Can I connect a PC tower to a mac to use as a monitor?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Hugbees, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Intell

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  3. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #3
    damn, what does that have that lets it do that?
     
  4. macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
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    Bath, Somerset, UK
    #5
    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?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    coder12

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #6
    Target display mode, it's called. You'll need a DVI >> Minidisplay port cable/converter. More on that with Apple's support page here.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    #7
    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?
     
  8. macrumors 68040

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    #8
    I do not think that is true. I use a 2009 iMac as a display for other computers in target display mode.

    /Jim
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

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    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    Yes, but only the 27" model.

    The late-2009 27" model can do this as well. I often forget they have this ability.
     
  11. macrumors member

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    May 28, 2010
    #11
    Just searched about iMac target display mode and had my mind blown.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

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    #12
    Is it recoverable?

    /Jim
     
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #13
    Sadly though, I'm guessing there's no way for my 21 inch 2007 imac to do this in any capacity?
     
  14. macrumors 604

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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #15
    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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