connect thunderbolt macbook pro to 27" mini displayport imac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jmck, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. jmck, Sep 2, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012

    jmck macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2002

    I have a 2009 17" imac, which has support for target display mode over mini displayport.

    my question is, if I got a thunderbolt equipped macbook pro, would I be able to use target display mode by running a mini displayport cable between them?

    More clearly: I want to use my 2009 Mini DisplayPort iMac as a 2nd monitor for a Thunderbolt Macbook Pro. I know this wouldn't work with a Thunderbolt cable, but maybe with a mini displayport cable?
  2. bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    This should work.

    Thunderbolt ports can output a signal over a mini-displayport connection just fine, but they only accept thunderbolt signals as an input.

    I often have my 2011 iMac connected to an external monitor, and that connection is via a DVI cable and a DVI/mini-displayport adapter, so your connection between the laptop and the iMac should work fine. :)
  3. phairphan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Reject Beach
    I'm fairly certain this will not work. I believe that both machines need to have Thunderbolt ports for target display mode to work. I recall this being a bit of a sticking point when Thunderbolt ports were introduced last year.

    While Thunderbolt ports can output a displayport signal which works with regular monitors, I don't believe this works for target display mode.

    Perhaps someone with first-hand experience will be able to confirm either way.
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I'm not sure on target display mode. I just wanted to add that not all cables perform alike. If a proof of concept can be determined, it's important to note the cable used. Some of the cheap ones are a bit flaky and there are a lot of things where something works with a cable but not the adapter or a mini displayport cable works while the Apple thunderbolt cable will not work. The point being if someone with a working solution is found, it's important to note the full details of what worked.
  5. jmck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2002
    That does make it sound like it should work. I really need to borrow a newer Macbook Pro from work to try this out… my work Macbook Pro is pre-thunderbolt)
  6. seysearles macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    Did this work?

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