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I have a 2011 27" IMac running OS X 10.6.8 with a mini display port and would like to purchase a 13.3" MacBook pro with Thunderbolt and use the IMac as an external display. Can I do this with a mini display port cable and will the two screens mirror or will I be able to view separate windows on each monitor like mail on the MACBook and a browser on the IMAC? Also, I will run Windows 7 in Parallels or with boot camp on the MacBook and wonder if that will still allow me to use the IMac as an external monitor?

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Actually yes, you can use your 27" iMac as a external display for you MacBook. It will only work if you are going from thunderbolt to Mini-Displayport though. Refer to this article for questions.

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