Can I connect a PC to an iMac monitor?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ShadowXOR, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. ShadowXOR macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2008
    I'm making the "switch" because OS X is amazing. However, even the high end iMac will fall behind quickly when it comes to gaming on Boot Camp/Windows so I want to get an iMac for everything but gaming, then have a PC for gaming connected to that beautiful monitor, is this possible?

    I would want to switch back and forth kind of like a KVM...if there is any possible way to do that.

    If not, what is my best option for a Mac/PC single monitor KVM setup:

    PC and entry level Mac Pro
    PC and wait for the new Mac Mini
    PC and MacBook Pro

    I just need the Mac to run everything well, I'll do photos, videos, Photoshop, browsing, etc. but all for fun. However I do tend to multitask and I don't want any slow down on that beautiful interface it has!

    Thanks for the help!
  2. ert3 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2007
    If you get the mac pro and just bling it out as far as you can afford then there is no need to buy a second PC unless you really REALLY have that much money.

    the only way I can think of to use the iMAc as a screen is to use gigabit networking and remote desktop. (the built in network card may work though there is a good chance you will have to use fiber channel to get proper speed)
  3. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2008
    That sounds a little weird...I doubt I would want to do it like that.

    And I think buying a Mac, PC, and monitor seperately would benefit me more than a Mac Pro...those things are DAMN expensive.

    P.S. I love your avatar, what is that from?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you get an Mac Pro why would you also need the PC? The MP is a kind of high end PC.
  5. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2008
    It has VERY limited video card options.
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    The DVI plug on the iMac is output only.
    You'd have to go with a 3rd party hardware option like an Elgato EyeTV or something.
    Or try using the PC headless and playing games via VNC which would be fugly, I think.

    My favorite option would be to buy a large monitor that supports multiple DVI connections, and then use it as a 2nd monitor for your Mac and a primary monitor for your PC.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    At this time, the only way to play external video on iMac is to run the video through a video capture device, something with LIVE TV, and probably HD capabilities. (Unless you get the 20th Anniversary Mac that was made a long time ago).

    Perhaps something from ElGato or Pinnacle would work? It would need a VGA or DVI in for connecting to computer.
  8. Berlepsch macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    A direct (DVI compatible) input to the iMac screen is not possible, since the LCD panel gets the signal directly from the iMac's graphics chip.

    If you try remote desktop or another VNC software, your PC will not use its hardware acceleration, so your $500 nVidia PC card will be useless. That of course means that your games wouldn't even start, because the DirectX support is missing.

    You *could* get a USB TV adapter for the Mac with S-Video input. That way, you can see your see your PC output in a desktop window on the Mac, but only in standard TV resolution. Also, there would be a small delay due to the extra data processing.

    So, if the graphics options for the Mac Pro don't cut it for you, maybe a PC plus mac mini is the best deal.

    Just out of curiosity: I'm not a gamer, so I have absolutely no idea about the minimum requirements nowadays, although I suspect that there is a lot of exaggeration around when people compare their set ups. Are people really running into difficulties when gaming with a Mac Pro?
  9. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2008
    It sounds like an iMac isn't an option for me unless I want to get a separate monitor for the PC... Thanks for the input.

    A Mac Pro, and even an iMac should cut it right now for the majority of people. However, the video cards aren't very "future proof". Though nothing really is, they just don't have the staying power of some other cards. If you aren't a "hardcore" gamer, both the Mac Pro and top end iMac should be plenty. If you don't play the newest/hottest games, they should run nearly everything else maxed out.
  10. tuxtpenguin macrumors regular

    May 19, 2007

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