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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 22, 2012
    Posts
    8
    Using 2009 iMac as external monitor to MBP
    Hi all,

    I've got a new MacBook Pro, and a 2009 iMac which I use with an external display. The iMac is now substantially slower than the MacBookPro (of course) and I suddenly thought I wonder if I could use the iMac as an external monitor and just work off the MacBookPro, but also keep using my additional external monitor (as it's a lot bigger than my MBP screen)?

    So essentially my current setup of an iMac with external monitor would all look the same as it always has, only it would work a lot faster as the MBP will actually be the brains behind it....

    Any hints/tips on how to do this or any adaptors etc i'd need to buy would be great...

    Thanks in advance!
    Mike

    Specs are:

    27" 2009 iMac 2.8Ghz i7 16GB RAM

    15" MacBookPro (2013), 2.7Ghz i7 16GB RAM

    Other external monitor: Dell 23" SP2309

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    50,255
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    Your late 2009 27" iMac does not have a video input port. It has a MiniDisplay Port output only for attaching an external monitor to it. There really isn't a practical way to use your iMac as an external monitor for the MacBook Pro. There is software (Screen Recycler) that supposedly works but the results are poor and you would only be able to use the iMac and not the Dell.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 22, 2012
    Posts
    8
    Thanks for your reply - I found this youtube video: Using 27 Inch iMac As External Monitor Computer - YouTube

    It was posted late 2009, so surely must be the same iMac/earlier than mine and he seems to have managed it - can you shed any light on this at all?

    Thanks again,
    Mike

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Apr 22, 2012
    Posts
    8
    Actually this suggests it could work too... Target Display Mode: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    36,524
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by mikenewport View Post
    It was posted late 2009, so surely must be the same iMac/earlier than mine and he seems to have managed it - can you shed any light on this at all?
    Here's the deal to use your iMac as an external display:

    'This model also "supports input from external DisplayPort sources" with adapters, so it can be used as an external display for DisplayPort-equipped devices as well as a computer.'

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    36,524
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by mikenewport View Post
    Actually this suggests it could work too... Target Display Mode: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
    "Target Display Mode" (TDM) is the shorter & fancier way of saying what I posted above (mini-display port to mini-display port)...via cable connection. Which is mentioned in the TDM link you posted above.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Apr 22, 2012
    Posts
    8
    Thanks for your answer - awesome! Great news.

    Can you think of any way of still using the other monitor too? Is there some sort of hub to split the signal, or a way of sending on from the iMac to the other display? Or perhaps using one of the other Thunderbolt ports on the MBP I could hook the other monitor up?

    Thanks again, really appreciate the advice.

  8. #8

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    36,524
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by mikenewport View Post
    Can you think of any way of still using the other monitor too? Is there some sort of hub to split the signal, or a way of sending on from the iMac to the other display?

    Thanks again, really appreciate the advice.
    For $327 bucks...you could try this:

    PCM | Matrox, eXpansion Module TripleHead2Go - Digital Edition - video converter, T2G-D3D-IF

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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