if this can be done, and be dependable, before buying the Mini. Thanks.

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Eudimorphodon's picture
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
Not easy.

The iMac's LCD display is driven directly via LVDS from the motherboard, in the same manner as a laptop display. You can't just "wire a jumper" to make it plug into the DVI port on the back of the mini. You *might* be able to use something like this:


to convert DVI to LVDS signal levels, but in practice this is going to be a *hard* project. (I suspect this module doesn't cover all the bases in terms of making a "real" DVI monitor out of a bare flat panel. It'll almost certainly be missing identification and scaling features, which means you'd have to hard program the video driver on the Mini to output a suitable display geometry.)

Basically the comments regarding laptop monitor conversion in the FAQ:


apply here. It may be "doable", with enough weird obscure parts, but it'll be hard and expensive.


Jon's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
Is there any reason you could

Is there any reason you couldn't find a suitably sized LCD monitor to replace the original LCD panel? That'd solve the DVI to LVDS issue right away, and you can sell off the old good LCD to help fund the new monitor. Depending on what parts of the iMac you can sell, you might be able to fund much of the conversion parts. The bare 17" panel might be worth as much as a whole new 17" LCD monitor, so you might come up even, and get all the parts you need to connect it to the mini without searching for the "weird and unusual" parts.


I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

Joined: Mar 16 2006
Posts: 2
A iMac G4 and Intel Mac Mini Marriage

Thank You, you told me just what I need to know. Sometimes things are not as straight forward as I would like. I don't want to invest the time and money into something that wouldn't work 100%. Now I know. Thanks Again.