Late 2012+ iMac Target Display Mode with PC

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Fried Chicken, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
    Why Apple, why. Why do you have to be so unspeakably frustrating.

    Is there a way for me to TDM a PC into my late 2012 iMac? Is there some adapter or even software tweak available?
  2. Fried Chicken thread starter macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    This article may have some info you can use.

    Here's the thing - your iMac has a Thunderbolt port. Does the PC also have a Thunderbolt port, or MiniDisplayPort? That's key to the incompatibility.

    "Why, Apple?" Are you questioning why they moved to Thunderbolt, which is a port with a whole lot more capabilities than MiniDisplayPort? Should they have stuck with MiniDisplayPort just for the sake of TDM? Should they have continued with separate ports for data and displays (and the separate controllers to go along with them)? Still, I don't know why this is "unspeakably frustrating." There are pros and cons to nearly every design decision, and I've yet to see any computer that combines every feature and capability that exist. Generally, little-used features are going to get pared away in favor of more broadly useful features. This particular capability was "universal" on iMacs for just three years, in the entire history of iMac. For two years prior to that, it was possible only on the 27" iMacs. Before that, nada. After that, nada. A brief window that was nice while it lasted.
  4. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I think he's questioning why they didn't allow the Thunderbolt port to accept a simple Mini DisplayPort signal. I don't see why this shouldn't be possible, as it can output one just fine.

    But I agree Target Display Mode is not a feature of importance to Apple. None of the Retina iMacs are even capable of it, although it could be argued for technical reasons. I have done just fine without it on my 5K.

    However, Target Display Mode remains a niche but useful feature on the iMacs that support it. My mid 2010 27" is the last generation iMac with Mini DisplayPort, and I use it occasionally with my GPU-upgraded 2006 Mac Pro, which wouldn't work at all if the iMac required Thunderbolt.
  5. Fried Chicken thread starter macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
    That's exactly right. I see no reason it shouldn't accept a display port signal, even the 5k iMacs.

    The reason is simple, once the internal hardware becomes obsolete the computer should keep going as a display. It's not a niche feature, it's a logical, useful, and some might say essential feature.

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