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YouTuber turns a 27-inch iMac into a fully functioning ‘Studio Display’ for half the price

When Apple’s new Studio Display was released last month, many people were quick to point out that panel is nearly identical to the one that Apple used in the 27-inch iMac starting in 2014. Because of the similarities between the two, YouTuber Luke Miani decided to see if he could convert an old iMac into a Studio Display.

Can an iMac be converted into a Studio Display?

Miani explains:

Apple’s new Studio Display is quite an interesting product, but at $1,599 it’s an arguably bad value. But since there are so few other displays out there that offer 5K resolution at 27 inches, for some it’s the only option. Until today. If you don’t fancy spending $1600 on the Apple Studio Display, you can make your own!

The obvious solution here would be to use Target Display Mode, which is a feature that let you use an iMac as an external display for another Mac. Apple, however, discontinued this feature with the release of macOS Mojave and the Retina iMac was never supported by the feature.

With that in mind, Miani set out to convert an iMac from 2014 into a standalone, fully functional external display for $600. This process involved completely gutting the iMac, which is something you have to do by removing the front panel of the iMac itself. Once this intricate process was completed, Miani had to search for the correct conversion board that allows you to actually connect the iMac.

The finished product is pretty impressive. There’s even USB-C connectivity and the iMac’s built-in webcam is fully functional. The total all-in cost for this project turned out to be $829, which is around half the price of the Studio Display. You miss out on some features, such as P3 color gamut support, but it’s an impressive result for under $,1000.

Check out Miani’s full video below. It’s a cool process to see, even it’s something that most people wouldn’t dare take on.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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