iMac As a External Display for PC?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by J007dreamer, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. J007dreamer macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2013
    Hi All,

    Im sure this questions been asked but couldnt find any recent info about it..

    I want to use my 27inch IMAC that I just purchased as a display for my Dell Laptop when i work from home.
    The older model had a "display mode" IM not sure if the new ones still do ?

    I tried a TB to VGA connecter but both the IMAC and the PC screen just flash when connected. Its like they almost see each other ...

    Is there any special cable or part that I can purchase to make this happen ? I need my dell screen to display on the IMAC for work. :)
    Any help would be great since I really need this to work.

    Thanks so much.
  2. jpmorais macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2013
    CT, USA
    it wont work! look here.

    Next time put a lil effort into looking i found it in seconds. ;):D
  3. J007dreamer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2013
    OK So .. Did you really read that before even posting it with a rude reply? Because i looked thru every one of those post last night and that thread is about finding a way around the problem. The last post on it was months ago....

    And Im wondering if anyone has since found a way around it. There are people posting in that thread that say windows 8 might actually be the answer..

    people are trying to find ways around it. There are almost always ways around things. I believe there is also a company trying to come out with a TB option for the PC but im not sure if they were able to.

    The basic answer is easy to find. I was hoping the people on this forum that know computers and MACs would have a insightful answer..
    I like to keep a open mind..
  4. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
  5. All Taken macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009
    Have to say it's pretty unmissable, found it in seconds.
  6. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Send a complaint to Apple. If enough people complain, hopefully Apple will offer a firmware update!
  7. Satori macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2006
    As others have pointed out, there is no way directly hook up the iMac to the Dell for use as a display. However, you might consider consider a VNC solution to remotely access your dell over your home network (see here:

    Another route you could consider is to create a windows partition on your iMac and set up your dell so you can remotely access your work files.

    Hope this helps

  8. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2009
    Blainville, Province of Quebec
    Is it a new iMac, as in thunderbolt port?

    If so then no it won't work, but if you have an earlier version with mini display port then yes it should. There's is no other way besides remote desktop.
  9. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
    There really is so my threads on this subject.

    It is a shame that you can't do it though!
  10. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    It is not something that can be fixed with a firmware update. The Thunderbolt signal is encoded and decoded by Intel hardware. For video via Thunderbolt, a Displayport signal from a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPU's integrated GPU is mutiplexed into the signal generated by the Intel Thunderbolt controller. When a discrete GPU is used, its signal is routed through the integrated GPU to produce the Displayport signal for the Thunderbolt.
  11. Mac32, Apr 11, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013

    Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    You're wrong, there are motherboards with technology which allows the user to route the output of the discrete GPU through the thunderbolt connection (via the motherboard). Asus made at least one model with this function, can't remember the name of the technology right now, but check youtube, it's there. Bottom line: it should be possible to use the iMac as a monitor for an extern Windows PC. I saw a video on youtube where someone did this with the Apple Thunderbolt display, and it worked! For some reason Apple f...ed up with the thunderbolt iMac.
  12. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    That Asus device was nixed by Intel and taken off the market. It worked by routing the video card's displayport output into the PCIe bus for multiplexing into the Thunderbolt signal.

    There are some laptops with Thunderbolt that use a totally Intel solution, and are therefore approved by Intel, as are Macs. I've seen reports of some success with this type of PC and 2011 iMacs.

    The OP wanted to route VGA into Thunderbolt, which is totally impossible.
  13. Mac32, Apr 12, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013

    Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Are you sure? I know there was a seperate Asus thunderbolt addon device that was taken off the market because of Intel, but was also the motherboards that featured the gpu->thunderbolt also retracted? If so, that's new to me. Hmm, looks like Intel doesn't want thunderbolt to become successful...
  14. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Columbia, SC
    Don't know if this is what you're talking about, but I found this article:

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