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With a 2010 iMac I would be able to connect an HDMI to mini DisplayPort cable from a GPU to the iMac and have the iMac act a monitor using Target Display Mode. However, after some research I found that the 2011 iMac cannot do this and its Target Display Mode only works if you are connecting from a Thunderbolt device.

Is there any cable or converter or even a GPU with a Thunderbolt-output that I can use to get around this?

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Sorry, no. There are some PCs and motherboards coming out now that support Thunderbolt, but because of how Thunderbolt works, it's not something that can be added on later to something that didn't initially support it.

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Well, theoretically, if there's an empty PCI-Express header laying around somewhere, you could combine that with the video output and make a Thunderbolt signal. Not that that's trivial, of course. –  CajunLuke Jul 16 '12 at 18:10
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Although it is an entirely different direction, you could run a VNC or RDP server on the other machine, and run the client on the iMac. It's not like plugging in a monitor per se, but it does allow you to have another computer show up on your iMac's display.

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