Using iMac + ACD as dual display for Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Macwick, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Macwick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #1
    Hello all,

    I have a somewhat complicated set of use cases and I wanted to see if anyone else has pulled this off.

    I've just ordered a late 2012 27 inch iMac (arriving today). I also plan to purchase an Apple Cinema Display (likely after they're refreshed, hopefully later this year). I have two separate use cases and I wonder if they're both possible:

    1) Use the ACD as a second monitor for the iMac.
    2) When using my 2011 Macbook Pro (with thunderbolt), use *both* the iMac and the ACD as dual displays for the Macbook.

    Surprisingly, I was able to find the following Apple KB article suggesting this is possible: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5219#10

    At least, it seems to indicate that the second use case is possible, if you daisy chain as follows:

    Macbook Pro -> ACD -> iMac.

    But my question is - if you daisy chain them in that order, then when I'm using the iMac will the ACD act as a second monitor for the iMac?

    Hope that makes sense. If possible, this would make for an awesome home office setup...
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I suspect that you are not really talking about an Apple Cinema Display (ACD)... but rather an Apple Thunderbolt Display (ATD).

    My ATD sits alongside of my iMac. I personally use my ATD display as a second monitor for my iMac (dual 20" displays)... or I'll use it as a single display for my MBA.

    When I have both my iMac and my MBA connected to the ATD... then the iMac appears to always being the computer displayed on the ATD. Hence... I only connect one at time to the ATD.

    Note that the MBA only supports a single external monitor... so I am not able to test the configuration that you want.

    /Jim
     
  3. Macwick thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #3
    Yep you're right, my bad - I was talking about an ATD.

    It sounds like you have everything hooked up the same way I would (laptop -> ATD -> iMac) but because you're using an Air only one external monitor is supported. The Macbook Pro does support two external monitors daisy chained via thunderbolt. Just not sure whether I can have my cake and eat it two (dual displays for iMac and Macbook).
     
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #4
    The real question with that setup is which system will try and take control of the various ports on the Thunderbolt display. And will both systems if on try to send data to the screen of the Thunderbolt display itself.
     
  5. Macwick thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #5
    Right - so I'm assuming I would shut off the Macbook Pro when it's not in use. But that really is the question - how easy is it to switch between the two setups (assuming the two setups are even possible).

    If no-one else has tried this, there's one way to find out - buy an ATD and see what happens :)

    But I really do want to wait until they refresh the design, at least so it's the same height as the iMac (duh).
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    I do not have both computers (iMac & MBA) attached to the ATD. It is always one or the other.

    When I tested having them both attached... they iMac always had control of the ATD.

    /Jim
     

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