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Old Mar 4, 2012, 07:56 PM   #1
Hugbees
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Can I connect a PC tower to a mac to use as a monitor?

So I don't really have a powerful enough Mac to run newer PC games anymore. However, I do own a PC that is. The problem is, I don't really have the room to have both on my desk and there's no better spot in my current place to put it.

So I had a thought, can I hook up my PC's tower to my mac and use it as a monitor? I'd assume I could through some special program and/or a special cable that allows for it, but I really don't know. It sounds crazy enough to work.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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You can only use a 2010 27" iMac to do that.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:03 PM   #3
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You can only use a 2010 27" iMac to do that.
damn, what does that have that lets it do that?
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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Not sure. It's how it was designed. The 2011 27" can do it as well, but only for other Thunderbolt equipped Macs. The 2010 can do it for any DVI compatible source.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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interesting post!

I have a 2010 iMac, so it would work on my machine.

I would very much like to do that to. What cable is required & where does in plug into the PC tower (or laptop) (& the mac) once plugged in, how do you go about "seeing" the pc?
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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interesting post!

I have a 2010 iMac, so it would work on my machine.

I would very much like to do that to. What cable is required & where does in plug into the PC tower (or laptop) (& the mac) once plugged in, how do you go about "seeing" the pc?
Target display mode, it's called. You'll need a DVI >> Minidisplay port cable/converter. More on that with Apple's support page here.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 12:30 PM   #7
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How good would it work? Could one theoretically game on a Windows-machine with the iMac as a screen or would there be ghosting or lots of input lag or god knows what?
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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You can only use a 2010 27" iMac to do that.
I do not think that is true. I use a 2009 iMac as a display for other computers in target display mode.

/Jim
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 01:00 PM   #9
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Not sure. It's how it was designed. The 2011 27" can do it as well, but only for other Thunderbolt equipped Macs. The 2010 can do it for any DVI compatible source.
It's because the 27-inch iMac has special Thunderbolt ports. One of the ports actually has video in, where as the 21.5-inch Thunderbolt port does not.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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I have a 2010 iMac, so it would work on my machine.
Yes, but only the 27" model.

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Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
I do not think that is true. I use a 2009 iMac as a display for other computers in target display mode.
The late-2009 27" model can do this as well. I often forget they have this ability.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 03:19 PM   #11
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I do not think that is true. I use a 2009 iMac as a display for other computers in target display mode.

/Jim
Just searched about iMac target display mode and had my mind blown.
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 03:36 PM   #12
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Just searched about iMac target display mode and had my mind blown.
Is it recoverable?

/Jim
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 03:44 PM   #13
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Sadly though, I'm guessing there's no way for my 21 inch 2007 imac to do this in any capacity?
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 07:15 PM   #14
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Sadly though, I'm guessing there's no way for my 21 inch 2007 imac to do this in any capacity?
you would need something like the Elgato. However this introduces lag, which is probably not what you want for games. Only solutions are going to introduce lag.
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Old Mar 6, 2012, 02:56 PM   #15
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Sadly though, I'm guessing there's no way for my 21 inch 2007 imac to do this in any capacity?
Maybe 20" 2007 iMac? I've use an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid with my iMac 20" 2007 and even older eMac to play GameCube and Xbox games with. Works very well once timeshifting is turned off and it isn't recording the game play.
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