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Old Nov 25, 2012, 03:54 PM   #1
JohnDev
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Using an iMac as a MacPro Display

I purchased a used 2009 MacPro with the understanding I could use my iMac as a monitor using a mini display cable. I was under the impression that plugging in the mini display cable would cause the iMac to automatically default as a display for the MacPro. In all of the examples I've seen are of a laptop using an iMac as a display. I don't know how to access the Mac Pro's system preferences without a monitor to set up the iMac as a display. Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 04:00 PM   #2
12dylan34
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Push Command+F2 on the iMac. Should cause it to switch modes.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 04:20 PM   #3
JohnDev
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Originally Posted by 12dylan34 View Post
Push Command+F2 on the iMac. Should cause it to switch modes.
Thanks,

No Luck, I have the early 2009 24" iMac btw.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 04:44 PM   #4
Chrisg2014
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I think, and don't quote me on this but only the 2010 iMacs and up can be used as a display.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 04:48 PM   #5
12dylan34
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Unfortunately, then I think you might be out of luck, at least through Apple's solution. I think that they introduced the external display feature on the late 2009 models when the 21.5 and 27 inch models took over the line.

I don't have any experience with it, but ScreenRecycler seems like it might be able to do what you want it to.

Anyone else know about this?
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 06:04 PM   #6
JohnDev
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What are my options with this video card: 512 MB VRAM RADEON HD 4870.
It has one DVI and one mini display port. Can I use one of the newer 27" cinema displays. I think the new one with Thunderbolt isn't compatible. Trying to find a decent 30" cinema may be a problem. Would updating to a Radeon 5770 or 5870 offer me more options?
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:30 PM   #7
Umbongo
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Would updating to a Radeon 5770 or 5870 offer me more options?
Nope. No graphics card can connect to the thunderbolt display and all of the Mac Pro cards you've listed can connect to every other display you'd want to buy.

You can use the 27" DisplayPort Cinema Display or one of the many other 27" displays from Dell, HP, Samsung, NEC, Eizo, ViewSonic, BenQ .. the list goes on.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:36 PM   #8
JohnDev
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Nope. No graphics card can connect to the thunderbolt display and all of the Mac Pro cards you've listed can connect to every other display you'd want to buy.
Thanks for the help. Looks like I'll be making an unexpected purchase of one of the older 27" displays.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:45 PM   #9
MisterKeeks
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I don't have any experience with it, but ScreenRecycler seems like it might be able to do what you want it to.

Anyone else know about this?
I've used it. It does its job amazingly well, what with being over a network, but isn't near good enough for most anything. Even simple tasks like dragging a window create large amounts of pixelation, and it takes a while for that to go away.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 08:45 PM   #10
xav8tor
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Target display mode works with 27 inch iMacs 2009 and up with a mini displayport cable. All you need to do is hit CMD plus F2 as stated. I use it all the time with no problems whatsoever. Just be aware the iMac becomes a "dumb" display when in TDM. A lot of functions are disabled when acting as a display. You cannot go from a displayport card in a Mac Pro to a TB display. This knocks out the new iMacs as a display option for Mac Pros. Unfortunate.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 08:54 PM   #11
JohnDev
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Target display mode works with 27 inch iMacs 2009 and up with a mini displayport cable. All you need to do is hit CMD plus F2 as stated. I use it all the time with no problems whatsoever. Just be aware the iMac becomes a "dumb" display when in TDM. A lot of functions are disabled when acting as a display. You cannot go from a displayport card in a Mac Pro to a TB display. This knocks out the new iMacs as a display option for Mac Pros. Unfortunate.
I'm wondering if it would be a better move to find a late 2009 27" iMac for a display on ebay vs buying a new 27" cinema. Apple is still selling the non Thunderbolt version, but it seems it's on it's way out and the resell value will probably drop quickly.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 11:07 PM   #12
Umbongo
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I'm wondering if it would be a better move to find a late 2009 27" iMac for a display on ebay vs buying a new 27" cinema. Apple is still selling the non Thunderbolt version, but it seems it's on it's way out and the resell value will probably drop quickly.
The resell shouldn't drop over any other choice, because you still have the Mac Pro market as well as the millions of Macs that shipped with MDP, but not TB.

I would expect them to sell it as long as they sell the 27" TB model, which should be right through 2013. There isn't really anything to replace these displays with.

The issue with using the iMac is that you are adding the power costs of the iMac's idle state.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 11:35 PM   #13
JohnDev
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The resell shouldn't drop over any other choice, because you still have the Mac Pro market as well as the millions of Macs that shipped with MDP, but not TB.

I would expect them to sell it as long as they sell the 27" TB model, which should be right through 2013. There isn't really anything to replace these displays with.

The issue with using the iMac is that you are adding the power costs of the iMac's idle state.
Good thoughts, I'll go ahead and order a 27" tomorrow.

Thanks!
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