Using late 2009 iMac with Retina Display MBP

bearvsshark

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
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0
I just recently received my 2012 macbook pro with retina display. I am wondering if I will be able to connect a standard mini-display port cable from the thunderbolt port of the retina MBP to the mini-display port on the late 2009 iMac so that I can use the iMac as an external display for the MBP? I can't find much on the internet about this being possible unless you have an adapter, but I thought I'd ask here anyways to see if someone has a solution or can answer if it's possible. Thanks again.
 

Dwhite78

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2010
149
0
I just recently received my 2012 macbook pro with retina display. I am wondering if I will be able to connect a standard mini-display port cable from the thunderbolt port of the retina MBP to the mini-display port on the late 2009 iMac so that I can use the iMac as an external display for the MBP? I can't find much on the internet about this being possible unless you have an adapter, but I thought I'd ask here anyways to see if someone has a solution or can answer if it's possible. Thanks again.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,547
17
Thanks for the speedy reply. I actually checked out that page earlier, but I couldn't find any info on the thunderbolt port and if this only applies to devices with mini-display ports. Like I don't want to fry either device by connecting a thunderbolt port to a mini-display port.
Thunderbolt is completely backwards compatible with Mini-DisplayPort. A male-to-male Mini-DisplayPort cable should work just fine for your purpose.
 

bearvsshark

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
44
0
Thunderbolt is completely backwards compatible with Mini-DisplayPort. A male-to-male Mini-DisplayPort cable should work just fine for your purpose.
Alright, that's all I wanted to know. Didn't want top fry my MBP after just getting it. Thanks again guys for the feedback. Much appreciated.
 

bearvsshark

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
44
0
Sure thing.

I use this. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032ANCIW/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 and it works perfectly well for me.
Are you connecting a retina macbook pro top a late 2009 iMac too? I just tried to method posted in the link(using a retina macbook pro as the source and connecting it to a late 2009 iMac with a male to male mini-display port cable and when I connect it, the only thing that shows on my iMac's display is the galaxy background, not what's on my macbook pro's display? Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

Dwhite78

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2010
149
0
Are you connecting a retina macbook pro top a late 2009 iMac too? I just tried to method posted in the link(using a retina macbook pro as the source and connecting it to a late 2009 iMac with a male to male mini-display port cable and when I connect it, the only thing that shows on my iMac's display is the galaxy background, not what's on my macbook pro's display? Any suggestions? Thanks.
No, I'm using an rmbp on a 2010 iMac.

Boot order is important. See below.

Connect a Mini DisplayPort cable to the ports on each computer.
Boot primary computer (rMBP).
Boot target computer (iMac).
Press ⌘-F2 on the keyboard of the external display computer.
*
The boot order is important - boot the target computer first and Target Mode won't work. This isn't apparent from the documentation.
*
Audio pass-through worked great too. Yay for Thunderbolt!
 

bearvsshark

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
44
0
No, I'm using an rmbp on a 2010 iMac.

Boot order is important. See below.

Connect a Mini DisplayPort cable to the ports on each computer.
Boot primary computer (rMBP).
Boot target computer (iMac).
Press ⌘-F2 on the keyboard of the external display computer.
*
The boot order is important - boot the target computer first and Target Mode won't work. This isn't apparent from the documentation.
*
Audio pass-through worked great too. Yay for Thunderbolt!
Will try. I didn't mess anything up by having both on at the same time when I connected the mini-display port did I? Thanks again.
 

bearvsshark

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
44
0
Nope, didn't mess anything up.

Let us know if it worked for ya.
Did what you said and still getting the galaxy background when I hit command + f2. It wouldn't be because the rMBP has thunderbolt and the iMac has mini display?
 

Dwhite78

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2010
149
0
Did what you said and still getting the galaxy background when I hit command + f2. It wouldn't be because the rMBP has thunderbolt and the iMac has mini display?
No, it's backwards compatible.

Try command f1 which should mirror th display. Or it may be f7 alone. I am not sitting at my desk so can't test it :)
 

bearvsshark

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
44
0
No, it's backwards compatible.

Try command f1 which should mirror th display. Or it may be f7 alone. I am not sitting at my desk so can't test it :)
For sure. I am actually going to hit the hay, have to be up early, but I'll try to test it out in the morning and post my results. Thanks again guys for all your help.
 

bearvsshark

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2009
44
0
Ok. Finally got it working. Here's what I had to do. The boot order no longer matters after an update because all I did was connect the mini-display port cable to both devices when they were both on. Then, I simply hit Command + f2 on the iMac which brought me to the galaxy wallpaper on my iMac's background. After that, I hit command + f1 on my retina macbook pro which then put what was on my retina mbp on my iMac's display. It auto-changed the resolution on my retina mbp so that it would look best on my iMac. To get sound from my retina mbp so that it would come out of my iMac's speakers, I went into the system preferences, then to sound and changed the output from internal speakers to display port. PROBLEM SOLVED. Thanks again guys for all your help.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,547
17
Ok. Finally got it working. Here's what I had to do. The boot order no longer matters after an update because all I did was connect the mini-display port cable to both devices when they were both on. Then, I simply hit Command + f2 on the iMac which brought me to the galaxy wallpaper on my iMac's background. After that, I hit command + f1 on my retina macbook pro which then put what was on my retina mbp on my iMac's display. It auto-changed the resolution on my retina mbp so that it would look best on my iMac. To get sound from my retina mbp so that it would come out of my iMac's speakers, I went into the system preferences, then to sound and changed the output from internal speakers to display port. PROBLEM SOLVED. Thanks again guys for all your help.
To get native resolution on both devices you probably don't want to use mirroring.

You can also use extended desktop mode, where both screens run at native resolution and you can drag apps back and forth between the displays. You can also choose which screen the dock and menu bar appear on in display preferences. I think this is what was going on when you saw only the desktop background on the iMac.

Another option is clamshell mode, where you attach a keyboard and mouse to the MBP, attach it to the iMac, close the MBP, and then use the mouse or keyboard to wake it up. The MBP's display then stays asleep and the iMac is your only display.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Old thread, I know, but I have a question about this:

If I connect a macbook (2013) via thunderbolt cable to a iMac (2010), can the macbook use imac as a screen and use the imacs ports (usb, ethernet, firewire)?
 

djsound

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2006
770
14
So if the MBP is thunderbold and the imac is MiniDisplay port..........which kind of cable would be better? Thunderbolt or minidisplay port??
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Old thread, I know, but I have a question about this:

If I connect a macbook (2013) via thunderbolt cable to a iMac (2010), can the macbook use imac as a screen and use the imacs ports (usb, ethernet, firewire)?
Ooooh good question, in theory it should just work as a thunderbolt display hub type thing if connected with thunderbolt shouldn't it, thats worth buying an old iMac for....

damn just had a thought it would have to be new enough to have a thunderbolt port and the 2010 was display port only I think.
 

djsound

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2006
770
14
Exactly. I am going to buy a cable for myself (same situation) and my imac is only mini display port...not sure which cable to get...