Use iMac as PC monitor

Discussion in 'iMac' started by m1kec, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. m1kec macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2018
    Help / advice welcome please. I'm currently running a late 2013 21.5" iMac as the main family desktop computer, which I mostly use to curate my photo collection and maintain the family's collection of iPads and iPhones. The family also uses a variety of Windows laptops for work and other purposes.

    For various reasons, family members are now spending much more time working from home, and we'd like to use the iMac as a monitor for the various laptops to increase productivity. We're not looking to share keyboards and mice across Mac and Windows, and don't need to be able to switch between machines quickly.

    1. Full spec of iMac is: iMac 14,1; 2.7Ghz i5; 8GB; 1.12TB fusion drive; running High Sierra.
    2. Laptops are 2 x Dell Latitude E7270 and a Dell XPS13 9630 R. Both latitudes are fully secured so that software solutions are unlikely to be possible. All laptops have MiniDisplayPort outputs.

    The options I've considered and have almost ruled out are:

    - Use iMac in Target Display Mode to display input from the connected laptop. Whilst TDM is still supported by the iMac, it requires Thunderbolt output from the Windows laptops, which doesn't appear to be possible.

    - Buy a monitor (say, 28" 1440p) to use as both the display for the Windows laptops and a second monitor for the iMac. We have limited space to accommodate two displays, so not keen on this.

    - Buy a monitor (as above) and trade in the iMac for a Mac Mini, using the single monitor across all machines. However, Mac Mini looks to be due a refresh, and I'm not keen to take a step back in performance from my current iMac. I'd be willing to buy a second hand mini, perhaps an older quad core version, but these are obviously even older (and presumably are closer to falling out of support) and seem expensive.

    - Trade in the iMac for an older version which supports TDM with MiniDisplayPort input. Seems unlikely to deliver satisfactory performance, and compatible iMacs are now very old.

    - Sell the iMac and fully embrace Windows. I'd like to avoid this for various reasons.

    I'm guessing households which use both PCs and Macs are relatively common. What options are there for PCs and Macs neatly sharing a single monitor please? Thanks in advance.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
  3. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Doesn't work with thunderbolt connection. Apple made it so that it only works with Macs. Short story, doesn't work with any iMac starting from late 2012 model.
  4. alien3dx macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2017
  5. Dopeyman macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2005
    Los Angeles!
    So that means I can use my mid 2011 27" iMac as a pc monitor???
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Should be able too yes using a display port connection.
  7. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    A 2011 iMac will work in display mode with another thunderbolt mac only, not with a pc.
  8. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Don't know about specific earlier iMac models, but some previous models with only display port (before thunderbolt) would work, probably standalone monitors.

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