Using iMac as external monitor for Windows laptop

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Armadillock, May 25, 2014.

  1. Armadillock macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2014
    I have a new X1 Carbon Lenovo that I would like to connect to my iMac as external monitor to get a bigger monitor. I understand that if I don't have a laptop with thunderbolt port it won't be possible vi a thunderbolt to thunderbolt connection. The Lenovo has a miniDP port only. My question: is there any other way to use my iMac as external monitor for the Lenovo? MiniDP to thunderbolt converter, Ethernet connection, wifi,...there must be a way, right? Thanks, A Dillock
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    It's kinda confusing, but it also depends on which model iMac you have. If it's one of the older, pre-Thunderbolt Macs it might work. I've seen reports that people got it going, but it might also depend on resolution, your graphics card, etc. Newer iMacs require, I believe, TB to TB connections.

  3. antipodean macrumors member

    May 2, 2014
  4. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    These programs are very very slow. A better bet would be a capture card like a blackmagic ultrastudio mini. The lag only 1/5th of a second in theory, but the downside is you will be limited to 1080p, the iMac is 1440p, which is 56% of the resolution. It may also look weird due to the scaling.

    I'm looking into capture cards that do 1440p for myself but I'm not turning anything up, and the quality is always in question if you use a second tier product.
  5. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    What about remote desktopping into the Lenovo?
  6. Armadillock thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2014
    thank you, all! It's the latest imac i have, so with a TB port. I guess i will go with something like remote desktoping.
  7. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    You can use a capture card connected to the iMac which will work just fine. They're around $100, $150 for a good one.
  8. benzmar macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    X1 Display in iMac - Possible?

    Hi, I have X1 Carbon and iMac 5K. I purchased TB cable and connected from X1 to iMac and I couldn't duplicate my laptop to 27" 5K iMac display. Returned the cable. I use USB 3.0 Docking station for X1 Carbon. That unit has 2 DVI Port behind for dual monitors. I purchased Mini DP/ TB cable. Connected the DVI cable in Dock and the TB cable in the iMac. Still I cannot view my laptop screen in iMac.

    Is there any ways to get this done?
  9. antipodean macrumors member

    May 2, 2014
    My understanding is that the 5k imac doesn't do target display mode at all, so wouldn't be able to act as a monitor for your laptop. Even the 2013 imac has rather limited input options for target display mode - TB-equipped Mac.

    I think you will need a dedicated external display.
  10. benzmar macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    Thanks antipodean for the response.
    Agree how weird Apple sometimes introduce product with no flexibility. I also had a Lenovo 27" AIO and it had awesome capability with HDMI Input where I used it as a TV too as well as external monitor with just a touch of the button.

    Sad to hear that I can't use my iMac 5K display for any other device except use it as a standalone AIO.
  11. antipodean, Jan 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015

    antipodean macrumors member

    May 2, 2014
    Thanks. I agree it is regrettable that Apple have gone this way with iMac target display mode. My 2010 imac (mDP in) was quite versatile in this regard, but more recent iMacs less so. Funny because I see this as a very useful feature, but I guess for most this is an edge case?

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