Im thinking about building a custom hackintosh. I currently own a late 2009 iMac, the one which theoretically support video input from mini displayport.

The video card I am planning to buy has a displayport output, but not mini displayport. I am wondering if it is possible to use the iMac as a display when connecting the hackintosh to it using a displayport to mini displayport cable (if that even exists).

Has anyone ever tried something like that?

  • Which Late 2009 iMac do you have the 21.5" or the 27" – MrDaniel Dec 18 '12 at 15:16
  • 27" late 2009 it is. – ephimetheus Dec 18 '12 at 16:09

Yes an iMac will work as a screen for a regular PC, but only with 27" models of Late 2009, 2010 iMacs. If those conditions are met then the iMac supports what is called Target Display Mode, aka using your iMac as a display.

Also you will need a Display port to mini display port cable, they do exist as sold on Monoprice and at other fine online retail locations.

For more information on using your iMac in Target Display mode see Using a 27-inch iMac (Late 2009 or Mid 2010) as an external display

To use an iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010) or iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) in Target Display mode with another computer as the source:

  1. Make sure both computers are turned on and awake.
  2. Connect a male-to-male Mini DisplayPort cable to the Mini DisplayPort on each computer. The 27-inch iMac will enter Target Display mode and display content from the source computer. Note: If you are connecting two 27-inch iMacs, connect a Mini DisplayPort cable to each computer and press Command + F2 on the 27-inch iMac keyboard that you will use as an external display.

  3. To leave Target Display mode, press Command + F2 on the keyboard of the 27-inch iMac that is in Target Display mode. To return to Target Display mode, press Command + F2 again.

  • 1
    Yes, I was already aware of Target Display Mode. According to your answer it is indeed possible to hook up a non-apple device which has a DisplayPort output to the iMac using a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable. If this the case, that is perfect. – ephimetheus Dec 18 '12 at 16:10
  • Target Display is great - connect a game console, another Mac or PC and your Mac stays running in the background but the GPU gets shifted to drive the display from an external source. – bmike Dec 18 '12 at 16:20
  • Apparently the Late 2012 iMac's are not usable from anything lacking true TB video output. – user7116 Jan 15 '13 at 16:30

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