I remember when thunderbolt came out there was a lot of discussion of how it had interesting magical bi-directional capabilities.

Does that mean there is a way to use an iMac Retina 5K as an external, secondary monitor for a recent MacBook Pro?

2 Answers 2


According to Apple, no. The iMac Retina 5K does not support Target Display Mode.

Note that the iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014) does not support Target Display Mode.

You can see it here.

  • 11
    The current iteration of Thunderbolt does not have the bandwidth necessary to drive an uncompressed 5k screen, as it is based on DisplayPort 1.2. Expect a new iteration of Macs with Thunderbolt 3 to be announced (probably next year), simultaneously with a 5k Cinema Display. Oct 30, 2014 at 22:36
  • 7
    Only a month ago DisplayPort 1.3 was announced. This includes support for 5K video. Apple has not yet adopted this new DisplayPort. Oct 31, 2014 at 5:13

I have the iMac Retina 5k and can confirm that it doesn't support Target Display Mode. However, there's no problem with using thunderbolt bridge and screen sharing, i.e. "same same but different" ;)

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