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Old 7th May 2012, 3:08 AM   #1
Hytherion Thread Starter
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Default Multi-Monitor Questions - PC/iMac

Hey guys, I'll try to keep this as simple as possible and without getting too in-depth. I've been searching the net (and these forums) for the last few days and am yet to find the information I need concerning my specific situation.

I built my PC in November last year (see sig) and have since purchased another LG W2242PA 24" Monitor for dual monitor. I am now looking at purchasing the higher end 27" iMac for the courses I am doing at Uni (Beleive me I'd avoid it if possible. Apple holds exclusivity to the software I have to learn and I am not interested in having to fiddle with the hell that is virtual OS X ).

I intend to use the 27" Monitor as my centre monitor and thus would ideally like to be able to swap between the PC using all 3 monitors to the iMac using just the middle and the PC holding onto the other two. I do not want to sync the mouse/keyboards or anything yet so consider anything to do with syncing the systems as irrelevant to this current discussion.

I fully intend on the two actual systems to co-exist independent of each other and would ideally prefer any syncing/communication between the two being done only manually by myself (not any kind of video sharing software etc.).

So, my questions are:
- Is there an easy solution to this? I have discovered that the more recent iMac's are perfectly capable of being used as a standalone monitor independent of the actual Mac PC so I'm hoping I'm just having a derp moment and its plug and play. (Keep in mind my GPU has a Displayport and HDMI port free with both current monitors using DVI).
- If this is possible, what equipment will I need? Will it require much fiddling/work?
- Have you seen a setup like this before? If so, could you please grab me a link at all? I've been searching with hundreds of different keywords for days and am yet to find anyone that has done the same build.

I apologise if this seems like a stupid question (hence posted in Newbie Lounge) and thank you in advance for any information you could throw my way.

PS. My only other alternative is going in and talking to the Apple "genius'" *Shudders uncontrollably*
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Old 7th May 2012, 6:42 AM   #2
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Would something along the lines of a kvm switch work for you? One with some usb for keyboard and mouse + hdmi(if thats what the mac has as video input)?
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Old 7th May 2012, 7:18 AM   #3
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Your proposed solution sounds unusual :/
I would be using synergy;
http://synergy-foss.org/

Have the mac on one of the outside screens, using say, dvi. Have that same screen hooked up to your PC via whatever else it offers (hdmi etc) Then simply change the inputs on your 3rd monitor between your 3rd pc screen and your mac when u need it.

(although I personally would just use two screens for PC and a dedicated one for laptop)

Control it all by simply running/closing the application when necessary and flicking the screen between channels
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Old 9th May 2012, 7:01 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I should have been more specific. I'm more interested in exactly what cords (hardware) I will need to make the correct connection. I spoke to 2 apple service staff and a "Genius" (what a joke) today and they had absolutely no information for me.

They pretty much ripped me off saying "SO YOURE BUYING A IMAC TO USE AS A SCREEN FOR YOUR PC???? DERPDERPDERP". Not happy, will definitely be leaving a complaint.

But yeah, the Thunderbolt port on the newer iMac's is complicating things. Is there anyone with any advice as to which connection I will need (adaptors/cables etc.) to link my graphics card (HDMI and DisplayPort free) to the Mac monitor. They only come with Thunderbolt ports for graphics input/output nowdays so hopefully someone here has an easy solution/fix.
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Old 9th May 2012, 7:05 PM   #5
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First we need to know what monitor you're getting. You can simply switch the input of the screen to the iMac when you need it. (It's what I do (Gaming rig and server))
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Old 9th May 2012, 11:06 PM   #6
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Like I said in the OP, I currently have 2 24" 1080p LG2422PA Monitors and am buying an iMac. If I wasn't buying an iMac there wouldn't be any issues creating a working Eyefinity setup as I have a display port free. The problem stems from the fact that the new iMac features Apples bloody Thunderbolt I/O technology.

Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt devices work fine, it's Thunderbolt (the imac) and non-Thunderbolt devices that I'm asking about. What adaptors will I need? How will it be connected? Do I need to daisy-chain and whatnot (something the idiot apple "genius" raved on about)?
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Old 9th May 2012, 11:28 PM   #7
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http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775

Quote:
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011) and iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) support Target Display Mode via Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cable (2 m) when the source is another Thunderbolt-equipped computer.

iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) computers do not support Target Display Mode via Mini DisplayPort cables.
lot of people raging about it on apple discussion forums, from what i could see no one has found a work around yet.

the older models (2010, 2009) should work ok though, maybe look into a second hand one?
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Old 10th May 2012, 9:31 AM   #8
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what about a mac pro? that would be the simplest solution imo.
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Old 10th May 2012, 9:38 AM   #9
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iirc some z77 boards offer a thunderbolt connection. Though not natively i don't think as you would need to buy a output card or something like that. Yeah i know, vague answer
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