Is there really no mod kit to turn 21.5" iMac into a monitor?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NMF, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    Surely I'm not the only guy who's wanted to repurpose an old iMac like this? I expected to find something on iFixit or one of the other teardown sites, but I haven't been able to come up with anything. I'm trying to turn my old 2009 iMac into an external display for my MacBook. I know that it can't natively do this, but surely there's a way I can bust it open and make it work. Right?
  2. AlbertEinstein macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2013
    You can, but it's not really worth it. If you bought a cheap monitor and managed to fit it inside, that could work, but i doubt it.:apple:
  3. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    I was thinking more along the lines of finding the cable that connects the display to the logic board and installing an adapter that gives me another port on the back. Even if I had to cut it out, who cares, it's the back.

    The whole reason I want to do this is because the iMac has a nice screen, lol. There's no reason to put some crap monitor inside of the shell. :p
  4. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    I'm afraid you are alone. I'd sell the 21" iMac, add some $$ and get a Apple Cinema Display with the money.

    It's nice
    It's bigger
    It has mDP input and MagSafe charger
    Get an HDMI adapater and something like HDMI switcher for it and you're enjoying a display with multiple inputs.
  5. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    I was planning on doing that, but it'd be "cheaper" to just repurpose the iMac, if such a thing was possible.
  6. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    You could use a software solution, e.g. Screen Recycler or Air Display. Not the hottest for video and moving stuff, but for documents and other things it works fine. You can probably also find ways to use the computing power of the iMac as well.

    In combo with this I use Teleport, which allows me to use the same keyboard, mouse and clipboard on both computers.

    In some ways I find this setup more useful than just a second monitor; the iMac, for example, can be downloading something while I work on the laptop.

  7. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    Ok... there just has to be a way to do this. All it needs is an LCD controller board, I just don't know where/how to find one that is compatible.

    Someone has to have done this before? It seems like such a simple mod with such a massive pay-off.

    Can anyone at least point me in the right direction?
  8. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    Sell it and get a Dell Ultrasharp display, is cheaper and it uses the same panels as the iMacs and TBD.
  9. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    The UltraSharps look like cheap crap and have anti-glare displays. I'd rather stick a needle in my eye.
  10. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Whoopdy do, whoopdy die.

    The Dell S2240L it is then.

    And really, the anti-glare coatings that people complained about were on the Uxx11, now we have Uxx13 and Uxx14, which are much better.
  11. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    Tried it and returned it. I need 2560x1440 minimum. Even coming from a 22" 1080p display, 24" at the same resolution was too pixelated. I also love Thunderbolt docking, so that's another $300 on top of whatever other monitor I might consider. At $799 the TB display is actually a pretty incredible deal.

    It's just too damn tall!
  12. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007

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