The iMac 27 from Apple is a powerful computer with the ability to operate effectively with external displays. However, getting everything set up takes some time and work. There are various factors to consider before connecting your iMac 27 to an external display.
Is it a good idea to attach extra external monitors to an iMac 27? It all depends on what you expect from your computer. Yes, if you want the greatest performance out of your system, attaching multiple monitors will assist considerably boost performance.
How many external monitors can an iMac 27 support?
Technically speaking, the display size of the iMac (in our case 27 inches) does not determine how many monitors it will support. More so because over the years, there have been many versions of the iMac 27 released by Apple, each with different specifications.
The better indicator would be the number and types of ports on your iMac and the type of GPU and CPU it has. The number of external monitors, on some level, depends on the number and type of ports, and the quality of display depends on the type of CPU and GPU your iMac has.
According to Apple:
- Only a single external display can be connected to iMacs with an M1 chip
- For iMacs having Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C), you can have one external display for each port, for example, if your iMac has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports then you can have a maximum of 2 external monitors
- For iMacs having HDMI and Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, you can connect 2-4 external monitors, depending upon your GPU
If you desire a much more specific-to-your-iMac answer, then you have to do a bit of work:
- Go to the “About this Mac” section from the Apple menu
- Copy the Serial Number
- Visit this page and paste that Serial Number into the search bar and press enter
- Go to the specs page of your system, you will find the exact number of displays as well as the maximum quality of those displays under the heading of graphics or video support
Note that if it says, for example, that your iMac can support a 6K display, then it means any display up to 6K and not only 6K. That means it will support a 5K, a 4K, and any that is below 6K.
How to connect External monitors in iMac 27?
There are several ways to connect the external monitors to the iMac. Once you figure out how many monitors you can connect to your iMac, you have to check the type of ports on your iMac and your monitor. Once you note that down, proceed to the next steps:
In the best-case scenario, your monitor will have the same port as your iMac. As an example, your monitor and iMac both will be having an HDMI port. This makes things considerably convenient. You just need to buy an HDMI cable and connect your monitor to the Apple computer.
Usually, it is not the case that both of the ports will be similar. More than often, your monitor will have a different port and your iMac will have a different one.
For that case, there are several options you can follow
1. A simple cheap adapter
An adapter will help you connect different ports from different devices together in an easier way. For example, if your monitor has an HDMI port, and your iMac has Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, which by the way are getting very common in Mac PCs for obvious reasons, then you can simply use an HDMI to USB-C adapter to connect your monitor to your Apple Pc.
Just plug the HDMI cable with one end of the adapter, and the USB-C cable with the other end of the adapter.
Also, there is an adapter for every possible display cable-USB combination so choose the one that fits your requirements.
After connecting, if your new monitor does not work as anticipated, then most probably it’s an issue with the drivers. Install the adapter drivers and then you’ll be good to go.
2. A Docking Station
A more versatile but expensive option would be a docking station. It’s a device that lets you connect multiple devices to your computer at the expense of just one USB port.
Connecting multiple monitors can use up all your USB ports, hence it’s a wiser decision to use a docking station and free up the other thunderbolts.
Note that you cannot use more monitors than your iMac allows you to, even after getting the ability to connect more using a Docking Station.
To use the Docking Station, simply connect all your monitors to the ports on it and connect its USB directly to your iMac.
3. Display splitter
For iMacs having an HDMI port, a display splitter can be used to connect a pair of external monitors. In easy words, a display splitter is an accessory that will let you connect two HDMI cables into one port.
Just connect your HDMI from the monitor to your display splitter and connect that splitter to your iMac. The monitors should be up and working
There are a bunch of ways to do techy things, so choose the method that suits you the best.
I have connected the displays, but now what?
After that, you need to set up the newly added monitors. There are two ways to set up your display and both of them entirely depend upon your preferences
As an extended desktop
- Go to System Preferences and from there to Display
- Select Display Settings
- Select the name of your display, and click on the extend display option
For video mirroring
- Go to System Preferences and from there to Display
- Click on Display Settings
- Select your display and click on the Mirror from Display from the menu
Following these steps, you will be able to use the newly added Displays as an extended desktop, or for video mirroring.
You might also read:
- Can you connect PS4 to the iMac screen?
- Can I use my iMac as a monitor for Mac Mini M1?
- Is iMac M1 Good for Gaming?
From professional gamers to seasoned programmers, every techy guy relishes the idea of having multiple monitors. They can entirely transform your user experience by providing a much bigger display to work with.
Moreover, as this work-from-home thing is getting more and more popular, the multiple display setup is becoming more than a luxury. It is an essential necessity for a lot of professionals, and it can be for you too.
So, whoever you are, and whatever you do, having multiple displays can help you in multiple ways. And unlike many technical things, setting it up is surprisingly easy. Just make sure you use the newer cables. They are pretty cheap anyway.