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Z77 Thunderbolt mobo and iMac target mode?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 30, 2012 7:29:50 PM

Greetings:

I've decided to build a new system and move over to the Z77 chipset to try and future-proof my system. One benefit is that some of these come equipped with a Thunderbolt connection. I have yet to find a definitive answer to the following question, and hope to do so here: can my mid 2011 21.5" iMac be set to target mode since the pc will be connected via Thunderbolt? And if so, how do I do that? I'm nervous to tinker too much with setting up a new build, but the rig will mostly be a gaming rig and I still like my Mac for work purposes. Keeping it as a display (and it is a very fine display) would save me $230. Your help is appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 7:45:54 PM

The Mid-2010 iMacs only had Mini-DisplayPort, Thunderbolt didn't come along until the 2011 models.

That said, I want to think only the 27" 2010s had target display mode, and according to this link, I am correct. This is a feature of only the 27" model for the Late 2009 and Mid-2010 models.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924

So unfortunately you appear to be SOL on using your iMac as an external monitor.
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July 30, 2012 8:13:00 PM

cl-scott said:
The Mid-2010 iMacs only had Mini-DisplayPort, Thunderbolt didn't come along until the 2011 models.

That said, I want to think only the 27" 2010s had target display mode, and according to this link, I am correct. This is a feature of only the 27" model for the Late 2009 and Mid-2010 models.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924

So unfortunately you appear to be SOL on using your iMac as an external monitor.


I misspoke cl-scott. My machine is mid-2011 and it definitely has a Thunderbolt port. So the question restated: can mid-2011 21.5" iMacs be set as displays in target mode for a thunderbolt-equipped pc?
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 9:14:39 PM

Well, looking at this article, it mentions issues with TDM with 21.5 and 27" iMacs, so that would definitely seem to indicate that it is supported, but based on a quick bit of searching, it seems it works ONLY with Thunderbolt.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775

So, if it were me, I'd hit Monoprice (if you're in the US) for a cheap Thunderbolt cable, then give it a shot to see if it works or not. If not, then you're probably only out a couple of bucks on the cable, and if it does, even better.
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July 30, 2012 11:53:47 PM

Best answer selected by claptrap22.
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July 30, 2012 11:54:53 PM

cl-scott said:
Well, looking at this article, it mentions issues with TDM with 21.5 and 27" iMacs, so that would definitely seem to indicate that it is supported, but based on a quick bit of searching, it seems it works ONLY with Thunderbolt.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775

So, if it were me, I'd hit Monoprice (if you're in the US) for a cheap Thunderbolt cable, then give it a shot to see if it works or not. If not, then you're probably only out a couple of bucks on the cable, and if it does, even better.


Thanks, cl-scott. Very kind of you to help out.
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July 31, 2012 9:18:33 AM

claptrap22 said:
Thanks, cl-scott. Very kind of you to help out.
First off, you will not find a thunderbolt cable at monoprice. This is because the thunderbolt cables have chips in them on either end. That is why thunderbolt cables are rather expensive, but it also means that your existing thunderbolt port can use a future optical thunderbolt cable, as the modulation happens in the cable itself. Also do not confuse a thunderbolt cable with a displayport cable. They are not the same, and will not work with the iMac in target display mode for sure.
Anyhow, have you done this yet? I am thinking the exact same thing you see, building a gaming rig and using my TB iMac as a display, but I cannot for the life of me find anyone who have tried this and can answer if it works or not.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 31, 2012 11:21:42 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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