2 Replies Latest reply: Jul 3, 2012 1:51 AM by rebbermade
rebbermade Level 1 (0 points)

Is it possible to connect a new 2011/2012 15" macbook pro to a 2004 imac g5 for use as a second monitor? 


I am a not-too-busy freelance graphic designer.  My 2004 imac is chugging along, but I really do need to upgrade.  I am interested in a macbook pro, but would like to be able to access a larger screen at times when I'm working on layouts and want to see more of what's going on.


The imac does have a mini display port to quote from the specs:


Details:Apple notes that the system has a "VGA output port for video mirroring on [an] external display or projector" and "S-video and composite video output to connect directly to a TV or projector", using an adapter (sold separately).


I'm not ready to spend for the Apple monitor, and the one I've shopped so far (Acer 24" LED) which was priced affordably, showed text all blurry when plugged into an ipad (their only option for sampling the monitor in-store.)


I'd love some ideas on ways to use my current imac as a monitor and/or suggestions on tight, hi-res 20"+ monitors in the $250 range.


Thanks so much!

imac g5 (2004), 1.8ghz powerpc, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (30,460 points)

    So, you want to use the iMac G5's screen as the second display, correct, not the MacBook Pro?


    The iMac's video port is for output only.  There is no traditional way to connect it to another computer directly, for the other computer to use the iMac's display.


    However, there is a way to do it over a network connection, using this clever application




    and the "VNC" protocol.  You're essentially doing screen sharing, but making the MacBook Pro send its "second screen" (which the app creates) to the iMac, which displays it at full screen using VNC.


    The main limitation is network speed, so you should use a wired Ethernet connection instead of wireless, between the two Macs, if possible.  Even then, it will not be as fast (screen refresh rate) as a "real" display connection, but it should work reasonably well for mostly static images (versus something that is always moving like video editing or playing games).


    But getting a regular display that connects in the normal way would be much simpler and more convenient.

  • rebbermade Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for this information, Kenichi!  I'll look into it.  Makes sense to me!  So glad someone out there already thought of this.