iMac as main monitor with Windows PC

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bgsnmky, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. bgsnmky, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    bgsnmky macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    I thought I posted this a while back but just checked and didn'ts ee it sorry if this is a duplicate.

    I have asked people at the apple store and they say there is NOT a way to do this, but wanted to come and ask the experts ! :)

    I want to use my imac 27 (to be ordered) as my main monitor. and main home pc. so I have two monitors for my home and for my work. But only using 3 monitors.

    Then I want to hook up a windows PC to that monitor and use a KVM switch to be able to switch back and forth.

    This is what I have now.

    Windows LAPTOP (work pc)---- 24 inch monitor (KVM between work & home pc)--- 22 inch monitor (home pc)

    is there any way to do this same setup with the new imac with that being the center monitor. Which means I have to be able to hook a windows pc up to it.

    What I am being told is I can hook the IMAC TO another monitor, but I cannot hook a pc to a mac monitor.

    If I can't then I need to either use a different monitor as my main monitor (boo!) -

    Windows LAPTOP (work PC) --- 24 inch monitor (KVM between work and home) --- 27 inch mac (home pc)

    OR forget the KVM switch and have way too many monitors and take up too much space on my desk!

    Just wanted to see if anyone knew of ways to make it happen!!

    I hope all this made sense.
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    The 2011-2012 27" iMac only accepts video input from Thunderbolt connections. However the latest 27" iMac just came out, but I would expect the thunderbolt input to have the same requirement.
  3. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    It does. Several people here have posted their attempts to get a Windows box with Thunderbolt to display on an iMac; I don't think any have reported success.
  4. Nors macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2009
    You can drive a Thunderbolt Display with some PC motherboards that output video via Thunderbolt. It would be safe to assume the iMacs would also accept the signal, but no way to know until they are out there.
  5. ashleypenny macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    I read somewhere not possible because Target mode only works in osx?
  6. bgsnmky thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    I was also just thinking this is not the mac as the main monitor.

    This might be just having an extra monitor as the main monitor..not the actual imac...
  7. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
  8. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    A PC with Thunderbolt output should work with the Thunderbolt display, but word is that it does not work with an iMac in Target display mode. It appears that Target display mode will accept Thunderbolt output, only from another Mac.
  9. theSeb, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Did you actually read the article you linked? This article is about how to share a MONITOR between two different computers (a Windows PC and a Mac in this case).

    You could use this to share for example a Dell Monitor with your iMac/Mac Book Pro/Mac Pro/Mac Mini with another computer.

    Your iMac happens to be have a monitor built it. It is not a standalone monitor, but it can be used as such, by using Target Display Mode.

    So, if you have another Mac with Thunderbolt output, or, in theory, a PC with Thunderbolt, then you can use the iMac as a monitor for those sources.


    Do you have any links to this? I would be interested in reading about it.
  10. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    Run windows in Bootcamp and connect additional monitors as needed...?

    There's really no way to get this done that I can think of. What I would love to see is RDP or screen sharing to allow your remotely connected machine to virtually show more than one monitor (i.e., trick the machine into thinking it has two monitors connected so your iMac can run in dual/triple display mode when controlling another computer). Anything like that exist out there? I also have a work laptop that I just RDP into and control from my iMac. I would love to be able to RDP into the laptop and have the iMac allow me to use both monitors to control the work laptop.
  11. bgsnmky thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    I did read the article...and that is when I posted saying I realized it was still using the 3rd party monitor as the monitor.

    In one sense the article is doing exactly what I want..I wanted to share one monitor between a pc and a mac.

    it is just that I want the imac 27 inch to be that monitor that would be used between both....and that is what I am finding over and over again that we cannot go from a pc to an apple monitor.
  12. vooblu macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    There's a similar thread about using the iMac as a PC display already:

    One person so far has replied confirming it works on the 2012 iMac with a thunderbolt enabled Windows laptop (and a thunderbolt cable). I have a thunderbolt enabled PC and will be trying this when my iMac arrives.

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