27" iMac as Display

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KennyKW, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. KennyKW macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    I have both a 2011 27" iMac and a 13" MBA. Is it possible to use the 27" display for my MBA. And how to?
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    As long as you have DisplayPort on your machine, the iMac can be used as a display.
  3. qCzar, Jul 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

    qCzar macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    SFBA, CA
    Nope, both computers have to be connected via Thunderbolt.

    You cannot use your 2011 iMac as a Target Display for your pre-2011 MacBook Air.
  4. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    If they both use Thunderbolt, does the iMac have to be running in order to use it as a display? Meaning the entire computer will be running, fans and everything?
  5. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    It was my understanding that it could be connected with DisplayPort from a MBP, didn't know that the Mini in the MBA wasn't supported.
  6. Davo456 macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2010
    What about if you bought apple's thunderbolt cable for £50, and then plugged that into a displayport (not thunderbolt) equipped computer ?
  7. rj86 macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2011
    I was asked the same question the other day and while it isn't worded very clearly the Apple Support Article linked above says (emphasis mine):

    I read that as saying you need both machines to be Thunderbolt-equipped. It doesn't say it won't work with a MDP equipped but I suspect that this is the case (and I haven't had time/been bothered to go buy a TB cable to test!).
  8. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I can certainly attest to a 2011 iMac not working with a MDP-to-HDMI converter with a PS3. I read that it wouldn't work... but I just wanted to try it anyway.

    I too am hoping that Apple will flip the switch and let non-Thunderbolt devices make use of these 27 inches of pixel glory. Sometimes I just want to sit at my desktop and have my videogame consoles or iPad hooked up to my iMac, rather than my 40in 720p TV, ya' know? The resolution is literally twice as good.

    I'm honestly surprised no one has found a hack for this or anything, because it seems strictly software related.

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