2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode, despite Thunderbolt 3

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  • Reply 41 of 64
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    macxpress said:
    When you walk into a Best Buy, Apple Retail store or any other store that sells Macs you see right on the table a Mac mini and iMac.
    Best Buy actually shows Mac Minis now? They didn't for the longest time.
  • Reply 42 of 64
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,269moderator

    Is 5k really so much better than 4k? Is it worth all the proprietary inflexibility and inefficacy?

    They need to use 5K to be able to use half the resolution for the working space. 5120x2880 -> 2560x1440. Doing uneven scaling isn't as sharp. If they settled on 4K, it would mean a resolution of 1080p. A 1440p workspace is 78% larger than 1080p. The LG Ultrafine manages 5K over TB3 so target display mode should be possible here but there might be some complications in making it work at full speed both ways over the same port. There shouldn't be any problems allowing 1440p over it so it can be used as a display, it would still be better than the old TB display, it would upscale 1440p to 5K.

    It has some use cases like if you have a laptop/console/TV Box and iMac and don't want to buy another display. Someone here hooks up a PS4 to a 5K iMac but they are putting the 1080p video out of the PS4 through USB and using video capture software to display it. It lags at first but then works ok later in the video:



    Maybe having a dedicated passthrough video input like HDMI on the iMac would be a better option than trying to use TB both ways. This way TV devices could just plug in directly.

    One motivation just now for having input would be due to the absence of a separate Apple Retina display and having to settle for 3rd party displays. Apple said they were going to make one so that shouldn't be a problem any more.

    It might be possible for 3rd parties to cover display use over TB. Companies like Elgato or BlackMagic with streaming software could make a video output software for one Mac and input software for the other, hook up both via TB and have it send the video across. There would be some load doing it at the software level rather than hardware but for the amount of people who need it, it would at least offer an option.
  • Reply 43 of 64
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    appex said:
    "2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode". Which means such expensive iMac is over after 7 years (not allowing further macOS updates). Apple should stop programmed obsolescence and release an affordable minitower Mac plus display. CPU may last for 7 years, but displays last more than 20 years. All-in-one desktops are a waste of energy, anti-ecological and aggression to planet Earth!
    You are so full of it.  Nobody is using a 1997 Apple ColorSync on their macs today.  More than 20 years my ass.



    Someone might still be using a 2004 30" ACD but nobody would want to use a 2004 20" G5 iMac or even 2007 24" Core Duo iMac in Target Display Mode.

    Plus a brand new 2560x1440 32" monitor today is $364.  You are FAR better off selling your iMac and buying a second monitor.
  • Reply 44 of 64
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,818administrator
    nht said:
    appex said:
    "2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode". Which means such expensive iMac is over after 7 years (not allowing further macOS updates). Apple should stop programmed obsolescence and release an affordable minitower Mac plus display. CPU may last for 7 years, but displays last more than 20 years. All-in-one desktops are a waste of energy, anti-ecological and aggression to planet Earth!
    You are so full of it.  Nobody is using a 1997 Apple ColorSync on their macs today.  More than 20 years my ass.



    Someone might still be using a 2004 30" ACD but nobody would want to use a 2004 20" G5 iMac or even 2007 24" Core Duo iMac in Target Display Mode.

    Plus a brand new 2560x1440 32" monitor today is $364.  You are FAR better off selling your iMac and buying a second monitor.
    Oh god, I replaced SO MANY flyback transformers on the ColorSync and AppleColor displays.
    tallest skilspheric
  • Reply 45 of 64
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,889member
    wizard69 said:
    I'm not surprised. Target display mode had to add a lot of hardware complexity for little real benefit.    
    The idea of being able to keep using a gorgeous display after the blackbox of hardware became too old to use seems like a great benefit to me.
    Except that by the time the rest of the hardware is no longer useful, the display is also horribly out of date. I have a very nice 2009 iMac that works fine but just got too slow. The display works fine, too, but is of the same vintage and no where near up to current standards. I think this is more of a conceptual loss than a real one. The only real use I can see is as an external monitor for a docked MacBook Pro, but If I had a 4k iMac, I'd rather use its hardware and remote connect to the MacBook than use it as a dumb monitor.

    edited June 2017 spheric
  • Reply 46 of 64
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,088member
    polymnia said:
    wizard69 said:
    I'm not surprised. Target display mode had to add a lot of hardware complexity for little real benefit.    
    The idea of being able to keep using a gorgeous display after the blackbox of hardware became too old to use seems like a great benefit to me.
    Has anyone here actually used such a setup long-term? 

    Target display mode is something I've only used a handful of times in a pinch. 
    This is the typical 1% of people thinking that what's good for them surely must be good for everyone else.  Target Display mode is great.  I've used it, but only more of a curiosity.  I believe (never fact-checked) that most folks that purchase iMacs do so with the intent that it will be their primary and only monitor.  That's most people.  Others (like me) will purchase a 2nd standalone monitor in addition to their iMac.  I'm using my "old" Apple TB2 LED monitor attached to my 5K iMac.  I will replace my iMac when it begins showing problems, or if I trade it in for a newer iMac (like the iMac Pro).  Most will never think of using their "old" iMac as a 2nd monitor and I doubt most folks even know it had that functionality.

    In the end... mainly people on AI boards and a few in the outside world use this functionality, and of course the trolls and iHaters that have never owned an iMac and pretend that they do (or would) and only pop out of their parent's basement when Apple removes a little-used functionality from something.

  • Reply 47 of 64
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,088member
    nht said:
    appex said:
    "2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode". Which means such expensive iMac is over after 7 years (not allowing further macOS updates). Apple should stop programmed obsolescence and release an affordable minitower Mac plus display. CPU may last for 7 years, but displays last more than 20 years. All-in-one desktops are a waste of energy, anti-ecological and aggression to planet Earth!
    You are so full of it.  Nobody is using a 1997 Apple ColorSync on their macs today.  More than 20 years my ass.

    Someone might still be using a 2004 30" ACD but nobody would want to use a 2004 20" G5 iMac or even 2007 24" Core Duo iMac in Target Display Mode.

    Plus a brand new 2560x1440 32" monitor today is $364.  You are FAR better off selling your iMac and buying a second monitor.
    Jerks/trolls like appex do more damage than not by fabricating absolute nonsense and trying to pass it off as fact.

    I jut threw out my 20 year old Sony monitor.  Nothing was wrong with it really, but I was tired of keeping around a 1280x1024 monitor that required a bulky power supply, weight a ton, didn't even display that well, and did nothing but gather dust.  But hey, according to appex, it would have been perfect to plug into my iMac!
  • Reply 48 of 64
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,135member
    Marvin said:

    Is 5k really so much better than 4k? Is it worth all the proprietary inflexibility and inefficacy?

    They need to use 5K to be able to use half the resolution for the working space. 5120x2880 -> 2560x1440.
    Presumably that depends on the screen and native resolution, or if trying to match the historic 110dpi of the 27" iMacs & displays ?  There seem 4k panels in many sizes...

    110dpi @ 4K offers an impressive 40" desktop (8K @ 220dpi) and relates more to a long time favorite the Apple 30" Display, also offering an effective 'apple tv' with HDMI in, as you in fact suggest, matching prior resolutions, and with H.265 in the wings... Hmmm...
  • Reply 49 of 64
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,499member
    appex said:
    "2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode". Which means such expensive iMac is over after 7 years (not allowing further macOS updates). Apple should stop programmed obsolescence and release an affordable minitower Mac plus display. CPU may last for 7 years, but displays last more than 20 years. All-in-one desktops are a waste of energy, anti-ecological and aggression to planet Earth!
    Under current management it will never happen but I agree with you all the way on the tower plus monitor front.


  • Reply 50 of 64
    nht said:
    Someone might still be using a 2004 30" ACD but nobody would want to use a 2004 20" G5 iMac or even 2007 24" Core Duo iMac in Target Display Mode. 
    ...I'm still using my old 24" Dell UltraSharp from 2008 as a second monitor for my MBP when I'm at home. Still works great, nothing wrong with it. Honestly, the display in the 24" Core Duo iMac was probably much nicer than this Dell, so I hardly think it'd be something that no one would want to use.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 51 of 64
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    nht said:
    Someone might still be using a 2004 30" ACD but nobody would want to use a 2004 20" G5 iMac or even 2007 24" Core Duo iMac in Target Display Mode. 
    ...I'm still using my old 24" Dell UltraSharp from 2008 as a second monitor for my MBP when I'm at home. Still works great, nothing wrong with it. Honestly, the display in the 24" Core Duo iMac was probably much nicer than this Dell, so I hardly think it'd be something that no one would want to use.
    The Dell is a S-PVA which is probably on par with the S-IPS in the iMac.  The Dell Ultrasharps tend to be pretty good medium tier displays on par with the Apple ones.

    You're far better off selling the 24" iMac which is still around $200 on EBay...which is the same price as a brand new 24" Dell 2418NX IPS monitor although lower res at 1920x1080.  The 1920x1200 Dell 2412M is a bit more at $289.


  • Reply 52 of 64
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,080member
    I have an iMac at home for a personal machine and I use Target Display Mode when I worked from home with my corporate computer. It's a must have feature for me to justify the cost of the iMac for home. Now I'll probably just buy a nice monitor and a used Mac Mini. But I also don't have a lot of faith that Apple is going to continue to support the Mac Mini.
    Okay, that's one person. Who self-identifies as "neck beard"

    i stand by my original comment saying this is a seldom-used feature. 

    If apple chooses to focus its efforts elsewhere, I'll be fine and I'm sure others will be, too. 
  • Reply 53 of 64
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,778member
    avon b7 said:
    appex said:
    "2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode". Which means such expensive iMac is over after 7 years (not allowing further macOS updates). Apple should stop programmed obsolescence and release an affordable minitower Mac plus display. CPU may last for 7 years, but displays last more than 20 years. All-in-one desktops are a waste of energy, anti-ecological and aggression to planet Earth!
    Under current management it will never happen but I agree with you all the way on the tower plus monitor front.


    Mac mini...
  • Reply 54 of 64
    nht said:
    nht said:
    Someone might still be using a 2004 30" ACD but nobody would want to use a 2004 20" G5 iMac or even 2007 24" Core Duo iMac in Target Display Mode. 
    ...I'm still using my old 24" Dell UltraSharp from 2008 as a second monitor for my MBP when I'm at home. Still works great, nothing wrong with it. Honestly, the display in the 24" Core Duo iMac was probably much nicer than this Dell, so I hardly think it'd be something that no one would want to use.
    The Dell is a S-PVA which is probably on par with the S-IPS in the iMac.  The Dell Ultrasharps tend to be pretty good medium tier displays on par with the Apple ones.
    At the time I bought it, I was under the impression that S-PVA was a step downward from S-IPS, but it was cheaper than the S-IPS panels I could find, and it was certainly a lot better than the TN panels which were still popular at the time. I'm not a great judge of display quality due to my colorblindness, but I'd expect Apple's displays to top it. Even if they're exactly the same, though, my Dell is still very useful to me, so the iMac display surely would be as well.
    You're far better off selling the 24" iMac which is still around $200 on EBay...which is the same price as a brand new 24" Dell 2418NX IPS monitor although lower res at 1920x1080.  The 1920x1200 Dell 2412M is a bit more at $289.
    Going to all the hassle of selling a thing on eBay, buying a new thing, shipping the old one out, paying taxes and shipping costs, setting the new one up, etc., all simply to switch to a display with a lower resolution seems like a non-starter.

    Going to all that same hassle, plus coming out behind financially, just to get a monitor of the same size and similar quality to the one you already had... well... why would you want to do that?
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 55 of 64
    Supo said:
    [...] Proud Owner of All 2011 Steve Job products that are upgradable
    With what? A faster CPU? Does the RAM support that CPU? Does the motherboard? How many examples exist of an upgrade that can be made without requiring simultaneous upgrades to the surrounding components? Is it worth it?

    Supo said:
    [...] can be fixed
    True. It may also be argued that the way Macs are assembled now may actually reduce the chances of failure, thus rendering the issue of repairability somewhat moot, but I'll give you that one.

    Supo said:
    [...] has ports
    I'm not sure where you're going with that. My current MacBook Pro has the best port assortment I've ever had on a Mac. Every single port on the machine can be USB, HDMI, Thunderbolt (any incarnation), Firewire, ethernet, DisplayPort... you name it.

    To get this I have to use an adaptor for some devices. In exchange for that trivial inconvenience I go from dedicated ports that could only serve one purpose (so if I had a spare HDMI port but really needed one more Firewire port I was screwed) to multi-purpose ports, and at anywhere from double to EIGHT TIMES the bandwidth.

    How is this bad?

    Supo said:
    [...] 17" 
    I miss the 17" too. I'm finding the 15" isn't as bad as I feared it would be, but I'd still rather have room for more windows at a legible size.

    Supo said:
    [...] MagSafe
    I've found out -- the hard way -- that this isn't as big a deal as you might think. I've tripped over the power cord twice, and both times the USB-C cable popped out of the computer with no ill effects. Ask me again in a couple years to see if my opinion has changed, but so far I haven't missed MagSafe at all.

    Supo said:
    [...] digital audio in and outs
    It still has digital out, just not optical. I use HDMI.

    Supo said:
    [...] All MIA on your new useless crap.
    No, not missing, changed.

    Useless? I'm trying to be polite here, but that is utterly laughable. The machine on which I'm typing this is the most capable MacBook Pro I've ever owned.
    edited June 2017 spheric
  • Reply 56 of 64
    Supo said:
    [...] antiglare screens 
    I missed one in my previous reply...

    This is true, and it's a pain, BUT...

    Limits of technology. Did you compare the gloss screen to the antiglare side-by-side when they had both? I did, on otherwise identical machines. Deeper blacks and higher brightness on the gloss screen.

    I hate the reflections too, but I don't want to compromise image quality. I can control the lighting around my computer, but I can't control what it displays. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
    tallest skilspheric
  • Reply 57 of 64
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,499member
    macxpress said:
    avon b7 said:
    appex said:
    "2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode". Which means such expensive iMac is over after 7 years (not allowing further macOS updates). Apple should stop programmed obsolescence and release an affordable minitower Mac plus display. CPU may last for 7 years, but displays last more than 20 years. All-in-one desktops are a waste of energy, anti-ecological and aggression to planet Earth!
    Under current management it will never happen but I agree with you all the way on the tower plus monitor front.


    Mac mini...
    As a last resort perhaps, but I was referring to a tower (a la Sawtooth etc)
  • Reply 58 of 64
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,527member
    avon b7 said:
    macxpress said:
    avon b7 said:
    appex said:
    "2017 4K, 5K iMacs won't support Target Display Mode". Which means such expensive iMac is over after 7 years (not allowing further macOS updates). Apple should stop programmed obsolescence and release an affordable minitower Mac plus display. CPU may last for 7 years, but displays last more than 20 years. All-in-one desktops are a waste of energy, anti-ecological and aggression to planet Earth!
    Under current management it will never happen but I agree with you all the way on the tower plus monitor front.


    Mac mini...
    As a last resort perhaps, but I was referring to a tower (a la Sawtooth etc)
    Who knows what they're planning. 

    A line of CPU boxes a la the Mac mini with varying horsepower, with integrated graphics, upgradeable via TB3 boxes for those pros who care about graphics power (many, many do not) or who need special cards (CUDA, MADI, whatever).

    Make 'em 19" rackmountable (half-width, 2 units high?), and sell a few million right off the bat. 
  • Reply 59 of 64
    interdyne said:
    With no better explanation from Apple it just feels user-hostile. Removing a really nice benefit without any clear reason just feels like Apple doesn't love us anymore.

    They would do well to tell us more than what they have so far.
    To be fair, it's been gone for three years. There's just been a lot of social media chatter about how it might be back, so we decided to put that to rest.
    Oh yes, I appreciated the article. It just seems like Apple had a reasonable technical reason for dropping it with 4K and then 5K iMacs. Now, they don't have that reason and it just seems like a removal of a beneficial feature for no obivous.
  • Reply 60 of 64
    leroybbadleroybbad Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    The biggest thing, that keeps me scratching my head, is that the iMac is inherently a monitor-- why the hell cant i just turn it on in a passive mode and use it as a plain old monitor?
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