Thunderbolt port to mini-Displayport via Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cable

Will a Thunderbolt cable connect a 2012 MacbookPro (with a Thunderbolt port) to a late-2009 iMac (with a miniDisplay port) and operate in target mode? What about audio signal as well as video?

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3 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    All you need is a mini-Displayport to mini-Displayport cable. Skip this upscale Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cable. You'll find mini-Displayport to mini-Displayport cables much cheaper in other retailers.

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  • The simple answer is no. The Mini-DisplayPort in your 2009-era iMac won't understand the thunderbolt signal. The Mini-DisplayPort in your iMac doesn't have a data channel the way ThunderBolt does, so it can't work in Target mode. Also, I've tried connecting ThunderBolt MacBooks to my 2009-era 27" iMac with a Mini-DisplayPort cable and the iMac doesn't recognize the laptop and doesn't display it's contents on the screen.

    Sadly. despite looking physically identical, ThunderBolt and Mini-DisplayPort don't play well together.

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  • Yes, it will. I have exactly that configuration and the late 2009 iMac works in target mode with my MacBook Pro retina (MacBookPro10,1)

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