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

Hugbees

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2007
128
0
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.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
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.
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2011
156
1
Bath, Somerset, UK
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?
 

coder12

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
512
3
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?
Target display mode, it's called. You'll need a DVI >> Minidisplay port cable/converter. More on that with Apple's support page here.
 

Ztormie

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2009
116
0
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?
 

Steve.P.JobsFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2010
976
494
Columbus
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.
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.
 

Hugbees

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2007
128
0
Sadly though, I'm guessing there's no way for my 21 inch 2007 imac to do this in any capacity?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
Sadly though, I'm guessing there's no way for my 21 inch 2007 imac to do this in any capacity?
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.