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spencecb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
1,171
193
Hi everyone,

I know there have been threads about this topic before, but it can be difficult to get a correct answer out of the searching capabilities. So, if anyone would care to indulge me...

I know that my iMac, which is a 2017 27" 5k with a core i7, does not support Target Display mode in the way older iMacs did. That being said, does anyone know of a work-around while still using Thunderbolt/USB-C? I am trying to use that 2017 iMac to act as a display for my 2019 MacBook Pro 15". Honestly, I wouldn't care which computer was the "main" computer and which was being used as the second display.

I am mainly trying to avoid a wireless setup (though I am open to this if there is a simple app solution that works WELL) and I also do not want to purchase another monitor to just connect. I already have two in from of me (iMac and MacBook Pro) and I'm just wanting to find a solution!

Both Macs are updated with macOS Big Sur. Thanks in advance!
 

anthony13

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2012
872
833
Plus one on Luna display. It’s not free but seems to work well.
Are there any 5k iMac model years that do support target display mode?
 

spencecb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
1,171
193
Software: Air Server (wireless and quite laggy)
Hardware: Luna Display
Plus one on Luna display. It’s not free but seems to work well.
Are there any 5k iMac model years that do support target display mode?
Yeah, I am starting to think my only realistic option is to get Luna Display. It sounds the most promising. I guess I'll just return the $39 Thunderbolt cable and get Luna for $79. Still cheaper than getting a stand-alone display to plug into my iMac, and it will look better!

If anyone has any Thunderbolt solutions, I would still prefer that!
 

spencecb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
1,171
193
So I decided to go with Luna Display. I ordered it today, and sounds like I should get it Friday or early next week. If you all have any questions about it, happy to let you know what I think. I'm pretty excited!

For my desk setup, I decided to get the Hi-Rise stand from TwelveSouth for my MacBook Pro to have it elevated next to my iMac.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,884
530
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
So I decided to go with Luna Display. I ordered it today, and sounds like I should get it Friday or early next week. If you all have any questions about it, happy to let you know what I think. I'm pretty excited!

For my desk setup, I decided to get the Hi-Rise stand from TwelveSouth for my MacBook Pro to have it elevated next to my iMac.

Yes, please describe the process of setting it up, and report result here.
It will help others with the same need as yours.
 

spencecb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
1,171
193
My new stand arrived this morning from TwelveSouth for my new setup...now just waiting on the Luna hardware!

Also, I totally forgot about Sidecar! I am running that on my iPad pictured, so I will be moving from my one screen setup to three screens! pretty excited about it all!
 

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CWallace

macrumors G4
Aug 17, 2007
10,501
8,049
Seattle, WA
Are there any 5k iMac model years that do support target display mode?

No. The custom timing controller Apple had to develop to drive the 5K display at 60Hz (as opposed to each half at 30Hz like the Dell standalone of the time) ended Target Display Mode capability.
 
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anthony13

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2012
872
833
No. The custom timing controller Apple had to develop to drive the 5K display at 60Hz (as opposed to each half at 30Hz like the Dell standalone of the time) ended Target Display Mode capability.
Thanks, that actually makes sense, I always wondered why that limitation started!
 

spencecb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
1,171
193
Does anyone following this thread know if you can re-arrange the displays in macOS system preferences while using both Luna and Sidecar? For clarification, if you had two external displays plugged directly into the iMac you would be able to arrange the displays in macOS System Preferences. I know Sidecar works, since I have that up and running. I just don't have the Luna adapter until Monday, and I was curious if anyone knows or if they have it if they can try?

Appreciate it!
 
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