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My question is 2-part, but first some background.

I have a Windows 7 machine, an iMac (27" Sept. 2013 model) and an Apple Cinema 27" display. I'd like to link all of these together. The Windows 7 machine has Mini DisplayPort on the graphics card. The Cinema Display uses one Mini DisplayPort only.

First, Using this Apple support post, can I link the Cinema to the iMac, link the iMac to the Windows 7 machine, and basically Cmd+F2 to swap BOTH displays between the iMac and the PC?

Second, must the Windows 7 machine be a Thunderbolt port, or will Mini Displayport suffice?

Answer: In the specifics from PacoSF's link the following answers have been transcribed for future readers, as well as for clarity:

Can I use the iMac in Target Display Mode as a display for my gaming console, DVD player, or other device?

The Mini DisplayPort port on a supported iMac can receive DisplayPort compliant video and audio signals. Converters not made by Apple may provide options to convert other electrical, video, and audio protocols to Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt compliant signals.

Can I use the built-in camera or connect USB, ThunderBolt, or FireWire devices to my iMac when in Target Display Mode and have them work on my main computer?

A supported iMac works like any other external display while it is in Target Display Mode, except that you cannot access its built-in camera or USB, ThunderBolt, and FireWire ports. To use external devices while in Target Display Mode mode, connect those devices to the computer the iMac in Target Display Mode is connecting to.

Edit: As a follow-up to this question, I have been following procedure and speaking with specialists. The newest iMac models in fact DO NOT support Thunderbolt-to-non-Thunderbolt video display in any capacity. I was advised submit this feature as feedback to Apple's Product Feedback page (apple.com/feedback). They also advised that if others desire this feature to submit as well, so that it gets enough momentum to provide a Firmware update to provide this feature.

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Target Display Mode is the term. Seems every iMac has a different way of handling this.

If the Win7 machine has a display port output, you should be able to do this?

Here's some more info

Can I use the iMac in TDM as a display for my gaming console, DVD player, or other device? The Mini DisplayPort port on a supported iMac can receive DisplayPort compliant video and audio signals. Converters not made by Apple may provide options to convert other electrical, video, and audio protocols to Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt compliant signals.

  • Thank you for the link. I'm following up with specific answers in my reply, but you get the credit for providing the right avenue. :) – Jord Feb 21 '14 at 16:58

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