MacBook air and iMac as display

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SuperMiguel, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. SuperMiguel macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2010
    #1
    I have a 2011 MBA 13" and a 2011 27" iMac...what cable do I need to use my iMac as a display of my MBA.???
     
  2. LordVic, Oct 25, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

    LordVic macrumors 68040

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  3. Oli3000 macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2009
    #3
    Wrong, well, for the none thunderbolt 27" iMac there is a video in via the minidisplay-port. Presumably the new 27" are the same, so a simple thunderbolt-thunderbolt cable should do it.

    The 21.5" does not have this feature...
     
  4. Kendo macrumors 68000

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    Apr 4, 2011
    #4
    Huh?

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3924

    OP, you need mDP to mDP (male to male) cable.

    By the way, if anyone has ever done this, can they confirm if the entire iMac must be powered on (HDD, CPU, etc.) in order to use it as a display? Or is the screen the only part that is powered on?
     
  5. Oli3000 macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2009
    #5
    This doesn't mention the 27" 2011 model, though?
     
  6. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Chicago-area
    #6
    And why, pray tell, would you want to use an iMac as a monitor as it the more powerful tool of the two? You can't transfer content?
     
  7. SuperMiguel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2010
    #7
    Well my MBA doesn't have DP so i guess it has to be mTB to mTB
     
  8. Kendo macrumors 68000

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    Apr 4, 2011
    #8
    mDP is backwards compatible with TB. I don't think you will find a true TB to mDP cable.

    I myself am using a mDP to HDMI cable to hook up my 2011 MBA to an external monitor.
     
  9. digitalhen macrumors regular

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #9
    In this case, that's not right. The OP must use a TB cable to hook these two together:-

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775

    The iMac 27" 2011 essentially acts as a Thunderbolt display. A mDP cable just won't work.
     
  10. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2010
    #10
    Yes, must be a Thunderbolt cable. If you don't want to shell out $50, just set up Screen Sharing and use the iMac to control the MBA (or vice versa).

    Also, the 21.5" 2011 iMacs can be used as an external monitor.
     
  11. SuperMiguel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2010
    #11
    Screen sharing??
     
  12. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2010
    #12
    Yeah, Screen Sharing. Under System Preferences->Sharing->Screen Sharing. It's effectively OSX's RDP service on local networks only. It will allow you to access and control any other mac on your network that also has Screen Sharing enabled.
     
  13. kjid macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2011
    #13
    I got the 27" imac and 11" mba both 2011 and can confirm you need a thunderbolt > thunderbolt cable (which is worth it if you like to transfer big files between the two anyway) to use the imac as 2nd screen. Sadly the iMac has to be completely on
     
  14. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #14
    Ok, to make things clear.

    Thunderbolt port is a miniDisplayPort with a Thunderbolt data stream added.

    Every thunderbolt port work with any old minidisplayport cable if you only want image.

    So, a simple miniDP to miniDP cable would work for using an external display.

    Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt would also work, it would simply be usable as a data cable also.
     
  15. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #15
    This guy is right.

    There seem to be a lot of confusion around mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt cables. Both use the same connector. If your mac supports TB, it also supports mDP. Not the other way around though.

    Basically:


    • If both your Macs have mDP or TB ports and you only want to use one as a display, use a mDP to mDP cable.

    • If both your Macs have TB ports and you want to use one as a display AND transfer data between them, use a TB cable.

    • If one of them has TB and the other has mDP, you will only be able to use one as a display and can't transfer data. Just use a mDP to mDP cable. There is no such thing as a TB to mDP cable.
     
  16. kjid macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2011
  17. Stetrain, Dec 10, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011

    Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #17
    You need one of these: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC913ZM/A


    Except that the new 2011 iMac with Thunderbolt does not accept mini-displayport input. It requires a Thunderbolt input source to work as a display.

    To go from a 2011 Macbook Air to a 2011 iMac you need a Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cable.


    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775
     
  18. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #18
    Yes. That is correct and has been prove by numerous tech sites
     
  19. Thnkdifferent macrumors member

    Thnkdifferent

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #19
    If you are next to both machines why not just use the iMac?
     

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