Is it possible to connect two iMacs via Thunderbolt 3 cable and what capabilities does that provide if so?

I've three things in mind:

  1. Very fast file transfers between the systems
  2. Very fast screensharing/remote control of either system (not to be confused with using one iMac as a second display)
  3. Access other web services running on the second iMac from the first

Is this possible? I know all of those are possible via 1Gbps ethernet, but Thunderbolt 3 is much faster. I don't yet have a second iMac to evaluate whether or not Thunderbolt 3 can be used in this way.


I just found information about how to network via Thunderbolt for two Macbooks. I've yet to verify that it works for iMacs, but it seems reasonable to assume it will, and will perform significantly faster than ethernet networking.
See: https://9to5mac.com/2016/11/22/macbook-pro-thunderbolt-3-bridge-network-video/

  • Yes, it will work! All my Macs are connected via TB1/2 or TB3. File transfer speed rather depends on disk/ssd speed then...;-) – klanomath Feb 17 '20 at 23:44
  • Nice! If I do get a second iMac, I'll have SSD on both iMacs. What sort of transfer speeds do you get? At risk of being "conversational", maybe you could also answer the related question here: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/382394/… – Michael Prescott Feb 17 '20 at 23:52
  • 1
    Usually I copy from SSD(Mac1) to external USB3-HDD-(Mac2) and I get ~150-200 MB/s (HDD max = 210 MB/s). RAM (Mac1) to SSD (Mac2) ~250-480 MB/s (SSD max= 550 MB/s) all TB1/2. TB3 is faster if no bottleneck exists (usually the external HDDs) ;-) ... I don't know how accurate the 480 MB/s are - at least iStats Pro shows it as max throughput. – klanomath Feb 17 '20 at 23:59

Yes it is, transferring files between two Mac’s is possible using target disk mode as documented on Apple’s website.


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