iMac 5k keep or not without Thunderbolt 3

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ravptor, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. ravptor macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2015
    Got the new iMac 5k and the display and performance is phenomenal and I am spoilt with the resolution and graphics. But a few things are bothering me and want some advice:

    1. My primary laptop is Macbook Air (Mid-2012) with Thunderbolt 1 and I use it at work with a 4K display and at home with my dual dell monitors.
    2. There is not Target Bridge Mode for the Air with the new 5k and VNC output is horrible and I would not be able to use it at all. The iMac 5k has just Thunderbolt 2 ports on it.
    3. From what I read so far, the ability to drive 5k displays from the MacBook or Macbook Pro's will have to be with Thunderbolt 3.

    So planning out for the next 3yrs(considering all in, this would be ~$4k+ investment); should I keep the new iMac 5k and hope that when the new Macbook's or Pro's come out, I will be able to connect them to the 5K iMac to use as a display?

    What bothers me is the lack of clarity around the iMac 5k having the ability to become a display to the new Macbook's which may have Thunderbolt 3 and not being backwards compatibility with just having Thunderbolt 2 ports.

    Any advice? Should I just wait for both the iMac and Macbook's have Thunderbolt 3 and then bite the bullet?
  2. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Buyer's remorse? You should've asked the question before you purchased it. Sorry pal, the question you're asking can only be answered by YOU because only you know what use you have with Thunderbolt3.
  3. ravptor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2015
    Not really, just got it a day back so I can return the iMac. As these are expensive purchases, I want to make sure this will last me a few years.

    Don't want to keep the iMac 5k and then when the new MBP's come out with TB3, they won't connect to iMac5k because it does not have a TB3 port.
  4. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    Don't count on ever being able to use the 5K iMac as a display. If you want a 5K display, send it back. If you want an awesome computer, keep it.

    Buy a 5K display once you actually have a need for it -- they will likely drop in price quickly so buying ahead is a waste of money. If you were thinking about retiring your 5K iMac in a few years to use as a display, instead just plan to sell it and use the money to buy a 5K display.
  5. cbrand493 macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2015
    Perth, Australia
    I can guarantee you apple will release an adapter.
  6. ravptor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2015
    Ok, returned the iMac as there is no way I can use with the Macbook Air and I don't think the new MBP's will be out for a bit. Ohh well!
  7. cbrand493 macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2015
    Perth, Australia
    So your sole reason for buying a 5K iMac was to use it as a monitor for a Macbook Air? Why not just buy a monitor?
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Sounds like the 5k iMac was the wrong machine for you, too bad, you mention how fast it is. Personally, I'd make that machine the primary one, and the MBA the secondary, but I don't know your circumstances.
  9. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    4K displays are readily available and inexpensive. They offer a user experience that most people would find to be indistinguishable from a 5K. They would be ideal for your present and future laptops. That's what I would have done. And then enjoy your 5K iMac for what it is.
  10. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    5k imacs don't support target display mode-- of any kind. The closest you can get is vnc over thunderbolt, or target disk mode. Possibly AirServer/AirPlay Mirroring.

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9 November 21, 2015