Target display mode?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Beaverman3001, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I know older iMacs had a target display mode using mini display port, but now that iMacs just have thunderbolt is this still a option? I know it works for another mac screen, but for example if I wanted to use my PS4 with my 27 2012 iMac would I be able to use a hdmi to thunderbolt connector and enter the iMac into target display mode?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

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    #2
    Thunderbolt iMacs can only act as an external display for other Thunderbolt Macs.
     
  3. Beaverman3001 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks, and I feel dumb I see another post about it on the front page of this forum :eek:
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

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    #4
    It was a valid question. Nothing to feel dumb about.
     
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #5
    And Apple's documentation can be confusing, especially when distinguishing between pre-TB and TB ports.
     
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #6
    There are videos showing TB imacs working as displays for older devices, via a TB to mini display port adapters.
     
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

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    #7
    There is no such thing as a TB to mDP adapter. They use the same physical connector shape (though electrically somewhat different).
     
  8. pscl macrumors 6502

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    #8
  9. Intell macrumors P6

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    #9
    As stated above by xraydoc, there are no such things as Thunderbolt adapters. Also note I said "Thunderbolt iMacs" in the post you quoted, I did not state that "only the 2009-2010 iMacs can act for a display for other Macs". My statements stand as valid and correct. While a Thunderbolt equipped PC may be work, Apple and Intell do not recommend it and there have not been many, if any, successes in getting one to work.
     
  10. pscl macrumors 6502

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    #10
    again. no thunderbolt port needed (on pc side).

    thunderbolt is a multifuncional port that can act as a simple displayport too. you just need a gfx card with (mini)displayport.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

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    #11
    If the iMac has a Thunderbolt port, the source device must have a Thunderbolt port as well or it won't work. This is outlined multiple times in Apple's documentation and has been confirmed by end user testing.
     
  12. pscl macrumors 6502

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    #12
    please see the videos few post over this one.

    it will work. ask google for it. maybe apple wouldnt recommend this (sure, its not a MAC) but it will work.

    thunderbold is like a mini-displayport with larger bandwith... its a multifunctional port that will handle ALL machines well when plugged in via mini-displayport e.g.
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

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    #13
    Physically the port may be the same. Beyond that, they are not. Even the cables' internal wiring is vastly different. One is a technological advancement of DVI and the other is an external PCI-E bus. Not the same at all.

    Many people, thousands of them, would be very interested how you got a video connection from a non-Tunderbolt mini-DisplayPort source going to a Thunderbolt 27" iMac. Even Apple engineers would be very interested, because it cannot be done.

    I have no quarrel over if an Xbox/PlayStation or a generic Dell/HP machine can work as a video source for Target Display Mode when the iMac that is used as the display is a 2009 or 2010 non-Thunderbolt equipped 27" model. The problem is within your logic that Thunderbolt and mini-DisplayPort are the same when they are vastly and nearly incompatible with each other. A metaphor would be like comparing USB 2 and FireWire as being the same when they are not. A 2011+ Thunderbolt equipped iMac simply cannot work in Target Display Mode for a non-Thunderbolt Mac.

    See item 4 at from Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3924

    Of note, both of those videos were posted to YouTube before the Thuderbolt equipped iMac was released, rendering them as irrelevant to this discussion and serving to only further my case in point.
     
  14. pscl, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

    pscl macrumors 6502

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    #14
    im not talking about non-thunderbold/minidisplayport imacs (older than 2011). im talking about 2011 and younger imacs that can be used as a PC(!!) monitor (the pc gfx-card must have (mini)-displayport).

    and again... it might work with a console too.
     
  15. Intell macrumors P6

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    #15
    Yes, and I have no problem with that. It is well known that they do work well for that purpose. But still, the 2011, 2012, and 2013 iMacs have Thunderbolt. Thus, a Thunderbolt Mac is required to be used in conjunction with a 2011 iMac. In use, any DVI or DVI derivative equipped machine can be used as a source machine for a 2009 and 2010 iMac because of the signal compatibility. Still my original statement in post #2 is still valid and correct.
     
  16. pscl, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  17. Intell macrumors P6

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    #17
    No where in that video do they reference an iMac in Target Display Mode. Just because the PC's motherboard has Thunderbolt does not mean it will work. The PC's operating system will not transfer the correct signals to the iMac. Target Display Mode on Thunderbolt Macs does not transfer viewable video data like DVI or mini-DisplayPort. It transfers the raw video data that must first be processed by the target iMac's CPU and GPU to be viewable on its screen. Apple has not released any drivers or usable specifications that would allow a non-Thunderbolt Mac OS X machine to be able to use a Thunderbolt iMac as a display. As of now, it has not and cannot be done. The second link is also irrelevant because it has nothing to do with a Thunderbolt iMac in Target Display Mode.
     
  18. pscl, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

    pscl macrumors 6502

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    #18
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/18893035#18893035

    why are you so "anti" :D

    it should work... maybe not with all games, but if it works it works great. normal windows handling works for sure.

    edit: maybe a little complicated with imac tdm... :D :D :D
     
  19. Intell macrumors P6

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    #19
    That's a Thunderbolt display. Completely different than the Thunderbolt iMac. I'm not anti anything, I'm merely stating the results of people attempting it in the past. In summation, a non-Thunderbolt Mac OS X machine cannot provide a proper signal to a 27" Thunderbolt equipped iMac. Simple as that.
     
  20. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Pardon me for butting in on this thread but I'm a bit confused here. It seems you and the other fellow may be talking past each other.

    Is the bottom line answer to the OP that with a modern iMac (newer than mid-2010) you cannot connect a PS4 to it to use as it's video display? Your quote above seems to say you can't. This is disappointing as I was hoping to use my iMac as a display for a possible home-brew PC in the future.
     
  21. pscl macrumors 6502

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    #21
    well it seems like he is right. it sadly won`t work.

    ever since i got my 2011 imac i thought i would be able to use it as monitor for a potential gaming rig.
    now i ordered my maxed out imac 2013 and sadly now i know the truth. very very sad. there are possibilitys to use an thunderbold-display over virtual gpu transmission (pcie->motherboard->onboard Thunderbold->output to thunderbold display) but this should NOT work with an iMac. i am really disappointed.
     
  22. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Really? So an Apple ThunderBolt Display will but an iMac won't? I wonder why that would be. I mean, what is that like $10 worth of parts to make it work?
     
  23. pscl macrumors 6502

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    #23
    i know. this is really annoying.

    i`m sure this is an apple restriction. the hardware should be able to handle this. apple praises his thunderbolt port as a universal port.

    but they ignore our needs.
     
  24. say19 macrumors member

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    Oct 19, 2014
    #24
    This might be a dumb question, but I couldn't find an answer anywhere...

    I have a thunderbolt iMac with a dead video card.

    I will soon have a Mac Pro.

    Will I be able to use the iMac in target display mode, or does it require a functioning gpu in the target machine?
     
  25. Intell macrumors P6

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    #25
    The iMac must be fully operational in order to be used in Target Display Mode.
     

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