I am looking for an adapter to use my Thuderbolt display (just purchased, worked great on my MacBook Air) with my iMac 27-inch, Mid 2010 (iMac 11,3) Anyone know if one is made and where I can purchase it?

The iMac 11,3 has an ATI Radeon HD 5750 and a DisplayPort connector.

Apparently there is an adapter somewhere that staff at Apple have mentioned. See: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=15336051&postcount=8


There are no shipping adapters that take a HDMI / DVI / Display Port signal and capture that video and send it back out over Thunderbolt directly to an Apple Thunderbolt display. There certainly weren't any in existence July 2012 when that item was posted to MacRumors.

It's most likely that the reports are confusing the existence of many TB -> other adapters that are ubiquitous and relatively inexpensive.

Since we are finally seeing video capture devices that use Thunderbolt for the ingest to the Mac (as opposed to pumping out video over Thunderbolt to a Thunderbolt display) it might be some more months or even years before something like you ask gets released. Of course, I could be totally wrong and someone will release one tomorrow.

I would explain things as follows: it's very easy and requires no expensive tools to take flour, water, and yeast and make bread. It's an entirely different situation if you want to start with bread and make flour, water and yeast. The analogy is slightly strained since you are just feeding one digital video signal and looking to extract/process it into another format of digital video signal, but at present, only a very expensive video capture console is capable of doing what you ask.

The cheapest working solution I can come up with would be the following convoluted processing path:

  1. iMac sends video out Mini DP out
  2. to an adapter for mDP to HDMI
  3. to Black Magic
  4. plugged into to a Mac with a Thunderbolt monitor
  5. feeding live video into Video Processing software on the Mac
  6. that the graphics card would then show in the Thunderbolt display.

This makes no sense. You'd sooner sell your iMac and just buy a Thunderbolt iMac. If you were OK with a networked solution, you could also run AirDisplay software on the Thunderbolt Mac and send your iMac's video over the network to the second Mac, but that wouldn't be as low latency as the above convoluted solution and still involves two Macs.

  • 1
    Woah. woah. shoot. I guess I can live with Teleport.app and my MBA plugged into the thunderbolt display. Until I sell my older iMac and upgrade. Thanks for clarifying! – Ivan Apr 8 '13 at 22:34
  • Yup, that's a great solution for now. – bmike Apr 8 '13 at 23:57

I think this is a duplicate of these two questions:

Can a Non-Thunderbolt device (like a mid 2010 iMac) connect to a Thunderbolt Display?

Are there adapters to use Thunderbolt Display with non-Thunderbolt computers?

  • The first one is a different question. The second one is not answered and not as specific as mine. – Ivan Apr 8 '13 at 16:32
  • @recklesscoder Your contribution above should have been made in the comments section, rather than the answers section. – Simon Apr 8 '13 at 16:38

I think the best solution at the moment for you is to get a video capture device like this one: http://www.elgato.com/video/video-capture in order for you to view content on your imac. If your other device does not accept the traditional red, yellow, white component cables then get an HDMI to component to support it.

Hope that helps.

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