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View Full Version : Can I use my Macbook as a PC Monitor?


Fiendish Astronaut
01-29-2011, 05:43 PM
Simple question: can my MacBook pro be used to display the image from my Windows CPU?

And if that works could I also used the Mac's keyboard (okay this would probably be a step too far but asking just in case)?


Thanks in advance.

beowulff
01-29-2011, 05:48 PM
You can run Remote Desktop on your Mac, but it's not fast enough for anything but the most basic graphics.

Heracles
01-30-2011, 09:35 PM
You can run Remote Desktop on your Mac, but it's not fast enough for anything but the most basic graphics.

True, you can do anything except gaming and multimedia (audio or video) through Remote Desktop (downloadable from this page at Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/mac/remote-desktop-client)). So it's good enough for text-and-pictures Web surfing, checking e-mail, editing spreadsheets, etc. Note that your Windows PC's screen will go blank/black while its contents are shown on your MacBook.

If you want your MacBook to act as a second monitor sitting next to your Windows PC, you can try MaxiVista (http://www.maxivista.com)... but you'll need to run Windows on the Mac (or at least use an emulator such as VMWare).

Hope this helps...

tellyworth
01-30-2011, 09:46 PM
As an alternative to treating your Macbook like a monitor, you might want to consider this:

http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

It lets you control multiple computers from one keyboard and mouse, and cut-and-paste between them.

Tabby_Cat
01-30-2011, 10:19 PM
I think the question is more about whether the laptop can be used as a "dumb" monitor, as if it were just an LCD display. And the answer is likely to be no - there's quite a bit of specialised electronics to allow the display to act as a display, and none of it needs to be in a laptop, so generally, your laptop doesn't have the necessary equipment to act as a monitor.

BigT
01-30-2011, 11:33 PM
While Tabby_Cat is correct, I do believe you could acheive something similar to what you want using some type of VNC, as it sounds like you really just want to control your PC with your Mac.

As for which VNC is the best, I can only tell you what works best for Windows XP: TightVNC 1.3 (http://www.tightvnc.com/download-old.php) with the mirror driver (http://www.tightvnc.com/driver.html). UltraVNC (http://www.uvnc.com/) also has a mirror driver that can install with it, which might work on Vista or Win7.

With either of these, just get a Mac VNC viewer, (this one (http://sourceforge.net/projects/cotvnc/) gets rave reviews) and make sure both are connected to your network, and it should be pretty easy to use.