If you want an Apple-branded external display, your sole option nowadays is the $5999 Pro Display XDR. To make matters worse, Apple also deprecated Target Display Mode, which allowed people to use their iMac as an external display for another computer.
Nonetheless, these roadblocks didn’t stop one developer from creating a one-of-a-kind 5K iMac Display.
Developer Phillip Caudell took to Twitter last week to showcase the 5K iMac Display, which is sort of a “Frankenstein of parts.” Essentially, Phillip was able to track down an old iMac housing, then buy the exact panel that Apple uses in the iMac on eBay:
It’s a bit of a Frankenstein of parts: I picked up an old iMac housing for £20 (and scooted across London with it like a prat). I then got a panel off eBay for £350. By far the most expensive part, but it’s the exact same model as the one inside the iMac 5K.
From there, Phillip was able to get a driver board for the display for £150, which fits into the iMac housing despite being a “bit of a squeeze.” This driver board is the same one Dell uses in its Ultrasharp displays, and therefore macOS recognizes it as an external Dell display in System Preferences.
In the end, the project was successful and the only downside is you need two DisplayPort cables to drive the full resolution:
Wired it all up, and lo and behold it works! Super happy with the result. All in it came to £530, which isn’t too shabby for a 5K monitor! Only slight downside is it requires two display port cables to drive the full resolution, but hardly the end of the world.
This is of course not a solution that everyone will have the skills to complete, but it’s a very cool look at what an external Apple display inspired by the iMac could look like. The rumors currently indicate that Apple will release a new redesigned iMac later this year and that it has also started work on a lower-priced external display based on the iMac.
You can learn more in Phillip’s Twitter thread right here, as well as a separate thread on Reddit.
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