2010 iMac + 2011 MBA = Confusion

Discussion in 'iMac' started by avijeets, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. avijeets macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    I'm going to keep this short and sweet, I don't want to waste any one's time.

    I have a 2010 Mid-iMac (has miniDisplayPort port) and I just got a Mid-2011 MBA (has Thunderbolt port), and I just reached confusion :confused: .

    If you check out this video, you can obviously tell, that if my iMac was thunderbolt, I would be able to use it as a monitor. But since it's mDP, I cannot.

    Is there anyway I can connect my Macbook Air into the iMac, being able to use the iMac as a monitor?

    If so, what wire do I need, to connect the two?

  2. TheLegend macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2010
    I would imagine you could use the MBA's thunderbolt port as a Mini Display Port. So if you bought 2 Mini Display Port > VGA adapters and used a VGA cable to connect the two.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Connecting them is one thing. Having it actually do what avijeets wants is another issue.

    Don't try this. At best it's a waste of time. At worst, it might short something out.

    You can't - it requires Thunderbolt. See this Apple Knowledge Base document for some related info.
  4. Acorn, Feb 26, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012

    Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009

    that knowledge base article is for 2011 imac not 2010. the reason that article says that is because the 2011 has a TBD port. An 2011 imac TBD port cant be used as a target source unless the source is from a TBD port. it does not apply to 2010 with mini display port.

    there is nothing wrong with using a non thunderbolt display running from a thunderbolt display port (if its not daisy chained from multiple TBD). simply use a mini displayport to mini display port cable to the imac and then it should work in target display mode.

    mini display port can run from thunderbolt. just not the other way around. you cant drive a TBD from mini display port.
  5. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    You need a mini display port cable.
  6. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    This is wrong wrong wrong! Please listen to what has been said by Acorn.
  7. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Acorn & jsolares are saying the same thing. A simple mdp to mdp cable from a TB equipped system should be fine connected to the video input of a non-TB iMac. The iMac is just another non-TB capable external monitor.

  8. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    You're wrong :) you should re-read what acorn posted.

    This is a 2010 iMac + 2011 MBA, the same combination i have. the MBA can drive minidisplay port through the thunderbolt port, so it CAN drive the iMac as it's display.

    All you need for this combo is a mini display port cable on both ends.

    Now if it were a 2011 iMac + 2010 MBA it just can't be done. you would also need a 2011 MBA and then would use a thunderbolt cable.

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