Using an iMac as a monitor for a PC

Discussion in 'iMac' started by boatski, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. boatski macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #1
    Basically if I were to buy an iMac I would want to use it as a monitor for my PC as well so I don't have two monitors on my desk.

    I've done some searching and can't really find a "yes this works" or a "no it doesn't work".

    My PC's video card has DVI and HDMI outputs on it. Could I use an iMac as a monitor for my PC if I were to buy one?
     
  2. Willdta macrumors member

    Willdta

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    Jun 1, 2010
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    Florida
    #2
    ive done a bit of research into this myself.i plan to do the same thing once my cable arrives.

    the back on the 27inch imac has a mini-dsiplay port like most mac books do,it will allow you to connect vga and dvi sources easily,HDMI requires expensive adapters and isnt worth it because it wont come through as true hd anyways.simply get a mini-display port to vga/dvi adapter which ever you use, and connect the imac, then all you need to do is a key command to switch between inputs.
     
  3. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #3
    When your cable arrives can you let me know if it works? I don't wanna drop $1.6k and not have it work haha!

    Thanks in advance
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    AFAIK, that won't work. Those adapters can transfer Mini DisplayPort signal to DVI/HDMI/VGA but not vice versa. Otherwise you could just get MDP to DVI and DVI to HDMI adapter and connect PS3. To transfer DVI/HDMI/VGA signal into DisplayPort, you need an expensive converter box like this for example.

    You could get a GPU with (Mini) Display Port, that should work with normal (Mini) DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable
     
  5. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
  6. Fallenman macrumors member

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #6
    I've looked into this, from what I can tell, there are two issues.

    One is converting a signal like HDMI or VGA. Apparently this doesn't work without a 3rd party adapter box, and even then it's not to native resolutions.

    The other issue is that ports out of some ATI cards that should work with an adapter strait into the Mini-Display port... don't. My current understanding is that the ATI 4XXX series work, but most of the 5XXX cards dont, except the newer 59XX range.

    I was looking into getting a 27" refurb and a cheap gaming box - but this very issue has put me off.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm a bit of a nub with this, others may be able to correct me...:eek:
     
  7. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #7
    Atlona says they're working on a new converter to handle the higher resolution of the 27". It'd be nice to use it to game on with my pc then do work with the iMac.
     
  8. Fallenman macrumors member

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #8
    The thing is that we shouldn't need one with these ATI cards... It's just that something doesn't work on the mid-range series, so you either have to go low or high.
     
  9. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #9
    When you mention the ATi cards, do you mean the ones in Macs or ones that you can buy and install on a PC?

    Maybe their new converter will fix those problems. It's kind of BS that it doesn't work in the first place though.

    Edit: It looks like the 400 converter is available.
    http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-Dual-Link-DVI-to-Mini-DisplayPort-Converter-USB-Powered.html
     
  10. Fallenman macrumors member

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #10
    I mean the cards on the PC side, as apparently that is where the issues lie.

    ATI 4XXX - works
    ATI 59XX - works
    Other ATI 5XXX cards don't work apparently.
     
  11. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #11
    Good thing I buy nVidia, haha
     
  12. gbarlow macrumors newbie

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    Ottawa, ON
    #12
    I don't think any of the nvidia cards support this either... so I don't know how that helps you lol
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
  14. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Wait, if I were to buy the converter offered by Atlona, why would I need a display port on my PC's video card?
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    You wouldn't. It's either a GPU with MDP port or Atlona adapter
     
  16. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #16
    That's what I thought, haha. You guys got me kind of confused there for a bit. I guess I'll just wait for the supposed iMac update to buy then.

    Thanks all!
     
  17. schmidrj macrumors newbie

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #17
    I use my Mac connected to my pc laptop 9-5 everyday (I write software on a corporate laptop). I run remote desktop (free download from Microsft). It works awesome. I use it in full screen mode so it really looks like I am running Windoze on my Mac. I don't know why more people don't do this; its free and works great.
     
  18. Fallenman macrumors member

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #18
    For what it's worth, I undestand this to be a limitation of some current PC graphics cards. An update will not fix the issue.

    Unless you meaning is that an update will mean that you do not require a pc...
     
  19. boatski thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #19
    Nah, I'm just waiting for an update until I buy that converter box and the iMac. It's not something I want right away, so I can wait.
     
  20. hedgehogmac macrumors member

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #20
    Hi, do these PC cards definitely work with atlona adapter and the 27 inch imac and some of the ATI 5xxx series don’t work? Or do all PC cards with dvi now work with this adapter on the imac 27inch. Would I need to contact the manufacturer? Would still be cheaper than the 5970 I think. Am confused, thanks very much. Would speakers in imac work??
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    I heard that all NVIDIA cards with DisplayPort work with simple DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable. All GPUs work if you buy the Atlona adapter. If I was you, I would buy GTX 460 and try it. It has 30-day return policy so in case it does not work (it should), simply return it and get you money back. Someone has to try it anyway :D
     
  22. henrikrox macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #22
    The the gtx 460 do work, its been confirmed here on macrumors.

    Why buy a adapter for 250 dollars when you just can buy the video card
     
  23. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #23
    So the imac can only be used as a monitor when connect to a direct DP/mDP port? Well yeh anyway, not that its been tested.
     
  24. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #24
    It's been tested and AFAIK, only 5970 worked from 5xxx series. All 4xxx cards worked as well as NVIDIA cards. Sure you can get 200$ adapter from Atlona which allows DVI and HDMI to be used
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #25
    Lucky for me then I don't require those mwahahaha.
     

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