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  • Apple's 27" iMac DisplayPort Limitations Revealed


    We're getting a lesson today in output courtesy of input from our friends at iFixit.

    Apple Insider chronicled their efforts confirming that Apple's new 27" iMac can only be used as an external display for devices designed to provide DisplayPort video. You're out of luck if you're hoping it would work with equipment supporting VGA, DVI, or HDMI output.

    In a follow-up to its teardown of the 27" iMac last week, iFixit said it revisited the new hardware to see if it could display high-definition video from a non-DisplayPort external source. The results of the testing indicate that Apple's stated specifications for the iMac were correct; while video input worked as expected with a 13" MacBook Pro equipped with Mini DisplayPort, all attempts to use a physical adapter dongle to supply alternative video signals to the new 27" iMac failed.
    Although some are scratching their heads upon realizing that the iMac can't serve as a secondary display using Apple's own Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter, don't hold your breath for Apple or another company to cook up a special adapter to infuse some versatility into the mix. As the article states, we may be waiting in vein for such a device to ultimately come down the pike. After all, Apple's stated specifications suggest that no physical adapter can alter the fact that Apple's 27" iMac's video input feature is only compatible with DisplayPort devices.

    Apple has frequently used converter dongles on its notebooks in order to support multiple types of video output signaling via the same port. For example, previous notebook models provided Mini-DVI ports proprietary to Apple which could deliver both VGA and DVI outputs using the appropriate connector. These ports provided multiple signaling types over the same physical pins.
    Despite the fact that most Apple customers likely won't get too bent out of shape upon discovering that their 27" iMac is incapable of providing external monitor support, more Apple fanatics are likely to be irked by what appears to be Apple's newest (or perhaps oldest) priority - milking every opportunity imaginable to roll out another accessory.

    But in trying to see the glass half full, it's important to note that any DisplayPort compatibility for an Apple MacBook is already close enough to a miracle for some. And, as a result, its likely that a big fuss won't emerge in the wake of today's news.

    Apple's existing MacBooks, Mac mini, Mac Pro, and the smaller new 21.5" iMac model do not support video input at all. The company's 24" LED Cinema Display is the only other device that currently supports (and only supports) DisplayPort input. The 30" Cinema Display HD only supports DVI input, but not DisplayPort.
    Image via Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's 27" iMac DisplayPort Limitations Revealed started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      1st comment wow all that money for limitation?
    1. lazybearkhoa's Avatar
      lazybearkhoa -
      Aren't the customer always out of luck when it comes to Apple...
    1. shabz_de_don's Avatar
      shabz_de_don -
      why does apple even bother seriously, the way they are going they are going to drive their customers away... and when they do decide to change anything it'll be too late!... "apple stop trying to control your customers and give us rights dammit!"
    1. algojobathosai's Avatar
      algojobathosai -
      ^agree
    1. mgebara's Avatar
      mgebara -
      ^Rights? You have the right to buy whatever computer hardware you want. If you absolutely don't want to deal with what Apple has to offer you can:

      A) Sell your mac and buy other hardware which suits your needs.

      B) Get on the board of director's for Apple and change things for yourself.

      Either way no one is forcing you people to buy anything.
    1. Devilish4eveR's Avatar
      Devilish4eveR -
      Regardless, I'm buying one of those 27" iMac's..

      Just tooooo sweet to ignore... even with limitations
    1. shabz_de_don's Avatar
      shabz_de_don -
      Quote Originally Posted by mgebara View Post
      ^Rights? You have the right to buy whatever computer hardware you want. If you absolutely don't want to deal with what Apple has to offer you can:

      A) Sell your mac and buy other hardware which suits your needs.

      B) Get on the board of director's for Apple and change things for yourself.

      Either way no one is forcing you people to buy anything.
      dude... 'fortunately' i dont have a mac - i have a hackintosh lol i really dont intent to buy one either as you cant modify any hardware what you see if what you get... i like messing with computers... there no need to go all patriotic here this isnt war loll

      to be honest i dont even need a mac i just use it for fun mess about... and if anything pwnagetool lol but thats it... i havent seen if offer me anything to my interest...

      BUT coming back to the main point...

      im just expressing how i feel about it you dont need to give me this that the other about sell my mac etc... if you havent noticed this is a discussion board i write what i feel and im sure alot of people will agree that apple are to controling and would like to have rights and less limitation!
    1. s4mb4's Avatar
      s4mb4 -
      i guess i don't see why this even matters. why would i want to use the iMac as an external display device???
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lazybearkhoa View Post
      Aren't the customer always out of luck when it comes to Apple...
      No...are you out of luck with your iPhone?

      That's kind of annoying not to have that option available, oh well, it still looks really good!
    1. algojobathosai's Avatar
      algojobathosai -
      Quote Originally Posted by mgebara View Post
      ^Rights? You have the right to buy whatever computer hardware you want. If you absolutely don't want to deal with what Apple has to offer you can:

      A) Sell your mac and buy other hardware which suits your needs.

      B) Get on the board of director's for Apple and change things for yourself.

      Either way no one is forcing you people to buy anything.
      True that no is forcing us to buy anything. But as a consumer we have the right to comments and complains.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Not too terrbily interesting but good to know.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      I bought this HOPING I could input an HDMI to mini-display. After using it now for 5 days I can safely say I am really not all that discouraged about this news as I have completely fallen in love with the huge display and the new magic mouse. I'm sold.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      this is pretty lame i mean i'm cool cause i use my samsung tv for my macbook but what's just sad is that apple can keep doing this, and wont be driving almost any customers away, because people who use macs are generally people who love the OS so they want it and they love apple stuff so they are just gonna keep buying what is new from them no matter what so they can have the latest thing. maybe eventualy they'll have to stop but as for now they have no reason to everyone still goes and buys the new thing. even when it costs way extra to by an iphone because you've only been on your plan for one year everyone still goes to buy the new iphone it's relaly sad. but good for apple if they can do it i don't see why they woulnd't
    1. mgebara's Avatar
      mgebara -
      Quote Originally Posted by shabz_de_don View Post

      im just expressing how i feel about it you dont need to give me this that the other about sell my mac etc... if you havent noticed this is a discussion board i write what i feel and im sure alot of people will agree that apple are to controling and would like to have rights and less limitation!
      So...this is a discussion board made just so you can whinge? No one else is allowed to discuss their opinion if it's different to yours? Well aren't you special!

      Quote Originally Posted by algojobathosai View Post
      True that no is forcing us to buy anything. But as a consumer we have the right to comments and complains.
      Fair enough but those aren't the rights shabz_de_don was talking about. According to him Apple should give its consumers rights to do whatever they want their hardware...

      While you are correct that you have the right to complain about Apple's product, I can't see shabz_de_don's point that you have the right to use your iMac as a 27 inch external display with any input. It is your right to hack it to do so if that becomes available, but not your right for Apple to offer that as a stock feature.

      Apple has to do nothing while they are selling more computers now than they ever have in their history. Whinge all you want but it's working for them.
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      That's so typical of apple. Create a great idea and then mess it up by making something that is incompatible with everything else. Pretty sad, really. They have lost so many opportunities to be the market dominant force in computing. It seems SJ is only interested in his ego, after all.
    1. LongN3ck's Avatar
      LongN3ck -
      My custom-built PC has a 24" monitor that is 1920x1080. This and the price. No wonder the Apple market share can't compete with Linux/Microsoft.
    1. Cocacolafire's Avatar
      Cocacolafire -
      i stopped reading at "You're out of luck if you're hoping it would work with equipment supporting VGA, DVI, or HDMI output."

      no VGA? no HDMI?

      WTF? Apple can kiss their profits GOODBYE!
    1. applekid80's Avatar
      applekid80 -
      i just bought one of these freaking awesome 27 inch imacs. i would like to also be able to connect my two other macs though they dont use displayport. anyway the imac is sweet!
    1. dale1v's Avatar
      dale1v -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cocacolafire View Post
      i stopped reading at "You're out of luck if you're hoping it would work with equipment supporting VGA, DVI, or HDMI output."

      no VGA? no HDMI?

      WTF? Apple can kiss their profits GOODBYE!
      I started laughing hard at that line. Wouldn't say their profits will die though. Those are in the billions; it'll be pretty hard to lose that much money...
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      "waiting in vain"